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Integrated Brand Communications
Focuses on branding and the role of communication methods such as advertising, events, sponsorships, content marketing and social media.
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Branding Revolution: Earn Readership On Owned Media - Business 2 Community

Branding Revolution: Earn Readership On Owned Media - Business 2 Community | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

There is much debate today as to whether or not the end of the corporate website is near, or perhaps has already come.

 

Global brand leaders like Coca Cola, IBM, American Express and so many more have turned their attention to building communities based upon providing useful information, engagement and building a sense of community for visitors that has never been felt on a traditional corporate website.

 

Nowadays readers have so many options and their first destination is rarely a branded site, unless of course we are talking Google or to a lesser extent Bing. According to one study more than 74% of people turn to Google to start their information gathering. By the time you add in a few lesser-used search engines it is hard to believe that 80+ percent of people don’t hit search first. Meaning that less than 1 in 5 people immediately go to a defined URL.

 

Ultimately where the user ends up going will be the first few search results. According to a Search Engine Watch study 84% of people will wind up clicking on the first five links meaning that you are pretty much dead in the water if your formula for site traffic depends on being in the top 5 of any competitive keyword search (or any search for that matter)

 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A very interesting article that highlights the importance of paid content and social communities combined in driving traffic to branded websites. This relates quite well to the recent PBS Frontline report on "Generation Like".

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How Social Media Influences Purchase Decisions - Business 2 Community

How Social Media Influences Purchase Decisions - Business 2 Community | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Social media is growing and no online marketer can now ignore the importance of social media. Comversion optimization company Invesp has published a new infographic covering the impact of social media on purchase behavior.

 

According to the infographic, 71% of consumers make decisions based on social media referrals and 40% of social media users have purchased an item after sharing it on their social networks. In terms of ability to influence purchases, Facebook leads at 30.8% followed by Youtube (27 %) and Linkedin (27%) . After marking an item as favorite, 50% of social media purchases takes places within a week whereas 80% of purchases takes place in less than 3 weeks. Please check the infographic below for complete facts.

 



Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A useful #Infographic that summarizes stats relative to five key questions about consumers, #brands, the use of #socialmedia, and how its use may affect purchase decisions.

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Greg Bonsib's curator insight, January 24, 12:34 PM

71% of consumers make decisions based on social media referrals

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How Samsung owns social video with YouTube and Vine

How Samsung owns social video with YouTube and Vine | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Samsung was named as the most shared brand of 2013 during Unruly's inaugural Video Sharing Awards (VSAs) held at the end of 2013.


Samsung achieved a total of 7.3m shares during last year. This is 2.3m more shares than second-placed GEICO and, according to Unruly, Samsung achieved a 201% increase on the previous year when it finished in eighth place.

 

Before we take a look at the best, and occasional worst, of Samsung’s social video strategy, here are the rest of Unruly's top ten social video brands of 2013. The figures of which account for shares across Twitter, Facebook and other social web platforms, rather than merely looking at the number of views on YouTube.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A look at the #socialsharing responses to the video content efforts of the top #brands according to Unruly's evaluation. It will be interesting to see how stable these rankings might be given the large variation in creativity video production is likely to contain.

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Why Human Resources is Essential to the Brand Storytelling Equation

Why Human Resources is Essential to the Brand Storytelling Equation | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

One of the expanding areas of responsibility is human resources (HR) andinternal marketing. But many companies fall short on doing a good job of communicatingwith their own employees, let alone extending their brand storytelling to those they hope to recruit.

 

If our primary goal is to own content niches, online and off, then we have to enable employees to help tell our brand story. It’s true, customers have relationships with people, not brands. Thus, content marketing has a tremendous opportunity to ensure that customer-facing staff members understand what makes their company unique.

 

Employees are more than brand ambassadors; they’re promise keepers. They’re the ones who have to bring to life the promises we make in our content programs, lead-nurturing campaigns, PR efforts, and the brand storytelling efforts we distribute through all marketing channels.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Good examples and explanations further supporting the power of the service profit chain.

