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How to take an old-school business to the 21st century?


My answer?

You don’t.

Over the past 15 years I have talked to many business owners who have seen their business grow fast in the 80s, and are still hoping that marketing tactics from the 80s work today. Hence the number of tv ads by car companies (they did amazing in the 80s). But live has changed, there are many more tv channels, and other media like the many different social media sites online.

Billboards in 2017 are completely ignored. The passengers in the car are more likely to check their smart phone then the view outside. So, why not choose to advertise on the smartphone (via different sites, or apps)?

But the biggest difference is that we want to have a relationship with the company we buy from. An Apple product is not just a different product, it shows something about who you are and what you value in life. (And if you don’t buy Apple, you probably don’t value those things).

There are many businesses stuck in the 80s, and I have been on the sidelines of many of such businesses, trying to help them get to the 21st century. But it’s been a pain. You need a mindset change. It’s not just pushing your ad out on your Facebook page that makes people want to buy your car. And the same goes for dry cleaners, gardening companies, moving companies, and housecleaning companies. There is enough work in those industries, but most of those companies don’t stand out.

It becomes a commodity challenge, and people negotiate on price. Whereas each of those industries have ample opportunities to stand out, and be the brand people talk about. And that’s exactly what’s missing. The brand, the relationship the company cultivates with its customers.

I see ample opportunity for companies in each of these niches to build a brand and do it differently. It’s unfortunately not nearly as easy in the car industry, but Tesla is definitely proving that you can serve your customers in a different way. Serve the customers where they are (in the mall) instead of where you are.

How can you serve your customers where they are? If you are a gardening company, how can you make it easier for your customers? How can you make a difference compared to your competition? If you are a dry cleaner, are you waiting for your customers to come to you? How can you make it easier for your customers to do business with you?

These, and more questions, were for me the starting point in launching my pet project Laundrylicious, last year. The Uber of Laundry. Outsourcing laundry can be such a huge win for families (and individuals). We cut the laundry time down from 6 hours a week to 60 seconds. And people have noticed. There are big wins to make in many industries that will came a person’s life easier, and wouldn’t that be what business should be about? How can we serve our customer best. Empathy is the skill to use, execution is the thing to do.

What can you do to serve your customers better? Let me know and I’d love to help execute your vision!


Proximity Marketing for Retail Stores with Google Beacons


If you have a retail store, you need to pay attention.
Wouldn’t you want to know who your customers are in your store? How they came to your store, and what they are interested in?
Wouldn’t you want to send them targeted messages while they are in the store, to improve their shopping experience? Lead them to offers, or targeted products that they are most likely interested in?
Then you have to stop and research Google Beacons.
Google Beacons is a new technology that can be a major benefit to implement in retail stores, from car dealerships, to hair salons, fashion stores, bakeries, and many more, is Google’s Beacons. is Proximity Marketing. Proximity marketing can improve the instore experience, improve the spend per customer and it can help attract more customers to the store.
How it works:
1. Get physical beacons and place them in strategic locations in the store, for example store entrance, at cash register, a product you want to promote, etc. A beacon costs $20-$50 per beacon (depends on volume, and strength of the signal). You could say that a beacon is a chip with a battery that sends out a signal.
2. Branding Personality can create a custom branded app (iOS and Android) that the customer can download when they go in the store (to get discounts/coupons, latest products, etc).
3. Branding Personality sets up campaigns for the stores (see underneath examples) to promote a product, a discount, or the store.
 Some ideas (these campaigns happen in the store, or in the near environment around the store):
Campaign Campaign Name Beacon Name
Campaign 1 – Send targeted offers 20% off on a product Womens Wear section
Campaign 2 – Help with new product promotion Just In: Nintendo 3DS Pokemon Game Electronics section
Campaign 3 – Attract new customers to the store Discover the latest fashion trends Store entrance
Campaign 4 – Send proximity marketing messages to audiences based on age/search criteria/etc near baby products Target New Moms Baby Section
Campaign 5 – Collect valuable feedback Customer Survey Cash Registers
4. When the customer has downloaded the app, the customer receives a message on their phone when they are in the store. The message can be targeted based on their age, demographic data, etc and also specific to the campaigns.
Optional App Add-ons:
* The customer can ask for immediate customer support by clicking in the app on getting free design help. The in store representatives can then go to the location of the customer and help the customer therefore improving the customer service.
* Integration with social media
Please contact us, if you’d like to get this implemented in your store.


