Have We Reached The End Of Brand Purpose?

Rather than offering solutions to societal needs, brand ‘purpose’ risks becoming a euphemism for ill-conceived CSR campaigns. The Holmes Report’s Alex Brownsell talks to CMOs, including the marketer behind ‘Fearless Girl’, to find out where brands are going wrong. Rema Vasan, EVP and a global client director at MSL and a Cannes Lions 2017 jury […]

The post Have We Reached The End Of Brand Purpose? appeared first on MSLGROUP’s Blog Critical Conversations: Critical Conversations.

8 Twitter Tactics for Small Businesses

Strong hashtag.png

By Adam Rosen

Many businesses want to know what the ‘secret sauce’ is to gaining new followers on Twitter and running a popular, engaging account. The truth is that there is no secret sauce. Every business has its own story to tell to a unique audience. That being said, there are eight key tactics every business, both small and large, should employ on Twitter to get the most out of the platform.

1. Establish a brand personality

Consumers like brands they can relate to. Just because you are running a business doesn’t mean you have to maintain a corporate, buttoned-up approach on social media. Twitter is a chance to let your personality shine through. Have some fun with your Twitter account and don’t shy away from exhibiting a sense of humor. Make yourself stand out from your competitors. Casper, DiGiorno Pizza and Wendy’s are strong examples of brands that have gained notoriety over the years for their Twitter personas.

2. Use relevant hashtags

Studies have shown that tweets with hashtags receive twice as many engagements as tweets without hashtags. Tweeting about trending topics or utilizing popular hashtags within your industry will not only expose your tweets to a lot more users, it will result in more retweets, replies and link/profile clicks. In short, tweeting relevant hashtags improves your discoverability to people who otherwise might not have heard of your company or didn’t know you were on Twitter. Restrict your number of hashtags to 1-2 per tweet, however, as anything more than that can actually decrease engagement.

3. Always reply to customers

The worst thing you can do as a small business is give your customers the impression that you don’t care about them. Almost every tweet to your business, both positive and negative, deserves at least one response. If a customer tweets at you with a compliment or sends a photo of him/her using your product, be sure to thank the person. If a customer has a complaint, whether it is justified or not, make sure to address the person publicly in some manner while trying to take the rest of the discussion offline. Digital marketing guru Jay Baer urges marketers to “hug your haters” in this video for Community Managers. He also published a book on the topic as well.

4. Incorporate User Generated Content

Your current customers have tremendous value for your business. It’s one thing for consumers to view paid advertisements by a brand, it’s another for them to see other people endorsing companies on their own. If a customer tweets at you with a photo of him/her using your product, private message the person asking for permission to repost the picture from the company account with a new caption. Many Twitter users feel a sense of validation and self-gratification when a company uses their photos in official posts and will often share them with friends as a result. If you don’t have a lot of followers who tweet at your handle, you can run Twitter contests seeking out the best User Generated Content (photos, tweet replies, short stories, etc.). Consumers appreciate brands that take the time to single them out on Twitter or refer to them by name in a tweet. 

5. Engage with influencers

For small businesses looking to gain exposure, it is important to identify any influencers (or micro-influencers) who currently use your product or who you think might enjoy using your product. Figuring out a way to get them to tweet about your brand is the best way to increase your organic following. One idea is to send free samples of your product to these people (or offer them your service free of charge) with a note that includes your company name, Twitter handle and official hashtag and encourage them to post a tweet if they enjoyed using it. Klear and Hashtagify are free online tools that can be used to identify top influencers for your brand.

6. Monitor your analytics

Take full advantage of Twitter Analytics to track which types of posts are performing best. Some of the metrics to look at include: engagement rate, link clicks, retweets, likes, and replies. You may also want to look at performance trends in terms of time of day, day of the week, and type of post (text-based, photo, video, etc.) to see what works best for your audience. Other free analytics tools for Twitter include Social Bearing, Followerwonk and Tweriod

7. Use Twitter Advanced Search to find new customers

Twitter Advanced Search is one of the more underutilized tools that Twitter has to offer. Twitter Advanced Search allows you to search for specific keywords, phrases, and hashtags and listen to the conversations that are happening on Twitter. By taking the initiative to strategically listen to what Twitter users are saying about your category or industry, you can make an effort to reach out to these people directly and let them know about your company’s offerings. 

8. Offer value to your customers

All customers understand that at the end of the day, you are a business. However, that doesn’t mean they always want to be pitched. Make sure your Twitter account offers some form of value to your customers and is not just a hard-driving sales tool. Offering value can take place in the form of curating articles from notable experts in the industry, posting funny photos or memes, or offering inspirational quotes (#MotivationalMonday is a popular hashtag). Interacting with your followers on Twitter is about establishing a relationship and building trust. Make your followers feel like friends of the company, not bottom line transactions.

