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Do you speak social? The rise of social web literacy

Enara::: print ads

Retrobrands:Everything Old Is New Again

Free Starbucks ice cream for Facebook users

Facebook users can already send each other real flowers, candy and drinks. Now they can add ice cream to that list as well—free, no less—thanks to a new promotion from Starbucks and Unilever.

Beginning this week and extending through July 19, Starbucks and partner Unilever are giving away coupons for more than 800 free pints of the newly launched Starbucks Ice Cream on Facebook every hour. US-based users of the social networking site need only visit the special promotion page on Facebook at the beginning of any hour and be ready to click quickly before that hour's set of coupons is gone. If they succeed in claiming one, they can choose to send it to any friend on or off Facebook, or they can elect instead to treat themselves. Either way, the coupon can then be redeemed for the Starbucks Ice Cream flavour of the recipient's choice: Caramel Macchiato, Mocha Frappuccino, Java Chip Frappuccino or Coffee. There is a limit of one coupon per household; those who fail at first to get one can keep trying, as a total of some 20,000 free coupons will be given away each day before the contest's end.

One part Facebook perk and one part tryvertising, the wisely targeted Starbucks Ice Cream promotion is sure to win many a fan for the new ice cream, particularly since there's almost certainly a significant overlap among devotees of the two brands. Pick the right audience, give away ice cream in July, and it's hard to go wrong! ;-) (Related: Food blogger turned purveyor & intermediary.)

Website: www.starbucksicecream.comapps.facebook.com/starbucksicecream

Spotted by: Brandweek via Raymond Kollau

Package tracking via Twitter

Some 6 million people visit Twitter each month, so it's no wonder applications for the platform are coming fast and furious. Not only can consumers use Twitter to track their favourite taco truck, file civic complaints and apply for jobs, but they can now track their packages as well thanks to a new application from North Carolina-based Signal Engine.

Users with packages to track begin by following PackageTrack on Twitter (@packagetrack), causing the free application to follow them in return. They can then direct message PackageTrack with the nickname of a package they'd like to track along with its tracking number, separated by a colon—"Red Dress: 23345631243," for example. PackageTrack then notifies them by Twitter each time the package's status changes, including a Google Map illustrating its route. Launched earlier this year, PackageTrack currently tracks only UPS, USPS and FedEx packages, but it says it will be adding more carriers soon.

All the world may have once been a stage, but today one might say it's a microblogging platform; no longer merely players, all the men and women now tweet and follow. What is *your* brand doing to reach customers on Twitter...?

Website: www.packagetrackapp.com



According to its website, Sadia, which is Portuguese for “healthy,” is the largest poultry producer in Brazil and one of the world’s leading producers of chilled and frozen foods.
Its product offerings range from chicken breasts to prepared products such as chicken nuggets, cordon bleu or coated/flavored chicken fillets and frozen ready meals, and it uses 2.5 million tons of chicken, turkey, pork and beef protein-based products.

The brand was founded more than 60 years ago in southern Brazil, and since then Sadia has established distribution points in more than 100 countries across the world, particularly in the Middle East, Europe and Russia, but also in the Caucasus, Asia, the Americas and Africa.

Before the current economic crisis, the American stock projection website The Motley Fool declared Brazilian food processing and distributing brand Sadia a hot stock pick, giving it a five-star CAPS rating. But on May 19, 2009, it was announced that Sadia would be gobbled up by larger processed food company Perdigão, after the smaller rival posted the first annual loss in its 65-year history because of wrong-way bets on the Brazilian currency.

Founded in 1934 by Italian immigrants, Perdigão is one of the largest food companies in Latin America, employing more than 55,000 people. It ranks third in poultry slaughtering and ranks among the ten largest hog slaughtering companies in the world. It is also one of the leading Brazilian companies in milk collection. A brand with a considerable worldwide reach, its products are sold to more than 110 countries, and it acts as an umbrella to sub-brands such as Batavo, Elegê, Perdix, Chester and Cotochés.

We paid a visit to Sadia.com to see where the brand stands in comparison to Perdigão online.

To support its global presence, Sadia.com can be viewed in four languages: Portuguese, English, German and Russian. But from a branding standpoint, the look, feel and messaging leave much to be desired. Dry, static and looking like it hasn’t been updated since 1996, Sadia.com is sorely lacking in brand establishment, value-added content and innovation. It seems as if it was constructed with the sole purpose to serve as a receptacle for rudimentary brand information like corporate information and quality assurance, investor relations and brief product descriptions—not to provide consumers with an inviting brand experience.