3 Tactics Brands Are Using This St. Patrick’s Day On Social Media


Holidays are an especially engaging time for brands on social media. In fact, in 2011, 36% of retailers said they planned on spending most of their holiday marketing budget on social media (Source).

Sure, most of the attention and money went towards Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas sales, but who said that the smaller holidays like St. Patrick’s Day couldn’t be engaging?  (more…)


The Benefit of Using Triberr for Your Blog


triberrEvery day, thousands upon thousands of interesting, creative, and newsworthy stories are written by bloggers from around the world. But with so much content circulating in the blogosphere, often times those wonderful stories get buried in the archives, ceasing to reach the great potential they’re capable of achieving.


Fortunately, there’s a social networking secret weapon that can help you take your blogging power to all new heights: Triberr. (more…)


Are Free Giveaways a Sound Strategy for Your Brand?


“Free” has always been a very powerful word. For businesses, “free” can attract a lot of publicity, but be warned: it can sometimes come with a price tag, especially when a brand’s reputation is at stake.

For decades, trade shows have been overrun with free giveaways and trinkets, but giving away branded promotional items at such events has become such a standard practice today that it raises the question: is it really the best way of getting your name out there?

Image Courtesy of StudentUniverse.com

Image Courtesy of StudentUniverse.com

The Perks

In terms of marketing, giveaways provide businesses with a low-cost solution for collecting leads, acquiring return customers, and generating product awareness. Trade booths can gain a lot of attention with promotional items – you might even be surprised at the amount of instant brand awareness they can bring to the table (literally).

To make your giveaways even sweeter, you can also take the extra step in enlisting influential promoters to advertise your brand with prizes. The majority of companies today actually select their winners in order to ensure that someone with significant influence wins. It might sound like a scheme, but when you really think about it, when people win prizes, they usually talk about it online, which means free advertising for your brand!

But these giveaways don’t necessarily need to be featured at trade shows. If you have a new product or service you’re trying to promote between events, you’ll certainly need to conjure up some ideas as to how you’ll reach potential customers for the product or service. Free samples can be a huge hit into getting everyone interested. If you’re able to offer people an easy way to try your product or service, chances are they’ll respond very well.


When you sum up the benefits of giveaways and tchotchkes, the approach sounds like a wonderful idea to promote your brand and increase sales. However, when taking a closer look, how valuable can these leads really be? If you’re not careful with your giveaway strategy, you run the risk of acquiring poor quality leads, which can ultimately undermine all of the benefits.


On Second Thought…

While “free” can be an enticing term, especially in today’s economic climate, it may just be the wrong one to use when it comes to developing a promotion strategy.

For example, when looking back on KFC’s recent promotion, it’s simple to see how this kind of strategy can go awry. The Oprah Winfrey Show has always been well-known for its promotions, so when KFC teamed up with the show to promote their new Kentucky Grilled Chicken, you bet they expected a high amount of attention, but as it turned out, the amount of customers the promotion brought to its restaurants was too much for them to handle. Nearly 10.5 million people downloaded KFC’s free coupon and within only two days, 4.5 million free meals were given away. The result? Not only did KFC have to offer rain checks to millions of customers because they ran out of food, they also had to deal with an endless line of angry customers.

Free offers can certainly give your brand much-needed publicity, but it must be limited. If you extend an offer over time, the customers that continue to return will only be coming to your business because its nonexistent price tag. If you want to attract new customers into your stores and keep them there, the offer should be discounted just enough to encourage customers to try your product or service out.

The price of advertising is an important factor — there’s no doubt about that — but it’s equally important to consider how different your product is than the competition.

Today’s guest blogger is Ivan Serrano, a passionate writer who enjoys sharing his research on marketing, branding and business communications. On his blog, 1800NumberNow.com, you can also see more of his writing, which covers global communication, VoIP and business globalization.


Get Inspired: 3 Ted Talks Every Digital Marketer Needs to Watch



I just love TED Talks: I listen to a new one least three times a week while I’m getting ready for work. Not only are they a great way to kick-start your day with a little inspiration and motivation, but I also always end up learning something new and awesomely profound. In essence, they’re kind of like the career-oriented adult version of Bill Nye the Science Guy. But better!