The last piece of advice? Be patient. Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t gaining dozens of likes or hundreds of new followers every week. Be consistent with your approach on Twitter. To paraphrase the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it (a strong Twitter presence), people will come.”
 

Have questions about your company’s Twitter strategy? Contact the Likeable Media team here.
 


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Friday Reading #106

It’s never nice to lose a client, but this week we parted ways with Spotify after 18 months of genuine partnership with lovely clients, creating work we’re very proud of. As the business consolidated their account into a single agency worldwide, we’re not (yet) in a position to manage that. What made the whole process much easier to swallow was the thoroughly classy way Spotify handled it, flying out to the UK to explain why in person. Andrew was so impressed he penned a piece on LinkedIn which seems to have resonated with a few people.


image

Instagram has come a long way since it first appeared in
2010, as co-founder Mike Krieger discusses in this
interview with WIRED
. It’s interesting to see how a simple acorn of an idea
(allowing people to ‘unleash’ their camera rolls) has grown into a social media
giant, and genuinely changed the way in which people capture and share personal
photos. Krieger talks about some of the ways in which they overcame the
initially poor quality of phone cameras (introducing filters, to bridge the gap
between perception and reality) and outlines the system which has allowed the
team to enjoy so much success over the years – a balance between ‘putting out
fires’ and always looking ahead for the next opportunity to push the app
forward.

image

On a related note, what does it take to be a multi-Billion start up in Silicon Valley these days? Seven lines of code? Two brothers from Ireland’s ingenious Stripe platform have revolutionised the payments industry. Taking a simple approach, they are now
running the back ends for Uber, Facebook, and now Amazon – making them overnight
billionaires. The two founders, Patrick and John Collison talk to Bloomberg
about their alternative approach to machismo and self-centered world in Silicon
Valley and the prospects of bringing commerce to every part of the world
through simple technology.

image

It was only last week that password Guru, Bill Burr,
awkwardly admitted that his complex and rather annoying
rules for ‘safer’ passwords may have actually decreased system security, when this
morning, HBO’s Twitter account was at the end of yet another cyber security
scandal. Hacking group, OurMine hacked HBO’s Twitter account and released some
scandalous information about HBO’s hit show, Game of Thrones, causing a frenzy
among GoT lovers. HBO gained access to their account shortly after, but not
before the hackers sent HBO a rather cheeky tweet
using the Game of Thrones
handle stating: “OurMine are here. we are just testing your security. HBO team
please contact us to upgrade the security – ourmine.org -> Contact.

image

One step closed on the path towards making humanity redundant, it’s now possible to create self-healing robots. It’s not quite the T-1000′s terrifying liquid metal yet though – researchers in Brussels have created a robotic hand made from rubbery polymers
with the ability to heal itself when cut or ripped, by simply applying a little heat. Experiments
showed that damage could be healed completely without leaving any weakness
.
Useful in the food industry and important when thinking about prosthesis it
could be the start of something interesting and extremely beneficial.

We’re all familiar with the push to short form video, and it’s a brilliantly effective way to advertise. Asking less of their attention tends to mean people are more likely to stick around. But IKEA are having a go in the opposite direction entirely – creating a 25 minute, leisurely paced film designed to relax a tightly wound student audience with a gentle tour around a bedroom. Beyond the relaxed tone, the film makes use of some interesting neuroscience; autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) uses specific tones and visuals to create a relaxing, tingling sensation in the viewer. Luckily for those of us still struggling with that attention span, they’ve also made some 1 minute clips which deliver the same effect. Give it a try, it’s rather nice.

Friday Reading #106

It’s never nice to lose a client, but this week we parted ways with Spotify after 18 months of genuine partnership with lovely clients, creating work we’re very proud of. As the business consolidated their account into a single agency worldwide, we’re not (yet) in a position to manage that. What made the whole process much easier to swallow was the thoroughly classy way Spotify handled it, flying out to the UK to explain why in person. Andrew was so impressed he penned a piece on LinkedIn which seems to have resonated with a few people.


image

Instagram has come a long way since it first appeared in
2010, as co-founder Mike Krieger discusses in this
interview with WIRED
. It’s interesting to see how a simple acorn of an idea
(allowing people to ‘unleash’ their camera rolls) has grown into a social media
giant, and genuinely changed the way in which people capture and share personal
photos. Krieger talks about some of the ways in which they overcame the
initially poor quality of phone cameras (introducing filters, to bridge the gap
between perception and reality) and outlines the system which has allowed the
team to enjoy so much success over the years – a balance between ‘putting out
fires’ and always looking ahead for the next opportunity to push the app
forward.

