Word of Mouth Daily – November 22, 2011 – Google+ Pages Redux

November 22, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 22, 2011

Google+ Pages Redux

It’s a little weird to call something a redux when it hasn’t been around for more than a few months. But, as we tweeted a few weeks ago, Google+ now has pages for business. This option totally changes what Google+ can do, and who would be interested in using it.

Here are seven points that make Google+ pages interesting:

  1. Google+ pages do not provide notifications, not even in the Google bar. On Facebook, you receive notifications via email, text, and the header bar.
  2. Google+ pages can’t “+1” other pages or web content where as Facebook pages retain the “like” feature.
  3. Different types of groups, businesses, and organizations can have Google+ pages. Profiles are meant for individual persons. This is very similar to Facebook.
  4. An individual must add a Google+ page to his or her Circle before the page can add that individual.
  5. Google+ pages automatically unfollow those who unfollow the page.
  6. There is no administrative sharing of Google+ pages. This seems like a major flaw.
  7. Google+ pages have yet to reach their potential and are sure to undergo changes and upgrades over the next several months.

Curious about a Google+ page for you business? Talk to us first and Hamptons Creative Group will be there for you. Also, see that red g+ button below? Give it a click and add us to your circle.

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Word of Mouth Daily – November 21, 2011 – Wolfgang’s Over-Branding

November 21, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 21, 2011

Wolfgang’s Over-Branding

On our multi-city tour last week, we got a chance to look at branding in a confined space: the airport. Once you’re past security, you’re trapped. Conversely, businesses in the terminals have to ferociously differentiate from each other.

We’re not going to belabor this issue (in this post at least) but instead look at a specific example. “Wolfgang Puck Express” is a breakout of chef Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant empire. The “express” part refers to the availability of wrapped sandwiches for purchase, along with apples, commercially available bottled juices, and bagged potato chips found at every 7-11. “Express” also refers to the short menu of fresh items that are prepared to order, such as pizzas, sandwiches, and breakfast combos.

Wolfgang Puck is a well-known brand. It comes with an understanding of “gourmet.” The Express franchise is aimed at those with a respectable palate but a Burger King budget. Notably, most of the franchises are located inside airports. But what makes the Wolfgang Puck Express in the Denver airport so over-branded is the images of the food hanging on the wall.

Large, professional photo prints in refined wood frames decorate the restaurant’s interior. What’s most interesting is that the pictures depict food that isn’t on the Express menu!

“I’ll have the grilled salmon, please.”
“Sorry, we don’t have that.”
“But it’s right there.”
“Yeah, it’s just a corporate decoration.”

This was an actual exchange between a patron and an employee. “Decoration” is a segment of branding. So, is it possible to over-brand? If it makes your business confusing or deceptive, it certainly is.

Looking to correctly brand your business? Just ask, and Hamptons Creative Group will be there for you.

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Word of Mouth – November 17, 2011 – Giving Thanks

November 17, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – November 17, 2011

Giving Thanks

When we break down the word Thanksgiving (because our thoughts are on the holiday next week), we see that it’s giving + thanks. Today we’re talking about the give and take of co-creativeship.
 
Co-creativeship is the new word we’ve coined for what we do at Hamptons Creative Group. We co-create success with our clients. The process we use unwraps the layers of your brand, message and marketing so far, and adds our own magic to create something more than simply the addition of us plus them.
 
For example, we recently helped a client through a rebranding of their business, from logo to design of their website. The client took that advice and immediately changed the other elements of their business to match – their Facebook and LinkedIn pages, their letterhead and office colors, etc. Their business has taken off because of this co-creativeship that integrated the look, content and feel of each part of their business. It all started from the conversation about their brand message.
 
The critical distinction for Hamptons Creative Group is the in-depth relationships we have with clients. Through personal discussions and deep diving, we begin to co-create your success story.
 
Are you ready to focus and start giving more to your brand and business? To explore more with Hamptons Creative Group, fill out our easy, no obligation enrollment form and let’s begin our co-creativeship.


Read all this week’s blog posts:
Give Your Marketing a Social Life
$200 Million in Cheese?
Starbucks Juice?

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Word of Mouth Daily – November 16, 2011 – Starbucks Juice?

November 16, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 16, 2011

Starbucks Juice?

Last week, Starbucks announced the acquisition of a juice company. The coffee store goliath has been reworking its brand over the last year. Most noticeably was removing the “coffee” image from its icons.

