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Jordan Bainer Archives - d.trio marketing group

Revisiting “Principles of Improv”

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About a year ago, I wrote a blog on the principles of improv and how they fit into my professional life. Revisiting this blog for our September “Improvise” month, it’s amazing how much these ideas still ring true.  So much of what makes a strong account manager is how well you can read others and adapt to the situation at hand. Some of the best improv I’ve seen wasn’t funny at all; it was just really believable and sucked me into the story. If you can do the same in a client presentation, you’re golden.

How do you think improvisation helps you in your work?

-Jordan

Cage Match: Pie vs. Cake

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Presenting the second in our Cage Match series. An occasional video posting of various d.trio team members squaring off about the little things we find to argue over. This time around Jordan and Tina bicker about dessert. We hope you are entertained and if you’d like to give us your opinions go right ahead and comment, or let us know on our Facebook page.

So here goes the first entry of what we hope will be many: d.trio Cage Match: Pie vs. Cake (link for mobile users)

Brand Reinvention

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Reinventing a brand is a delicate science. It requires careful consideration of current brand perceptions along brand aspirations for the future. The most successful rebrands are rooted in truth (e.g., “are audiences perceptions in step with how we are positioning ourselves?”) In order to get to that truth, you must ask a few key questions when beginning to reinvent your brand:

1. How have audiences’ perceptions of your brand changed?
First place to start in any re-brand initiative is to deep dive into your audience perceptions of the brand. Just like people, brands adapt and change with the times and can mean different things to different generations.

Begin by prioritizing your audiences, revisiting your segment profile details, and redefining these individuals and their motivations. Following that initial audience definition work, conduct primary research including focus groups, online surveys, ethnographic studies, and other qualitative methods to learn about current brand perceptions. Develop a brand audit report that summarizes qualitative research and synthesizes “then vs. now” attitudes towards the brand.

2. How has the marketplace changed?
Since your last branding initiative, how has the market changed? More/less industry regulation? New product/service alternatives? Market oversaturation leading to more competitive pricing?
Conduct an audit of the marketplace through secondary research sources such as Mintel or Iconoculture. Determine how the marketplace has shifted from your last branding initiative. Hopefully, this also leads to hypotheses on where the market may shift next, allowing you to incorporate forward-thinking components into your brand work.

3. Have competitors repositioned themselves?
Similar to the market assessment, dive into your competitor branding work and develop a comprehensive grid. This competitive grid should include articulated brand position statement, tone/voice, main “reasons to believe” their brand position, and other specific brand traits to your industry. This is the time to re-evaluate whether a competitor is still in direct competition with your offerings or if they have focused on a different audience.

Because branding initiatives take time and thoughtful consideration, it’s crucial to start by answering these three questions before beginning a rebrand exercise.

-Jordan Bainer is a senior account executive at d.trio marketing group

Humble Minnesota?

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The great city of Minneapolis has received a great deal of kudos recently from various semi-useless, semi-pride-inducing rankings. Being a non-native Minnesotan, I’ve taken it upon myself to celebrate all the props my new home has received. Here are a few examples:

 

We’re in Shape

For the third year in a row, Minneapolis ranks the fittest city by the American College of Sports Medicine. Important factors in the ranking consist of preventative health behaviors, residents’ access to healthcare, rate of chronic diseases, and “community resources and policies that support physical activity.” 90 percent of Minneapolis folks have health insurance and 77 percent reported that they’ve exercised in the last month. Flex those muscles, Minneapolis!

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/05/30/minneapolis-most-fit-oklahoma-city-nees-to-start-jogging/

 

We’re Snobby

Travel and Leisure magazine just ranked Minneapolis the fourth snobbiest city in the nation. What does that mean, you ask? It means that cities were ranked on several criteria including level of tech-savviness, number of artisanal coffeehouses, reporting eco-consciousness, prevalence of cultural offerings, intelligence of residents, and other factors of snobtudery. Put those pinkies in the air, Minneapolitans, you’ve earned it!

http://travel.yahoo.com/ideas/america-s-snobbiest-cities-202446217.html

 

We Love Our Parks

Beating out San Francisco, Minneapolis has become the home of the best city park system in the nation. Why does that matter? Because inner peace comes from natural balance. Also, it means you can get your ultimate Frisbee on in more places.  The Trust for Public Land looked at how many residents can reach a park quickly by foot, median park size, the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks, per capita spending, and the number of playgrounds available per 10,000 city residents. Now, you have no reason not to get outside on a beautiful day.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/05/us-usa-cities-parks-idUSBRE95404020130605

 

Three cheers for Minneapolis!