image

On a related note, what does it take to be a multi-Billion start up in Silicon Valley these days? Seven lines of code? Two brothers from Ireland’s ingenious Stripe platform have revolutionised the payments industry. Taking a simple approach, they are now
running the back ends for Uber, Facebook, and now Amazon – making them overnight
billionaires. The two founders, Patrick and John Collison talk to Bloomberg
about their alternative approach to machismo and self-centered world in Silicon
Valley and the prospects of bringing commerce to every part of the world
through simple technology.

image

It was only last week that password Guru, Bill Burr,
awkwardly admitted that his complex and rather annoying
rules for ‘safer’ passwords may have actually decreased system security, when this
morning, HBO’s Twitter account was at the end of yet another cyber security
scandal. Hacking group, OurMine hacked HBO’s Twitter account and released some
scandalous information about HBO’s hit show, Game of Thrones, causing a frenzy
among GoT lovers. HBO gained access to their account shortly after, but not
before the hackers sent HBO a rather cheeky tweet
using the Game of Thrones
handle stating: “OurMine are here. we are just testing your security. HBO team
please contact us to upgrade the security – ourmine.org -> Contact.

image

One step closed on the path towards making humanity redundant, it’s now possible to create self-healing robots. It’s not quite the T-1000′s terrifying liquid metal yet though – researchers in Brussels have created a robotic hand made from rubbery polymers
with the ability to heal itself when cut or ripped, by simply applying a little heat. Experiments
showed that damage could be healed completely without leaving any weakness
.
Useful in the food industry and important when thinking about prosthesis it
could be the start of something interesting and extremely beneficial.

We’re all familiar with the push to short form video, and it’s a brilliantly effective way to advertise. Asking less of their attention tends to mean people are more likely to stick around. But IKEA are having a go in the opposite direction entirely – creating a 25 minute, leisurely paced film designed to relax a tightly wound student audience with a gentle tour around a bedroom. Beyond the relaxed tone, the film makes use of some interesting neuroscience; autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) uses specific tones and visuals to create a relaxing, tingling sensation in the viewer. Luckily for those of us still struggling with that attention span, they’ve also made some 1 minute clips which deliver the same effect. Give it a try, it’s rather nice.

Meet The Drum’s US 50 under 30 honorees from the Midwest.

The Drum – August 16, 2017

By Minda Smiley

The Drum’s Top 50 Under 30 a list that is celebrating women across the country who are putting themselves – and their cities – on the map via their creativity, achievements and dedication to an industry that is changing at a fast clip.

Rebecca Mader, designer at Cramer-Krasselt in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

What is your biggest achievement to date?

I have what some people call “project management brain.” I think I’m one of the rare Type-A Creatives, so details and planning excite me just as much as design and art direction. I worked on a massive newspaper insert – so big in fact, it set a Guinness World Record. This was an incredible accomplishment because of the organization and coordination it took in addition to the designing. And I was at the center of it. That entire project I felt like I was floating from one thing to the next using all of my strengths at once. From figuring out how to get more than 5,000 products into the insert to figuring out what the thing should look like. It took major problem solving and a major sense of calm in the eye of the storm.

Who or what motivates and inspires you?

I’m continuously inspired by people who put good into the world. A powerful speech, a TV spot that makes you happy-cry, someone who buys a stranger coffee in the Starbucks drive-thru. The smallest of good deeds remind me of who I am and who I want to be in this world.

What brand means the most to you?

I go to a local gym called Spire Fitness and take spin classes. It’s a place I wholeheartedly I stand behind. It’s a community dedicated to challenge and bettering yourself both physically and mentally. My favorite part is that you never sweat alone. They’re Milwaukee based, and I’ve never been more enthusiastic about working out.

To read about the winners from each state, visit The Drum.

The post Meet The Drum’s US 50 under 30 honorees from the Midwest. appeared first on Cramer krasselt.

With names like ‘surge protector’ and ‘torpedo tube,’ free condoms are finally fun.

Adweek – August 15, 2017

By Angela Natividad

Have you ever been to a Planned Parenthood, or any similar organization, to fish from their glass bowl of free condoms?

It’s awkward. Worse still is what you end up with: A handful of suspect brands you may not recognize, or sometimes—if you’re lucky—a random pineapple-flavored one, more perplexing than exciting.