While it’s not exactly clear how Starbucks will promote and position the new juice stores, the story will certainly develop into an interesting study in brand evolution. Starbucks’ growth-focus as of late has been in grocery store sales and at-home single serve sales. The juice stores, which will likely stand alone from the cafes, mark a larger and more obvious transformation of the Starbucks brand.

However, given that Starbucks made nearly $12 billion in world-wide revenue in the past fiscal year, the juice effort would appear to be a small — perhaps experimental — move to attract a different customer segment. The Starbucks’ rebranding story, though set at a slow pace, is still being written. It’s certainly something to watch and smaller businesses will consider the lessons for their own purposes.

Don’t forget we’re on the road this week. We’ll be tweeting and hope you’ll mention us and DM us while we’re on the road. Tweet us at @MatthewIscoe or @LindaMillerZell.

Looking for some rebranding advice or just want to sit down for a cup of coffee together? Just ask, and Hamptons Creative Group will be there for you.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth Daily – November 15, 2011 – $200 Million in Cheese?

November 15, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 15, 2011

$200 Million in Cheese?

Who could afford to shell out $200 million for cheese? The U.S. Government, of course. The cheese we’re talking about here isn’t actual dairy. We’re talking about an international marketing message aimed at attracting international visitors to the country.

Congress put together the Corporation for Travel Promotion, whose first smart move was to rename itself Brand USA. The group is taking to the web with social media, blogging, and a rich website. Visitation to the U.S. declined starting in 2009, and the $200 million in funding is meant to help re-spark interest.

Preliminary messages from Brand USA are, well, cheesy. At least according to some business news sources, one of which remarked Brand USA’s message “sounds too much like a father trying to be ‘hip’ to connect with his teenage kids.”

Read more about this effort here.

Don’t forget we’re on the road this week. We’ll be tweeting and hope you’ll mention us and DM us while we’re on the road. Tweet us at @MatthewIscoe or @LindaMillerZell.

Want some advice on your next $200 million project? Just ask, and Hamptons Creative Group will help you explore your options.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth Daily – November 14, 2011 – Give Your Marketing a Social Life

November 14, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 14, 2011

Give Your Marketing a Social Life

Businesses that have been around for more than five years likely have (or had) marketing channels that do not include social media components. When social came along, many of these businesses (perhaps yours) treated it as another channel. But there’s great value in combining your efforts.

Social integration does take some planning and work. Looking for some practical tips to get started? Check out this short article exploring mobile, email, print and more.

Don’t forget we’re on the road this week. We’ll be tweeting and hope you’ll mention us and DM us while we’re on the road. Tweet us at @MatthewIscoe or @LindaMillerZell.

Looking for in-depth help on social integration? Just ask, and Hamptons Creative Group will help you explore your options.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth – November 10, 2011 – Corsets of Structure

November 10, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – November 10, 2011

Corsets of Structure

Lifting the corset of structure off the creative process. What the heck does that mean? That’s a phrase that Linda wrote down at the spiritual marketing seminar she recently attended in San Francisco.

Corsets, as the Victorians knew, were restrictive and constrictive. Women who wore them could never truly relax – the bones kept them rigidly upright. Nor could they ever take a full breath. That’s why they were always fainting.

When we limit our creative thinking about our businesses by adhering to strict rules (often the way we’ve always done something, or the way someone told us it should be done), we do the same thing. We restrict and constrict our ability to react, shift and dance our way through our businesses. Our businesses should be joyful expressions of our hearts, personalities and spirits, instead of stiff, uptight struggles, right?

Often, this process of unbinding creativity leaves us and our clients vulnerable – speaking from the heart always does when armor is removed. What would you change about your current business if money and time and consequence were no barrier? What truth would you reveal if you had the freedom to do so? What would you create if you had the support and confidence?

That’s what we mean by lifting the corset of structure off the creative process. We hope you’ll take the journey with us by sharing your story.

To explore more with Hamptons Creative Group, fill out our easy, no obligation enrollment form and let’s begin our co-creativeship.


Read all this week’s blog posts:

How is that Possible?

Age is Just a Number to Facebook Users

5 Step SMS Marketing

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Word of Mouth Daily – November 9, 2011 – How is that Possible?

November 9, 2011 at 8:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 9, 2011

How is that Possible?

