Friday, March 30, 2012
What’s been happening in the marketplace this week that you need to know about?
Well, there have been some serious headline-making stories this week regarding social networks. Liam Stacey, a 21 year-old student, has been jailed for 56 days charged for inciting racial hatred. Stacey posted offensive and racist tweets about footballer Fabrice Muamba while the athlete was fighting for his life after suffering cardiac arrest at a Premier League game on 17th March. This is not the first instance of legal action being taken against nasty and foolhardy tweets. For more information on the Stacey case and for previous instances of reprimanded tweeters, check out ‘The Wall’s article: think before you tweet.
Stepping away from the scandals in social media, the CIM’s East of England Spring Marketing Conference took place on Wednesday of this week. I had a fantastic time and wanted to write about one of my favourite talks from the event: ‘Game changers – five dynamics for future brand success,’ given by Robert Jones, a strategist at Wolff Olins.
Jones’s talk was dedicated to branding for the future and five laws of branding that are shaping future business. His first law was a call for ethical consumerism, stating that brands will have to define and share their purpose beyond profit. Innocent fruit drinks are a great example of this, a brand that has built up a friendly image by using sustainable ingredients and reducing their packaging. They want their customers to know of their green credentials and that they are not just about making profits. Business with ethics.
Jones’ second branding law is that brands should be a useful platform on which people can do things. Naked Wine show that following this rule can lead to success. Their ‘Naked Marketplace,’ a platform for promoting winemakers, gives their customers the opportunity to fund the establishment of new vineyards, which in turn supply unique wine exclusively for Naked’s members.
Brand experimentation is law three. Jones argues brands have to try new things or risk falling behind the competition. Google for example are constantly experimenting. They launched Google Wave, a social platform that did not gain the traction they hoped for. A case of ‘right place wrong time’, perhaps. This did pave the way for Google+, however, and though in its relative infancy, is showing great signs of success. It is this constant push for innovation that keeps Google at the top of their industry.
The fourth law is about sharing your brand, being boundless. Branding is changing from a single corporation to a constellation. Amazon for example has expanded massively from its establishment as an online bookstore. You can now buy clothes, shoes and even food from the website. Amazon has stretched and incorporated different suppliers and products into its label. Jones argues that this boundlessness is key to their continued success and popularity as an online retailer. And finally, the fifth law: from control to liberate to creativity; to be successful brands will not be able to stick to the norm, they will have to be creative.
The full list of presentations are on the CIM website.
Today, the 30th March, is a big day. The deadline for businesses to change to the new Facebook Timeline! Have you got your Timeline ready? Luckily, Social Media Today has posted an article consisting of 15 tips to create a great Timeline. Pam Moore takes you through the unavoidable changes to your business page, how to make the most of them and also inserts some great links to other useful Facebook pages so you can really get to grips with the new modifications.
Also, since it’s Friday and I’m feeling very generous here’s a link to a webinar ‘everything you need to know about the new Timeline for businesses’. Presented by Jonathan Eccles from ThisMoment, the discussion provides you with information required to transform your brand's Facebook page. I haven’t seen it myself but I hear it’s a ‘must watch’.
Finally, another advice-orientated blog, again from Social Media Today: 10 tips for powerfully using LinkedIn. Tracy Gold writes that LinkedIn isn’t just a way to make business connections, it’s a powerful tool, and there are simple ways to optimize your presence on the site. This is a great article which highlights the importance of social media platforms and how to make the most of them. Are you on LinkedIn? Does your profile need a boost? If so, then this is the article for you.