Free condoms get a bad rep. And while that’s not the only reason a teen gets pregnant or contracts an STD, their inherent lack of sexiness doesn’t help overcome that ol’ “Ugh, condoms don’t feel good” chestnut.

With that in mind, Milwaukee, Wis.-based organization Diverse & Resilient partnered with agency Cramer-Krasselt to come up with something cool—and just as free as the tropically-tanged Jimmy hats of yore: Naughty Bags, a brand of condoms created by teens, for teens.

The U.S. teen pregnancy rate dropped 9 percent in 2016, marking an all-time low. But it’s nonetheless higher than in other developed countries, with remaining disparities for minority groups and people in certain geographical locations. Milwaukee’s teen pregnancy rate is three times higher than the national average, and STD transmission worsened as U.S. rates hit a record high.

As Cramer-Krasselt puts it, Naughty Bags are meant to “hit the sweet—and often missed—spot of function and lifestyle.” In other words, they’re neither boring nor embarrassing.

Made instead to be sex-positive, humorous and cool, the labeling was designed in partnership with the target market and features witty names like Pork Parka, Pelvic Poncho, Scuba Gear, Surge Protector and—our favorite—Papa Stopper.

Finally a place where young people can put all their clever puns to good use!

The insight was drawn from focus groups with young urban adults and research on their sexual behavior. WISN.com posted a video of teens themselves talking about whether Naughty Bags will actually make a difference. Even if they’re a little corny, “People will laugh at them and try to get one so they can show people or tell people about it,” one says when asked the question point-blank.

The condoms went into distribution this month, in places that (hurray!) don’t require you to cross an angry evangelist picket line or scrounge for change while getting gas. They’re being handed out at barber shops, including Gee’s Clippers and Dep’s Hall of Fades, and discreet pickup locations disguised as newspaper stands. Diverse & Resilient is also giving them away at its home base and via its 414All program.

 

The post With names like ‘surge protector’ and ‘torpedo tube,’ free condoms are finally fun. appeared first on Cramer krasselt.

Local nonprofit is targeting Milwaukee teens with ‘Naughty Bags.’

Creativity – August 14, 2017

By Alexandra Jardine

Editor’s Pick

Agency Cramer-Krasselt’s Milwaukee office worked with teen focus groups to create the “Naughty Bag” range [of condoms] for local group Diverse & Resilient, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve the well-being of Wisconsin’s LGBTQ community. Their names include Torpedo Tube, Pork Parka Pecker Poncho,Scuba Gear, Ham Holster and Papa Stopper, and the fun packaging helps illustrate these ideas graphically too.

The branding aims to appeal to teens in the language they use, without being clinical, judgmental or preachy, as existing messages just don’t seem to be getting through to Milwaukee teens. The city has high rates of teen pregnancy and STIs, ranking the #1 city in the country for chlamydia infections and #2 for gonorrhea.

As well as distributing Naughty Bags through their existing free condom program all around Milwaukee, Diverse & Resilient will be making them available for free in community barbershops that will house condom dispensers and also through discreet pickup locations (disguised as newspaper stands) throughout the city.

The post Local nonprofit is targeting Milwaukee teens with ‘Naughty Bags.’ appeared first on Cramer krasselt.

Friday Reading #105

Is anyone reading this? It seems half the world is off on holiday at the moment, so we can’t help thinking we’re shouting into a digital void at the moment. One group of people not taking a break are the investment teams at Goodstuff, who spent a day this week discussing the future media landscape – helping to plan a route through the choppy, ever changing waters of the media market. 


A study being conducted by Osnabrück University has
placed a big fat question mark over the future of AI, as studies in machine
morality have begun testing the implications of mimicking flawed human
behaviour in algorithms used by driverless cars. The study uses virtual reality
to test how real humans respond to obstacles by placing them in different
traffic-type situations and presenting them with various obstacles such as
women and children and then forcing them, in timed-conditions, to decide which
life has more value
. Weighing up the value of human life is complex and takes a
level of morality that isn’t possible in algorithms – while they are lacking of deeper knowledge, morals and the ability to feel blame, what is at stake with the
future of driverless cars?

Okay so we might have slightly missed the timer on this one, but we hope you haven’t got a soggy bottom from the waiting. The long awaited trailer for the Channel 4 GBBO is here, and it’s a stunner once again from 4creative. An animated celebration of the joy of baking, with anthropomorphic cakes and buns abound – and interestingly, not a presenter in sight. Taking a conscious choice to draw a line between the BBC version for this first glimpse into the show is a brave move, but one which has certaintly delivered on it’s creative promise. It’s Nice That have interviewed the wonderfully named Mikey Please, co-founder of animation studio Parabella to find out more about how they brought the idea to life.

