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big data

Nicholas Felton’s Annual Report Holds Key Ideas for Brand Publishers

Posted by Fell Gray on August 28, 2014 03:31 PM

Nicholas Felton, best known for designing the Facebook timeline and the Reporter app, recently released his 2013 Feltron Report. This year’s homage to data visualization takes on the staggering feat of capturing all 95,000 communications Felton had over the course of the year—from face-to-face to mobile and social.

Many will marvel at the beautiful visuals of the “insights and patterns within the data and metadata of a large and personal data set,” but brands focused on the power of content should take a closer look.

One of the most insightful—and useful—ways Felton looks at his data is through the lens of reciprocity. He determines the ratio of sent to received communications with different individuals and highlights how communication is fundamentally about an exchange. Inherently, communication comes with a promise, a social contract, to respond. Through this lens, each person is a “participant,” not a recipient or consumer—an idea that brands should consider as they strive for engagement.Continue reading...

brand bites

Location, Location, Location: Firm Home Base Makes Brands Seem More Authentic

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 16, 2014 06:14 PM

Authenticity is contagious, according to a new study published in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of Marketing Research

“Authenticity is Contagious: Brand Essence and the Original Source of Production” indicates that, “products manufactured in the original factory acquire the essence of the brand through a contagion-like process,” said study co-author George Newman, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Yale SOM. “Consumers believe that products made in the original factory possess the essence of the brand more so than products made elsewhere, which in turn causes them to be perceived as more authentic and desirable.” 

A series of experiments including Levi’s jeans, gourmet chocolates and luxury bags showed that “participants were willing to pay significantly more for products made in the original factory than those produced in either a newer factory located in the same city as the original or in a foreign factory," the study showed. “Participants also placed a higher retail value on factory originals, and viewed them as embodying the essence of the brand more than products manufactured elsewhere.” For instance, Godiva chocolates, made in Brussels, Belgium since 1926, were perceived as more authentic than those made at the brand’s Pennsylvania facility.Continue reading...

branding together

Financial Brands Continue Love Affair With Sports Sponsorships

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2013 02:18 PM

Financial services brands and sports go hand in hand (case in point: the Barclays Premier League). So it comes as no surprise that according to the most recent Sponsorium report, which tracks sponsorship and community investment dollars across the globe, financial companies this year have seen an average of “9% higher requested amounts for philanthropic donations than non-Financial industry brands” — and that the majority of those sponsorship requests are for sports.

According to the report, the “Financial industry’s sponsorship activity is focused primarily in Sports,” which makes up 52% of the sponsorship dollars the Financial industry spends. Arts came in second when it came to the industry’s sponsorship dollars, making that category “roughly 30% more popular than their global average for all industries.” When it comes to donations between $10,000 and $500,000, banks and other “financial brands are both asked for and are making larger-sized donations/grants than brands from other industries.”Continue reading...

mobile marketing

Verizon Brings A-Game to Brand Marketers: Analytics

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2013 09:44 AM

Sports fans are subjected to every possible form of marketing each time they attend a game but it hasn’t always been exactly clear what messages have really resonated with folks and sent them directly to buy products and services when game time is over. Verizon is aiming to change that by bringing its A-game (analytics) to sports clubs and venues in order to showcase its Big Data capabilities.

The NBA’s Phoenix Suns teamed with Verizon’s year-old Precision Marketing Insights division to track if fans at the stadium who were subjected to messaging during games actually went to sponsor-promoted locations (bars and restaurants) after the game or in the days afterward, Ad Age reports. The tracking is being done with a very simple tool: a Verizon smartphone. 

Santa may see you when you’re sleeping and be aware of when you’re awake, but your smartphone knows pretty much where you are 24/7/365 and what you are interested in. Verizon tracks where fans are traveling and then analyzes the information for demographics. All of the info is “anonymized” and Verizon's website goes to pains to say it respects privacy.Continue reading...

auto motive

Ford Brand Impacted by "Buggy" In-Car Tech - Consumer Reports

Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2013 05:02 PM

Ford hasn't made enough progress in solving the operational frustrations that come with its MyFord Touch system, according to Consumer Reports' new, closely watched vehicle-reliability ratings. The Ford Motor Company manufactures five of the ten "least reliable cars" on Consumer Reports' latest New Car Auto Reliability survey. The problem, increasingly, looks like a morass that could tarnish the Ford and Lincoln brands.

Rivals GMC, Audi and Volvo, in comparison, seem to have figured out how to please American buyers and leapt significantly in the just-released survey by the influential consumer watchdog. Each of those marques captured three of the top-10 spots in the just-released survey—with Volvo jumping 13 places to seventh among all brands selling in the US, GMC leaping three places to finish ninth and as the top-rated domestic brand, and Audi climbing four places to finish fourth overall as the top European manufacturer in the survey. What's more, every model from each of those brands scored better than average.

Japanese brands—Lexus, Toyota and Acura—captured the top three spots in the survey, which was conducted by CR's National Research Center and, based on subscribers' experiences with 1.1 million vehicles, is believed to be the largest of its kind. However, the Toyota Camry, the bestselling car in America, is no longer #1. As Consumer Reports commented, "The Japanese dominance in car reliability is showing cracks."Continue reading...

survey says

Simplicity is at the Heart of Great Customer Experience, Survey Shows

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 23, 2013 02:37 PM

In a world that can be a bit complicated and overwhelming, consumers generally love when a brand delivers simplicity. According to the US portion of a new global "simplicity" study from New York-based branding firm Siegel+Gale, Amazon is the simplest brand for US consumers to engage with, followed by Netflix.

"You think about our lives today and all the experiences people are having with multiple screens and multiple interactions,'' Kathleen Kindle, a Siegel+Gale strategy director for brand development, told USA Today. "Brands that offer a respite from all of that, a transparent and easy experience to their customers'' can have an advantage. "We could all use a little less complexity in our daily lives.''

The simplest US travel brand, according to the study, is Southwest Airlines, which ranked at No. 9 worldwide according to the 1,500 respondents to the survey, which was conducted in May and June. JetBlue came in second in the US, but was ranked at No. 44 globally.

“The perception that Southwest offers fair prices that don't dramatically spike because of a host of extra fees being tacked on is key to customers feeling the airline is easy to deal with," Brian Rafferty, director of global research for the firm, told USA Today.Continue reading...

big data

AB InBev Sets Up Shop on University of Illinois Campus—for Research Lab

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2013 03:45 PM

If you need help with beer, college students might just be the best people to ask for advice.

That seems to be the thinking behind Anheuser-Busch InBev's new research lab, appropriately dubbed the Bud Lab, at the University of Illinois. The analytics center in the school's research park on its Champaign-Urbana campus will use data to "solve problems ranging from assortment optimization, social media and market trends to large-scale data initiatives," according to a statement on the school's website.

This will give Bud a “permanent presence on campus,” Claudio Garcia, AB InBev's chief people and technology officer, told Ad Age — but not in a college marketing sense. The research won’t be about consumption but about tapping into the bright young academics who are studying statistics, computer science, business and engineering to help the brewer solve some of the challenges that it's facing.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Facebook Phones Home With Mobile Launch on AT&T and HTC

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 4, 2013 06:41 PM

It’s here, and it’s not just a phone. Facebook's highly anticipated event today confirmed swirling rumors that the social network would release a product closely tied to a mobile device, and that product is Facebook Home.

"We asked ourselves if sharing and connecting are what matter most, what would your phone be like if it put your friends first?" Facebook stated. "Our answer is Home. Home isn't a phone or operating system, and it's also more than just an app. Home is a completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps."Continue reading...

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