Having listened to dozens upon dozens of Ted Talks from some of the greatest thought leaders around the world, I’ve decided to compile a list of my three favorite presentations that every digital marketer could learn a thing or two from. So take your lunch break, grab your sandwich, plop down in front of your computer, and get ready to have your marketing mind blown.


(1) Your Elusive Creative Genius by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is one of the first Talks I ever listened to – I know, I was a little late jumping on the TED bandwagon! – and I can watch it over and over without getting bored. Maybe it’s because I’ve been a writer since the day I knew how to put pen to paper. Or maybe it’s that I really, really enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love. Either way, Gilbert is highly captivating in this short, but powerful talk about how you can embrace your genius and not let it stifle your creative muse.


(2) Why Videos Go Viral by Kevin Allocca

“Why does some content go viral and other content flop?” This is a universal question all social media marketers ask themselves. Luckily, Allocca is a professional YouTube watcher (for real!) and has figured out the three key components for why viral content becomes, well, viral. If you already know the answer, give this video a watch anyway to lighten up your day with some sweet double rainbow action.

(3) The Clues to a Great Story by Andrew Stanton

 As the writer of all three Toy Story movies and the writer/director of WALL-E, it’s safe to say that Andrew Stanton knows a thing or two about effective storytelling. In this short (and hilarious, might I add!) presentation, Stanton draws on both his personal experiences and his time at Pixar to explain what makes a gripping story and why an audience wants to be put to work.


What Ted Talks inspire you to be a better marketer and storyteller? Tell us in the comments below or give us a shout at @BPSocial.


#WhosGonnaWin: Verizon Dominates the Social Media Super Bowl


If you’re anything like us here at Branding Personality, you can’t wait to park yourself in front of the TV this Sunday to watch the huge matchup between the Broncos and the Seahawks. Hmm…on second thought, maybe it’s just Michael and I who are supremely stoked to see our favorite teams battle it out for the coveted Super Bowl championship title.

SuperBowl #WhosGonnaWin

#GoBroncos! Shhhh! Don’t tell Michael I said that…



Pinterest Etiquette: 5 Things Brands Should Never Do



Pinterest is one of my favorite social media platforms for retail businesses because it offers an excellent medium for them to market their brand in an aesthetically pleasing way. Not to mention, it’s a whole lot of fun.

However, the number of brands that pin and populate boards without putting a strategy in place has become rather painful to witness.

As much as we all love drooling over “Yummy Recipes” or repinning pics of cute, cuddly critters all day long, let’s face it: that’s not going to get your brand any feasible recognition. In fact, brands should take due diligence to make sure they’re always pinning properly and following the right etiquette.

With that being said, I’m here to give you 5 quick tips to help you improve your Pinterest marketing strategy so you don’t wind up looking like a total social media noob.


#1: Don’t Use Default Board Titles

One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing businesses that don’t take the time to come up with unique names for their boards. Picking one of the defaults like “Food” or “My Style” looks incredibly lazy. Not to mention, it’s not going to make a consumer want to engage with your brand.

One of my favorite examples of creativity comes from Whole Foods.

Screen shot 2014-01-23 at 9.34.35 PM

Aside from my major affinity with cheese, I absolutely love this board because it’s so fun and clever. They could have taken the easy route and simply named the board “Cheese,” but how would that have set them apart from any other grocery store chain?

Moral of the story: Before you rush to throw up a mess of random boards, take the time to get creative. If you come up with something fresh and fun that your consumers can relate to, you’re guaranteed to keep their interest.


#2: Don’t Have a Hodgepodge of Illogical Categories  

Unorganized, chaotic boards that have zero relation to a brand are stressful. Being that Branding Personality is a marketing agency, we would look pretty silly having Pinterest boards labeled “Good Eats” or “Wedding Inspiration,” wouldn’t we? Sure, it would be fun, but it doesn’t relate to our brand strategy in any way whatsoever.

As with all marketing endeavors, you want to make sure your marketing strategy is cohesive across all channels. Never confuse your audience with the irrelevant. Offer them valuable content that is compatible with your brand and they will be much more encouraged to repin.