 

-Jordan Bainer is a senior account executive at d.trio marketing group

Social Media: Brands Celebrate Newsworthy Events

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With social media’s ever-growing influence over the past decade, brands have been able to more quickly align themselves to major news events or human accomplishments than possible in the past. Using social channels and digital advertising, brands can reach the masses almost immediately after a relevant news story breaks.

For example, when the lights went out at the SuperBowl earlier this year, Oreo made a deliberate and brilliant move to link the brand back to the Twitter trending topic.  Posting on their Twitter page, “You can still dunk in the dark”, they reached the SuperBowl audience with a relevant and pithy message in real time. This was a simple and inexpensive tactic, generating a great deal of awareness on the social channel and also positive PR. Plus, Oreo was able to generate comparable buzz without spending a dime on media fees.

Most recently with the repeal of DOMA, numerous marketers have utilized brand imagery to support their viewpoint and align themselves to social change. For example, Kraft’s Grey Poupon altered their classic scene of two wealthy gentlemen sharing mustard into a simple, straightforward message of acceptance. Implying their support of the decision, Poupon and its ad has generated much discussion and attention on its Facebook page along with praise from the industry and public news outlets.

These successful examples were possible through trusting relationships between agencies and their clients. Without this trust, the element of surprise would be impossible and the message would be stale and lagged.

 

Images are copyright of their originators. Images here obtained from:

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/digital-marketers-jump-doma-decision-150759

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/04/oreos-super-bowl-tweet-dunk-dark_n_2615333.html

 

-Jordan Bainer is a senior account executive at d.trio marketing group

What does your social media activity reveal about you?

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We engage our friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues, and random strangers on a daily basis. With the merger of social media into our day-to-day lives, marketers now have vast amounts of data to determine the influence of individuals. What does all that interaction say about you?

Klout measures all your activity across multiple social media outlets to generate a score that they equate to influence. Some companies have been known to review a job candidates Klout score before making hiring decisions.

PROskore and Kred are similar to Klout but use slightly different methodologies to measure and report social media influence.

So, what category are you? Socializer, Taste Maker, Feeder? Sign up for a Klout account and find out.

 

http://klout.com

http://corp.klout.com/blog/2010/08/better-know-the-klout-classes/

http://readwrite.com/2012/10/24/beyond-klout-better-ways-to-measure-social-media-influence

 

The Klout logo is ©Klout, Inc

 

-Jordan Bainer is a senior account executive at d.trio marketing group

Product placement – outrageous or not?

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Overall, do product placements in media add or subtract from the experience?

Product placements promote the brands willing to pay for the screen time and also create a more “realistic” cinematic experience. We’re bombarded with messaging in our normal lives; it’s logical that movie and television characters would also be exposed to this constant stream of messaging as well.

Product placement truly becomes problematic when it’s blatantly obvious that the product is not adding anything to the narrative or story. Here are a few outrageous examples of product placements:

  • Samsung Galaxy Phone during Shark Tank
  • Anything on the Biggest Loser
  • Oracle Servers throughout Iron Man 3
  • FedEx throughout Cast Away

Do you feel product placements add or subtract from the experience? Is it worth it, overall, for brands to feature their products in narrative stories?

 

-Jordan Bainer is a senior account executive at d.trio marketing group

Outrageous Marketing That Paid Off

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Sometimes, marketing campaigns break the rules and go against conventional knowledge in order to make a point or build awareness. Since this month’s theme is all about “outrageous ideas”, what better way to celebrate that theme by talking about risky marketing tactics that paid off?

Doritos Crowdsources It’s Advertising
Back in 2007, social media was become more and more pervasive in peoples’ lives. Doritos decided to hand over control of their Super Bowl TV ad creative to consumers who submitted 30-second spots. Doritos asked the world to rate those submitted ideas and then aired the winning entry.

Why Risky?
Super Bowl ad space runs between $3 and $4 million for a 30 second spot. Turning over creative control to consumers could have been a very costly social experiment.