But a visit to and study of Perdigão’s website portends that renovations may be in store for the Sadia online presence. Perdigão launched its global brand, Perdix, in 2001 because, according to that website, “Perdix was developed to have an easy to pronounce brand name as well as keeping all the qualities by which Perdigão is already known all over the world. In this way, it has the same prefix as Perdigão, resulting in an easy association, transmitting the values of the well-known brand to Perdix. And the suffix ‘x’ brings to mind modernity and technology. Therefore, Perdix products combine the tradition of preparing delicious food and always innovating for over 70 years, with high quality international standards.”

SadiaAt the least, this demonstrates consideration for the user experience, and the website for Perdix follows suit. The site appears current, its look and feel maintains continuity and its animated visuals present their products in a moderately appetizing manner—all features that Sadia.com is lacking, but may not be for long.

Also, visitors are invited to interact with the brand through streaming TV ads and a collection of easily searchable recipes for Perdix products. It probably would benefit the brand to delve deeper into the consumer realm, creating a community to tap into consumer feedback. But Perdix-International.com serves its corporate function well by providing comprehensive investor information such as mission statements, sustainability, accountability—even streaming stock info and an earnings update via webcast.

From a branding standpoint, Sadia’s online presence is in sore need of a revamp, and Perdix is a good fit to bring it into the 21st century. And not a moment too soon.

Pirate's Booty :::snack fight!

Pirate's Booty

The snack food market is one of almost limitless opportunity combined with unequalled competition. While it is dominated by such food giants as Frito-Lay (PepsiCo) and Nabisco (Kraft), the industry just as readily supports smaller companies.

One of those companies is Robert’s American Gourmet, maker of the somewhat notorious Pirate’s Booty brand. Pirate’s Booty is a quirky little brand with a backstory that reads like the American dream. Robert Ehrlich was a commodity trader who founded Robert’s American Gourmet in 1986 with the intention of creating “American” salad dressings. But he quickly gained a passion for developing healthy snacks.

“I first got the idea for Pirate’s Booty while watching the pirate ship at Treasure Island,” Ehrlich says on his website. “Pirate’s Booty was initially named Pirate’s Treasure. The name didn’t matter—people just loved our air-puffed rice and corn with aged white cheddar.”

Well actually, the name did matter, at least in terms of brand recognition. What Ehrlich did was differentiate the brand from the competition with a memorable identity—a unique name accompanied by a cartoon of a pirate character, drawn in a humorous rather than threatening way. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Pirate’s Booty was also a healthy, natural snack food. It had the kind of unique appeal that crossed over from parents to their kids.

When Pirate’s Booty came to market in the mid-1980s, snack food companies were just beginning to discover natural, healthy snacks. Most competitors were using packaging that had the natural, healthy, nutritious, good-for-you, serious look. Only a few, such as Smartfood Popcorn, broke the brand mold. Smartfood launched its product in a reclosable black bag—highly unusual for a snack food. Frito-Lay purchased the company in 1989, but the black bag remains its signature.

Pirate’s Booty ventured to the other side of the creative spectrum, employing a package that featured the cartoon pirate and an old-fashioned typeface set against a colorful background. As the product line expanded, color was used to differentiate brands and line extensions; for example, green is used for Veggie Booty, red signifies Pirate’s Cannon Balls and purple represents Smart Puffs.

The pirate became one of numerous cartoon brand mascots used on Robert’s American Gourmet products. The model for the pirate was Ehrlich himself, while his father inspired the character on the Smart Puffs bag. It’s all part of a look and feel that is fun and a bit off-center. Jim Hardison, a creative director at San Francisco design agency Character, says, “These are characters who refused to accept the standard way of doing things, either by pioneering revolutionary approaches or by living outside the normal rules of society” (“Ay, Matey, Pirate’s Booty Hopes Mascot Sells Snacks,” FSB Magazine, October 2006).

Pirate’s Booty is the flagship product of a company that generates some US $50 million in annual sales. Robert’s plays in a natural snacks segment in the United States that is a US $2 billion-a-year business, growing at over 15 percent per year, according to Kara Cissell-Roell, managing director of VMG Partners. A private equity firm, VMG invested in Robert’s American Gourmet in November 2008. Today Robert’s sells Pirate’s Booty and its other snack foods in all 50 states, as well as in Canada, Europe and Asia.

Robert’s American Gourmet has had a few stumbles along the way. The company has been criticized in the past for misrepresenting the fat content in some of its products. In 2007, Robert’s was forced to recall Veggie Booty and Super Veggie Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks because of salmonella contamination. In recent years, Robert’s has significantly reduced its snack offerings from over 50 products to less than ten. And it’s anybody’s guess if events surrounding Somalian pirate attacks will help or hurt the image of Pirate’s Booty.