#3: Don’t Leave the Descriptions Blank

Imagine putting a visual on Facebook or Twitter and not including a description with it. It would look ridiculous and rather insufficient, wouldn’t it? Well, the same etiquette goes for Pinterest.

Pinners want to know exactly what it is they are looking at. Otherwise you chance losing their attention. Your descriptions don’t have to be a mini novel (in fact, you shouldn’t do that because it comes across as spammy), but you should always take the time to write out a short, informative description that encourage Pinterest users to click on the address of the pin.


#4: Don’t Go Pin Crazy

Trust me, I of all people know how fun (and extremely addicting) Pinterest can be. But that doesn’t mean you have to take it to the extreme. In fact, it’s counterproductive for your brand.

How would a pinner expect to know what content is truly important to you if you’re overloading their feed with a gazillion images every hour, on the hour? Even if the content were super awesome (and by awesome I mean a half-naked-Ryan-Gosling-riding-into-the-sunset-on-a-real-life-unicorn-awesome) no one would want to be bombarded with something over and over and over. Space it out and give people time to absorb information before you pin something new.

#5: Don’t Be a Bore

I think we can all agree that Pinterest is a place to have fun. Yet, it surprises me how often I come across brands that completely forget this absolutely crucial factor.

One brand that I absolutely love on Pinterest is Random House, Inc. Not only do they have a whopping 1.4 million followers, they also know how to create a wealth of fantastic content to keep those followers entertained. From Bookish Nooks to Novel Nail Art, their content is extremely creative and unique. Not to mention, they take the entire book literary experience to fun, new heights.

Screen shot 2014-01-24 at 1.33.21 AM


If you’re still feeling overwhelmed about getting started with your Pinterest marketing strategy, we’re here to help! If you have any questions, comment below or send us an email. We’d love to propel your brand forward and help you reach your social media marketing goals for 2014.


How To Extend The Halo Effect Through A Brand Ambassador Program


How to use bloggers for marketingWould you like to not just create a halo effect, but also keep it going for an entire year? In other words: How would you like to create a constant flow of new followers and customers?

Justin Bieber is so famous because he is constantly in the news. Had he been in the news once, he would have gotten some attention. But because he’s covered constantly and everywhere, he’s got millions of followers all over the world. Having content about you out there is extremely important, and if you can make it shareable and findable, then that’s the way to go. So, how do you do that?

Articles, social media, and blogs are the top three and most effective ways to create content that is both findable and shareable. In the post “Create a Halo Effect Through,” I wrote about the value of bloggers and how to get your brand or product onto the right blog and on their social media. So let’s see how to take this a step further and extend this reach to keep it going all year. You will not just get seen, found, and shared once, but all year long! (more…)


Create a Halo Effect for Your Brand Through the Power Of Bloggers


How people find new brands to buyWhen working with bloggers, you create a halo effect. In other words, you are borrowing someone else’s fame and influence to reach a specific audience. It works with celebrities in the same way. If Justin Bieber wears Marc Jacobs, millions of girls are going to start buying Marc Jacobs. Translate this principle to bloggers: Take Dino Dogan, Ana Hoffman, Chris Voss – each of these bloggers is unique and has a loyal audience that loves them and looks up to them.

When a mom’s favorite blogger says the newest laundry detergent is the latest and greatest, and gives a specific reason as to why that is so, that mom is likely to try it out. If your laundry detergent then delivers on that promise made by the blogger, you, as a brand, made a new fan, and a new longterm customer.

The hot niche within the blogger community is the so called mommy bloggers. They write about a wide array of topics as long as they are of interest to moms (and let’s face it: that’s a lot!). Because of that, almost any brand will be successful in marketing their name through mommy bloggers. Moms are also the main decision makers as to how daily spending is allocated. They make most purchasing decisions in a household and they like trusted brands. Naturally, this is the biggest audience most brands want to reach.

Readers love to hear what the next thing is that these bloggers are going to share, and then they re-share it on social media. These bloggers are trusted journalists, they have credibility and readers love them and their content. Bloggers have turned into online celebrities themselves. A blogger vouching for a product or company can immediately get customers running to the store.

These bloggers get it.

They are trusted.

They are (like) friends.

They have the audience your brand wants to reach.

They have credibility. They are trusted. Readers trust recommendations from a friend more than any other form of marketing.

So how can your brand leverage bloggers?


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