While enjoying last Friday’s “Art of the Brew” business networking event sponsored by the Business Council of the Parrish Art Museum, I was gratified to make so many new connections. Excited to announce our multi-city tour that starts later this week, many reactions were: “Really? How is that possible?”

This seemed like a surprising reaction. But that’s what makes it a good question to answer. How does a business with a flagship office in Southampton, New York do work while “on the road?”

This first part of the answer is planning ahead. We’re not packing and leaving in the middle of the night on a whim. Our routes have been carefully chosen, destinations researched, local contacts confirmed and briefed, and — yes — backup plans laid out. Our “check-in” schedule is updated on our phone calendars and our laptop batteries, GPS’s, car chargers, and iPads are securely in our carry-ons.

The second part of the answer is producing ahead. Producing ahead means creating content, answers, and value for ourselves and clients before we leave. We then put these things on “auto-publish” so they go out on the right day and time, even if we’re in a meeting with collaborators in Los Angeles, prospects in Tucson, or mentors in Denver. Technology is always our virtual assistant. It’s not a substitute for creativity, but a means for reaching the right audience any time, any where. And that’s what being planet-wide is all about.

The final part of the answer is offering unique alternatives for keeping in touch. We’ll be tweeting and hope you’ll mention us and DM us while we’re on the road. Also, share what your know about the places we’ll be. Have a neat landmark we should see in Minneapolis? Know a great restaurant is Salt Lake City? Want to meet over coffee in Phoenix? Tweet us at @MatthewIscoe or @LindaMillerZell. You see, the best part of a road trip is taking others along for the journey.

If you want to learn how to experience the freedom of a business road show and can’t quite get the concept, we can help. Just ask, and Hamptons Creative Group will help you explore your options.

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Word of Mouth Daily – November 8, 2011 – 5 Step SMS Marketing

November 8, 2011 at 8:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 8, 2011

5 Step SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing, or mobile text message marketing, is a unique way to reach customers. With the prevalence of smart phone and the use of the mobile internet, SMS marketing can help drive sales. There are five steps that go into successfully executing your SMS marketing efforts.

The first step is to capture your audience’s information and ensure they are opted-in to receive mobile messages. Have a check box that specifically allows for mobile communications. There are many ways you can capture phone numbers. Some are on your website, at a trade show, or in a QR code. Giving people a reason to join — such as by offering a coupon — will help your list grow.

Step two is to segment your subscribers. This means categorizing the people on your list by their interests. It’s similar to the way you categorize your email subscribers. A segmented list allows you to send relevant messages to the right audience.

Third, and most creative, is to write out your SMS message. It should be less than 160 characters and offer something of value. A clear call to action is important. With the use of smart phones widening, a shortened link in the message is a great way to lead your audience to more information, a mobile coupon, or a sales page.

The fourth step is to actually send the message. Was that obvious? Sure it was. But remember you’ll need access to a high-capacity secure bulk SMS messaging system with a measuring tool (see step five). This system doesn’t have to be expensive, but you have to know how to use it and not to abuse it. SMS overload will cause a rampant unsubscribes.

The fifth and final step is to measure your results. Track opens that lead to purchases. Also look for invalid numbers and then remove those from your list. Be sure to answer responses and move the conversation to other platforms (like email) if needed. By looking at your campaign results, you can tighten up your subscriber segments and plan more effective messaging in the future.

Need a hand with that? Just ask, and Hamptons Creative Group will help you explore your options.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth Daily – November 7, 2011 – Age is Just a Number to Facebook Users

November 7, 2011 at 8:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 7, 2011

Age is Just a Number to Facebook Users

A July 2011 survey conducted by Forrester Research of nearly 60,000 adults in the US and Canada found no generational limits on Facebook. There was no significant difference in age between Facebook users. Those in the 18-22 age group were just as likely to have a Facebook account as those 67+ years old.

This contrasts the two trailing social networking sites, LinkedIn and Twitter. Among LinkedIn users, the bulk of users are in the 23-45 year old range. Twitter’s user population is heavily stacked with Generation Z and Y – those 18-22 and 23-31 years old, respectively. Twitter users older than that drop off steadily afterward.

Read Forrester’s own commentary for further insights and data here.

The survey was completed prior to the public launch of the Google+ social networking site.

The main takeaway from this report is that your business must have a mix of social options to reach the spectrum of potential consumers. Further, your message should match the audience on each platform. Need a hand with that? Just ask, and Hamptons Creative Group will help you explore your options.

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