But Pirate’s Booty has survived these challenges, and its popularity has apparently not diminished. Journalist Rob Walker, author of the book Buying In, says Ehrlich told him his company overcame past adversity because “it reacted quickly and openly” to problems such as the salmonella contamination. “He [Ehrlich] also notes that the company had long-established goodwill with its customers—it’s been around since 1986—drawn to its ‘authenticity’” (“Snack Mentality,” The New York Times, June 29, 2008).

The company’s new challenge will be growing beyond its niche product status. While Pirate’s Booty and its companion brands have maintained their appeal to loyal customers, the brands now increasingly face look-alike competition. Small and large companies alike have Pirate’s Booty in their sights, and they are anxious to eat into the multibillion-dollar healthy snack food market.

Despite the global recession, snack foods are doing well because people turn to them for comfort, even when they are pulling back on spending. Foods like chocolate, chips, cookies and other snacks give consumers a quick burst of energy and make them feel good, if only for a fleeting moment. If snack foods are healthy, so much the better.

Yet the question remains: Will consumers continue to treasure Pirate’s Booty?

Rebranding exercises in Arabia::: Looking ahead of Logos

In Arabia Mainstream brands have undertaken rebranding initiatives to shed their old corporate images and position themselves in a new, more modern light. Some have simply upgraded their logos, while others went much deeper. Which leads branding enthusiasts to wonder, just what is the difference between an identity refresher” face lift” and a true rebranding?

People are sensory beings. Yet branding is typically defined through the single sense of sight. To merely focus on the visual element of a person's interaction of a brand (logo, pantone colours and so on), it fundamentally misunderstanding people. Sound alone has an immense impact on the experience that people have with a brand. This realisation amongst brands has led to a significant increase in brands investigating what the Sound of their Brand is, what it means to consumers and how it needs to evolve.

It is true that the rebranding goes beyond logos but it is an interesting place to start. As visually oriented creatures, we conceptualize a brand into a logo (and perhaps the sum of its parts). If the brand represents an interface, through which the consumer interacts with the organization, then the logo is a useful touch point.

Is changing the logo enough?
In situations where firmly established brands become outdated, rebrands can be tricky, and often resemble identity makeovers rather than full-blown rebrands.

But is this logo change enough to bring brand’s into the modern marketplace—especially one that’s hypercompetitive?

There is no reason to completely rebrand a brand that isn’t suffering from an internal identity complex. Sometimes creating an effective logo is enough to upgrade an identity and penetrate markets. According to an executive creative director “There are some brands where heritage is important and it is foolish to get rid of it, in order to stay relevant with the times.”

Brand identity in Arabia
“The notion of brand identity as representative of something more than a recognizable symbol is relatively new in India…brand names and symbols in the past often did not represent something that the brand stands for.”

Today, however, brands in Arabia are moving beyond a simplified view of the marketing and advertising world and see the need to comprehensively rebrand themselves. The proliferation of several international brands in recent years has caused several homegrown brands to undertake an all-embracing approach to their brands.

Simply because of:

1. Higher disposable incomes,

2. change in consumer demography

3. and greater reach through media

Brand makeover boutiques.

pressure on brands to resort to an identity makeover, to realign themselves in the new environment is increasing “It should not be like a trip to a hair salon, where after two weeks your hair goes back to normal. It should go beyond just a cosmetic change, where only the logo is altered, but should reflect a fundamental change in the company.”

Rebranding beyond logos

Tweaking a logo and leaving everything else unchanged is pointless. “A logo change raises expectations, both internally and externally,” . The branding exercise should not be isolated to the letterhead; it should be an experience for the customer. The moment one steps into the office, employees should be able to feel it just as they expect their customers to. As a rule ;The old logo portrayed trust, warmth and confidence. However, with the entry of many me-too’s trust could no longer be the key differentiator for the brand. So the new logo, along with the tagline supporting the logo upgrade might add a fashionable, young and international image of any brand.

The logo change was only a small part of the rebrand. “ a deep-rooted A 360-degree approach across customer touch-points to be taken to convey the new identity (merchandising display exhibits, new uniforms …etc.)

But change isn’t always easy.

In organizations that are several decades old, employees are entrenched within the system and find it difficult to come to work one morning and adopt newer systems.” Change must be gradual in order to be effective.

For a new identity - image overhaul -to be effective ..the makeover has to be an experiential makeover, and not an advertising makeover in a way to involves integrated transition in systems, processes, employee orientation and customer experience without destroying the core values it was founded on.

Smart transformation is the key driver here to retain the essence of the brand’s heritage, while projects a contemporary image in sync with today’s lifestyle.

Finally , talk to your users “consumers”… they know better …

7 Skills for a Post-Pandemic Marketer

The impact of Covid-19 has had a significant impact across the board with the marketing and advertising industry in 2020, but there is hope...