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Y&R Study Results: Secrets and Lies--The Hidden World of the New Consumer

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This Slideshare deck provides details of the recent Y&R study using "implicit association" to uncover hidden consumer feelings about brands. 

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iMedia 25 - 2013 Brands Redefining Content Marketing - iMediaConnection.com

iMedia 25 - 2013 Brands Redefining Content Marketing - iMediaConnection.com | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

The iMedia 25: 

 

The Brands Redefining Content Marketing list recognizes 25 brands that are making innovative use of content in their marketing efforts. Going beyond simple blogs and social media posts, these brands are committed to creating and promoting unique methods of storytelling around their products and services. These are the brands that lead the field of content marketing.

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

The iMedia list of the 25 #brands that are making innovative uses of the #contentmarketing efforts. Very useful cases examples.

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Leads Take Hold as the Primary Goal of Content Marketing

Leads Take Hold as the Primary Goal of Content Marketing | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it
Nearly half of companies now have a formal content marketing strategy

Content marketing saw its importance balloon between 2012 and 2013. According to conference organizer IMN’s “2013 Content Marketing Survey Report,” the number of US companies with formal content marketing strategies in place jumped from 28% in 2012 to 49% in 2013, while those without a content strategy contracted from 26% to 18% during the same period.

And even if not all companies surveyed had a content marketing strategy in place at the time, another one-third said they were working on one, suggesting that by 2014, the percentage engaging in content marketing will only go up.

 

As more have focused their efforts on content, the purposes of the tactic are convering on one key goal: lead generation. Last year, increasing leads was the No. 4 goal among marketing professionals—cited by only 16%— behind engagement, awareness and loyalty. This year, generating more leads was the No. 1 goal, cited by 44% of respondents, far ahead of any other response.

This points to content marketing as primarily a first step in new customer acquisition, as opposed to a tactic used primarily for hooking current or already-identified customers. However, awareness and engagment were still cited by 19% of respondents each.


Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Interesting shift in the roles of #contentmarketing by marketers in the last year. Year over year changes show that lead generation is now the primary role for 44% of the marketing professionals responding to the IMN survey.

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Ikea Make Small Spaces Big 360

Ikea Make Small Spaces Big 360 | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Ikea helps you find more space at home with this interactive experience. You’re invited to have a nose around lots of clever ideas. In this interactive film, created originally for IKEA FAMILY members, you can explore a typical, everyday home, choosing which areas to skip to for the small-space challenges you face.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

IKEA shows how to build #brand #engagement through the use of #interactive #video.

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Battle royale! Which of the world's top 10 brands is biggest on social?

Battle royale! Which of the world's top 10 brands is biggest on social? | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

"Brand" will always be a nebulous term. Arguments rage about its true value. Although recent research shows that it can be responsible for nearly 15% of your total worth (Or much, much more, if you’re J.K.Rowling) It’s still seen by many as the ultimate wooly metric. 


There’s no doubt that being a household name will improve your chances of success in social, but just how far will it take you?

I’ve taken a look at the world’s top ten brands, and matched up their profiles across the biggest social media platforms.

 

Let’s see what’s in a name...

 

According to the BrandZ Top 100, the world’s biggest companies by worth are a curious mix:

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A detailed look at how the BrandZ Top #brands stack up on #socialmedia.

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What Makes Content Stand Out?

What Makes Content Stand Out? | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

When it comes to content these days, everyone’s a curator. Listicles and celebrity stories, controversial headlines and repurposed content—these can all generate easy traffic.

 

But what really draws the eyeballs and leads to brand boost and increased loyalty is that original piece of content with a fresh perspective. The problem is that quality and originality are hard. But hard doesn’t mean impossible, and with the right roadmap, any brand can make content that’s original, inventive and sticky.

 

So what’s the secret? How are the smartest brands and publishers standing out in this noisy world of content? The first thing to do is take a 360-degree view of your possibilities. Consider these five approaches from the e-book “How to Make Content That Stands Out”:

 
Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Five success factors that describe how your #content helps #brands stand out from the crowd.