Video on Facebook is an evolving proposition, with people and brands still figuring out the best way to pair the demand for video content and platform not really designed for it. There are a few rules which are established already (subtitles, don’t rely on sound, short form, hook people at the start), but that hasn’t stopped some crafty sorts trying to game the system. The most recent trend to pile up the view count involves taking static images, but turning them into videos. As people scroll their feeds, they might stop to view the image for a few seconds not realising that it’s being counted as a video view. 

Richard Huntinton’s blog can always be counted on to have something stimulating to say. His latest post builds on a theme we’re seeing across the industry at the moment, with the debate over the effectiveness and value of audience segmentation. Huntington argues that grouping individual people based on some simple demographic factor is demeaning and overly simplistic – especially afflicted at the moment are millennials. Being born between 1980 and 2000 apparently makes you lazy, entitiled and narcissistic if you read the papers. There are some obvious flaws to any kind of segmentation, where the average will never include all the outliers – but does that mean the whole exercise is meaningless? Or, in a business where scale matters, does the average still have merit?

The 2017 Harold Burson Summer Internship Program LAGRANT affiliated Interns Reflect On Their Experiences

For the third year in a row, Burson-Marsteller and The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) partnered to welcome three talented ethnic minority interns into the Harold Burson Summer Internship (HBSI) Program. The U.S. HBSI Program provides college seniors, recent graduates and graduate students with valuable, real-world agency experience as they work closely with public relations professionals in practice groups and client teams.

Below, interns Kavita Raval, Stephany Rodas and Sydney Tukes reflect on what they found to be the most rewarding components of the HBSI program and what they took away from the experience.

Kavita Raval – Public Affairs & Crisis Practice, Washington, D.C.

My experience this summer as an HBSI intern in the Public Affairs & Crisis Practice has been invaluable to my professional career goals. Through this internship, I was given the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how successful PR campaigns are managed on local, national, and international scales. By working in the public affairs sector with big-name clients in industries ranging from fnancial services to automotive, I learned how to identify important political influencers and craft integrated communication plans. Furthermore, I now have experience pitching stories to well-known reporters on behalf of my clients as well as managing important stakeholder engagements.

If I had to pick one aspect of the HBSI program that I found most rewarding, it would definitely be connecting one-on-one with the movers and shakers of the PR industry—the professionals who dedicate their careers to upholding the prestigious Burson-Marsteller legacy. It was a great privilege to chat with former White House officials, award-winning news journalists, foreign service experts, and crisis communications professional as they shared their amazing career experiences with us. All of the agency professionals who we met emphasized the importance of becoming great storytellers, as they believed this skill would be crucial to our future success in the public relations industry. I am incredibly thankful for the unique partnership between the LAGRANT Foundation and Burson-Marsteller, as the HBSI program has thoroughly prepared me for a challenging, yet rewarding, career moving forward!

Stephany Rodas – Consumer and Brand Marketing Practice, New York

As I prepare for my final year in graduate school, I am walking away from the HBSI program with a greater passion for the public relations industry. There was no assignment that I was tasked with throughout my time here that did not challenge me. From sitting in on brainstorming sessions to bringing in new business to formulating effective social media strategies for an event activation, there was no task that did not require creativity and strategic thinking. Beyond it all was the unique opportunity to see client-based work come to life – I was a part of a media tour with top-tier outlets, pitched publications to garner additional hits and even conducted a Facebook Live segment with TeenVogue! There was a never a dull moment in the Consumer and Brand Marketing Practice and I am convinced that this internship will propel me forward into my career. I am truly grateful to The LAGRANT Foundation and its partnership with the HBSI program for without them I would not have become a part of such an exciting company!

Sydney Tukes – Corporate and Financial Communications Practice, New York

As a rising senior at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the HBSI program was an invaluable experience. I spent an entire summer surrounded by well-respected and sought-after leaders within the industry. Not only was I able to glean from them, but I also had a chance to cultivate relationships with some of them, and as an intern that is an incredible opportunity.

This summer, I stepped outside my comfort zone. Whether it was pitching to broadcast reporters or juggling multiple deadlines – I was challenged. I was able to learn new skills and incorporate them into client work. It was rewarding to see my ideas and work applied to Fortune 500 companies.

The LAGRANT Foundation and Burson-Marsteller have both played pivotal roles in my professional development. I feel more prepared and ready to pursue a successful career in public relations.

As the summer ends, my time here will be greatly missed.