Why Successful?
Doritos has developed a niche for itself in future Super Bowl ads and has since continued to tap into their consumers for funny, engaging TV spots.
http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/liodice-ten-big-marketing-risks-paid-brands/143873/

Dominos Says “We Stink”
In 2010, Dominos came out with a campaign telling the world that the old Dominos was dead and gone and there was a new Dominos in town. Instead of focusing only on the good, they admitted their past faults in specific ways, calling their old pizza crust “cardboard” and pizza sauce “ketchup”.

Why Risky?
You risk alienating your brand advocates by calling your past product faulty and you may dissuade future customers from trying your product.

Why Successful?
Sales soared nearly 15% after the new recipes debuted and the campaign started. Many people commended Dominos for their honesty and forthcoming communications.
http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/burns-on-business/2010/05/dominos-we-stink-strategy-pays-off.html

What outrageous, risky campaigns do you think paid off for the marketer?

 

-Jordan Bainer is a senior account executive at d.trio marketing group

What’s Make a Campaign Fresh?

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We’ve all heard the adage “there are no new ideas; there are only new ways of making them felt.”  Whether it’s true or not, we all face the daily challenge of finding unique and compelling ways of getting our message, and our clients’ message, noticed.

What makes an idea or advertising campaign fresh? What distinct elements are essential to create a unique and effective campaign? Below are a few questions that we ask ourselves as a group when thinking about campaigns:

  1. Does the customer easily connect the campaign to the brand? Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.  If the campaign or marketing effort seems to be disjointed from the brand personality, it could cause some major confusion among prospective customers. RedBull’s Stratos is an excellent example of a brand relevant campaign: sponsorship of a high-flying event by a brand that gives you wings.
  2. Can competitors say the same thing? Connecting back to item #1, is the campaign distinct enough from competitors?  Even if competitors have similar product attributes and benefits, you have to find a way to illustrate a unique brand promise.
  3. Does the core campaign idea approach a problem or need in a unique way? It’s very easy and simple to rattle off product attributes in communications. The challenge is illustrating a solution without overtly mentioning it. Google’s Chrome campaign from 2012 illustrates the product benefits through emotional stories. As a viewer, you’re noticing the browser’s benefits without being told to.
  4. Does the customer need to make a leap to understand the core product benefits? If yes, then you may have lost whatever power you tried to wield with a flashy message. Sure, the customer has taken notice, but there won’t a clear understanding of what you’re actually selling.
  5. Does the campaign have stopping power? On the flipside, great campaigns stop people in their tracks and make them give a second thought. Clear and easily understood messages need to also be rooted in creativity.

Please remember that even if a campaign fits these criteria, there is always the chance that a campaign can royally miss the mark, ehem…Burger King.

 

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/technology/google-hones-its-advertising-message-playing-to-emotions.html

http://adage.com/article/news/fast-food-crispin-s-bk-work-gain-mcd-s/137472/

 

Campaigns I Loved 2012

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Thinking back to 2012, I really loved the following ad campaigns for being smart, insightful, and fun to experience. What campaigns did you love from last year?

 

Red Bull: Stratos

What they did: Red Bull sponsored a mission to push the boundaries of human potential by breaking the record for the highest freefall jump in history.

Why it was great: Perfect brand connection. Red Bull stands for making things happen and taking risks. There is no bigger risk than dropping 128,100 ft and falling 800+ miles per hour. Plus, “it gives you wings” is a relevant brand message when someone jumps from the edge of space.

http://www.redbullstratos.com/

 

Proctor and Gamble: Proud Sponsor of Moms

What they did: Proctor and Gamble created a mom-centric campaign during the 2012 Summer Olympics, aligning their family of brands around appreciation for moms everywhere.

Why it was great: It’s P&Gs motto to make emotional connections to their consumers. What better way to pull at the heartstrings than to talk about the value of mothers?

https://www.facebook.com/thankyoumom

 

Samsung: Next Best Thing

What they did: Samsung developed a campaign insisting consumers don’t need to wait for the next Apple product; the next best thing is already here with their Galaxy SIII.

Why it was great: It’s easy to be defensive against the market leader, but Samsung took the high (and funny) road by showing that people don’t need an Apple iPhone to be happy/hip. Plus, the ads showed iPhone users as “lemming-like” individuals, exactly what Apple used to do back in the 80’s when talking about their market rival, IBM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf5-Prx19ZM&list=PLD069379E13CF8DE1