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The Best-Perceived Brands of 2013

The Best-Perceived Brands of 2013 | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Buoyed by strong sales of its e-readers and expansion of its free-shipping service, Amazon topped the list of best-perceived brands of 2013, as measured by YouGov's BrandIndex. Rounding out the top 5 were Ford, Subway, History Channel and Lowe's. Last year also was a good one for financial institutions, which began to earn consumers' forgiveness for their role in the economic meltdown: Four of the five best-improved brands in 2013 were banks.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Another brand ranking, this time by YouGov, based on whether consumers heard anything positive or negative about the brands. Not too sure about the measurement used, but worth a look.

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6 Social Media Shifts to Prepare for in 2014

6 Social Media Shifts to Prepare for in 2014 | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Social media has introduced a completely different way of interacting with both people and organizations. From a little-known channel just a few years back, social has grown to become an important tool in brands' marketing and service arsenal and investment in social channels have quickly become a necessity for those companies that want to succeed.

 

As Duke Chung, Parature's chairman and co-founder, notes, "social is here to stay, at least for some time." Brooks Crichlow, vice president of product marketing at[24]7, agrees. "The number of customer interactions on social channels will continue growing," he notes. "We're moving to a point where social is baked into the fabric of organizations." In fact, John Golden, president and CEO of Huthwaite, notes that social is becoming mainstream with more organizations recognizing that they need a social strategy for their firms to succeed.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

This article provides six compelling reasons why #brands need to adopt #socialmedia strategies in the future.

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4 Tips for Making Visual Content Go Viral — and Benefit Your Business

4 Tips for Making Visual Content Go Viral — and Benefit Your Business | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

A new study, coming out of the University of Trento in Italy, takes a look at what types of visual content have the most viral potential on Google+. Although the study focuses on this one social network, the implications of its findings are intriguing and provide insights that can translate to other social platforms.

 

Comparing image attributes such as static vs. animated, portrait vs. landscape, color vs. black and white, and a variety of others, the study also points to potential avenues for optimization of content that gets shared on social networks. 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

What visual factors enhance the #viral potential of #brand content marketing programs?  

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Why are big brands proud to skimp on design? | Editor's View | Design Week

Why are big brands proud to skimp on design? | Editor's View | Design Week | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

While it’s commonly accepted that many companies see design work as an unnecessary cost, it’s relatively rare to see big brands openly admit to this.

 

But these last few weeks have not only seen Yahoo’s drawn-out rebrand process culminating in a new identity created in-house (by chief executive Marissa Mayer no less), but now holiday giant Thomas Cook’s admission that it ‘has not paid expensive consultants or spent lots of money’ on its rebrand.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Of course the question is "how to measure the effectiveness of the new #brand identities?"

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Chobani Curdles Under Strain of Handling Recall as Competitors Take Advantage

Chobani Curdles Under Strain of Handling Recall as Competitors Take Advantage | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Chobani, already under siege by bigger players in the Greek-yogurt segment that it created, hasstumbled badly over the first major marketing and customer-relations obstacle for the brand:a recall of some moldy yogurt.

 

The brand that built the only hot thing in the US yogurt market has been scored by critics and customers on social media and elsewhere after Chobani first only acknowledged some customer complaints about bad yogurt, then wanly warned retailers and consumers about it, and now is in the midst of full-blown retribution for not stepping up to the problem quickly and transparently enough.

 

"The Chobani episode already looks like a case study for public relations failures—a really hot new product that rapidly [gained] traction with an otherwise enthusiastic demographic," wrote David Kroll, a Forbes.com contributor who said his family had purchased some of the bad yogurt. "So we're left with a dysfunctinal company, in denial that they're recalling a product, who only quietly announced their product issue on Facebook" initially.

 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A good #casestudy in #brand crisis management.

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Branding Strategy Insider | What Makes Brand Advertising Iconic?

Branding Strategy Insider | What Makes Brand Advertising Iconic? | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Many of us who started in advertising did so I imagine because we saw an ad or a series of commercials that made us dream of creating something that good, something that a whole culture talked about. Recently, the people at Hubspot reached back, took five of the great campaigns and had them reimagined for today.

 

It was an intriguing exercise. But while the creatives seemed to focus for the most part on how much the channels had changed in the time since the campaigns were forged and the implications of that for execution and campaign distribution, I thought it would be interesting to look at what some of these iconic ad campaigns did that made it possible for them to have such a deep cultural impact in the first place.

 

What’s clear is that iconic status is not about the nobility of the product. As CNBC observed, AdAge refers to its selection of the top advertising campaigns of the 20th century as including: “two air polluters, nutritionless sugar water, one reviled carcinogen, two companies infamous for the use of virtual slave labor, one purveyor of savory cardiovascular time bombs, two booze peddlers and one cosmetic product preying on the vanity of women.”

 

Nevertheless, the campaigns are considered paragons of advertising. Why? And more particularly, what can we learn from the success of those campaigns?

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A good discussion about the various factors [unique stories, #meme creation, #disruptive, #symbolic] that make some #brand advertising campaigns iconic.

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4 Brand Positioning Strategies for Multi-Product Categories - Business 2 Community

4 Brand Positioning Strategies for Multi-Product Categories - Business 2 Community | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Brand architecture serves as the corporate roof under which a business can protect and unify its brand portfolio. Fortune 500 companies, e.g. the P&Gs, Krafts, and Coca-Colas of the world, utilize brand positioning strategies to protect their numerous brands from external market forces, as well as to unify brands in order to enhance consumer associations and perceptions. The process of developing brand architecture is a strategic one, based on identifying threats and creating strong corporate bonds amongst brands that work to mitigate the risk of brand failure. These risks can come from not only consumer preferences, but market fragmentation, competitors, and the pressure to extend existing brand recognition across multiple products. With threats like these in an ever-expanding and competitive global marketplace, companies with weak brand infrastructures will struggle to compete.


Hostess, maker of the iconic Twinkie, is a recent example of a major brand failure. The company’srefusal to modify its product line in order to adapt to changing consumer tastes is cited as a major reason why Hostess plummeted into bankruptcy. Since the company’s collapse, private equity firms Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Group Management have purchased Hostess with the goal of building a stronger and more stable corporate roof under which the Twinkie, Ding-Dong, and other Hostess brands may again flourish. The two private equity firms will need to decide how to best position the brands in order to mitigate the risks posed by the many volatile and unpredictable market threats. If industry best practices are any indication, Metropolous and Apollo Group will position the Hostess brand by modeling one of the four most common brand positioning strategies, shown in the infographic below.

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

A very useful article with #infographic that summarizes #brand architecture.

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German Grebenyuk's curator insight, August 21, 2013 6:29 PM

I quite enjoyed the article, I find it interesting how different brands from company’s portfolio can influence one another, as well as the company’s image as a whole. For instance Unilever’s Dove and Axe brands seem to be a bit contradicting – while Dove is pursuing its “Real Beauty” campaign, Axe took an approach which can be deemed by many as sexist. Not surprisingly, Unilever went for “House of Brands” strategy and tries to keep Axe and Dove separate.

Cen Xun's comment, August 22, 2013 12:39 AM
this article is quite interesting!! it is very easy to understand the different between brands, the pos and neg of them and what strategy is suitable, easy to understand for everyone
Melika Trott's comment, August 22, 2013 8:19 PM
German, I agree and also find it interesting that a brands profiles can influence one another. Good brand architecture is essential to the success of a brand, without it, or if it is not done correctly, long term success is unlikely, as we have seen with the articles example of Hostess. A very insightful article which most of us can learn from.
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Infographic: Brands, Colors and Emotion - Marketing Technology Blog

Infographic: Brands, Colors and Emotion - Marketing Technology Blog | Integrated Brand Communications | Scoop.it

Scientists have been studying the way we react to colors for many years.   Certain colors make us feel a certain way about something. As long as the  designer knows what these colors and emotions are, the designer can use that  information to help present the business in the right way. These are not hard  and fast rules but smart designers use the information to their clients  advantage. This fun infographic lays out the emotions and qualities that well  known brands like to be known for. The color psychology is only one part of the  puzzle but I think you will agree it is a very important part of  it.

 

Russ Merz, Ph.D.'s insight:

Interesting way to classify brands using logo colors and suggesting certain emotional connotations.

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