icon

BRANDE : blog archives for December 2009

December 22, 2009

Website Makeover Contest Rules

 

OFFICIAL RULES. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER THE CONTEST.
A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

Submitting an entry constitutes your full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor and judges, which shall be final and binding on all matters relating to the Contest.
1.     Contest Entry Period: The Website Makeover Contest (“Contest”) begins at 12:01 a.m. E.T. on August 8, 2012 and ends at 11:59 p.m. E.T. on August 31, 2012 (“Contest Period”).
2.     Eligibility: The Contest is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec), who have reached the age of majority in their state, province or territory in which they reside on the last day of the month prior to the date of entry. Employees of Brandemix, Inc. (the “Sponsor”), their respective parents, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, suppliers, distributors and advertising, promotional and judging agencies, and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings and their spouses) and household members of each (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate or win. Void in Quebec and where prohibited by law. All federal, state, provincial, and local laws and regulations apply.
3.     How to Enter the Contest: You may enter the contest by sending an email to website@brandemix.comand including the following items: First name, Last name, company name, phone number, and web site address, plus a photo of your web site before it went through a makeover, and a photo of your web site after it went through a makeover.  PHOTO REQUIREMENTS: The maximum file size of photo is 10 MB and your photo must be in one of the following file formats: jpg, .jpeg, non-animated .gif, .png, or .bmp. All entry components submitted during part of the registration process shall herein be referred to as the “Entry”. 
Normal Internet access, usage charges imposed by your on-line service will apply.  Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, August 31, 2012. Entries that are late, incomplete, unreadable, inaccurate, unintelligible or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules will be disqualified. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, destroyed or misdirected entries.  Each Entrant grants to Sponsor a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive right and license to copy, distribute, and display each submitted Entry, in any media, and with right to use, copy, modify, edit, and create derivative works there from, and agrees to execute documents confirming such right and license (as further defined in Section 9, below) at Sponsor’s reasonable request. By entering, you understand that if your Entry is approved by the judges, your Entry may be posted online, in Sponsor’s sole discretion, to be viewed by members of the general public. Entrants may not copy or otherwise plagiarize any portion of the Entry from any source. No information regarding Entries or judging, other than as otherwise set forth in these Official Rules or on the website listed above, will be disclosed. Each Entry submitted must be unique. Use of any automated or computer system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification. Normal Internet access and usage charges imposed by your online service may apply. 
  1. Judging:  Each submitted Entry will be judged by a panel of Sponsor-selected judges on or about September 4th (“Judging Period”), to determine the top 10 Entries who will be presented to the general public during the voting period, based on the following judging criteria: Most Improved (40%); Visual Appeal (30%); Originality (30%).  In the event of a tie, tied Entries will be re-judged by the judges based solely on Most Improved (100%). 
  2. Voting Period:  The top 10 entries determined from the Judging Period will be posted online for public voting.  The online voting period (“Voting Period”) will begin at 12:01 am ET on September 5, 2012 and ends at 11:59pm ET on September 14, 2012.  To cast an entry during the Voting Period, visit: http://pinterest.com/brandemix/ and visit the board named “Websites Before & After” (“Pinterest Board”) and either liking your favorite entry, commenting on it, or re-pinning it.  The entries with the most comments, likes, and re-pins will be determined the Grand Prize winner.  Anyone visiting the Pinterest Board during the Voting Period is eligible to vote.  In order to cast a vote, voters must have their own Pinterest account.  If you do not have a Pinterest account, you may sign up for a free account by visiting www.pinterest.com and clicking on “Request an Invite”, and then filling out the registration form, and wait for an email determining that your Pinterest account is live. Winning the Grand Prize is determined solely based on the highest number of likes, comments, and re-pins received during the Voting Period. Winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements of these Official Rules and Sponsor’s decisions as to the administration of the Contest and prize awards are final. In the event of a tie during the Voting Period, sponsor will re-judge the tied entries based on Originality (100%) to determine the Grand Prize winner.
  3. Winner Notification: The Grand Prize winner will be notified on or about September 17, 2012 by phone/email and will then be required to sign and return a Liability and Publicity Release (except where prohibited by law), or if potential Grand Prize winner is a Canadian resident, a Declaration of Compliance and assignment of rights within three (3) days of notification attempt or prize will be forfeited and an alternate will be chosen. Liability Release/Declaration of Compliance (as applicable) will be sent via email and winner will need to return the Liability Release/Declaration of Compliance within three (3) days of notification via fax or email and send the original Liability Release/Declaration of Compliance back via mail. Return of prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and alternate determination, time permitting.
7.     Grand Prize and Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): Contest Grand Prize (1): Free Press Release distributed to hundreds of outlets, accounting both the design achievement and the victory; Video shoot capturing the success of the web site redesign and those responsible for it.  The ARV of the Grand Prize is USD $575.  No substitutions, exchanges, refunds or other compensation will be made for any reason, including cancellation of the contest. Winners are responsible for all taxes associated with claiming this prize.  No responsibility or liability is assumed for damages, losses or injury resulting from acceptance or use of prize. All federal, state and local, municipal and provincial taxes are the sole responsibility of winners, as applicable.

  1. General Rules: By participating in the Contest, Entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor/Judges. Judges’ decisions are final on all matters relating to the Contest. All Entries will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of Entry. “Authorized Account Holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address. The Sponsor and its agencies are not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone malfunctions of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications caused by the user or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest or by any human error which may occur in the Contest. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel the Contest if any aspect of the Contest becomes technically corrupted, and determine the Contest Grand Prize winner based on the judging criteria from Entries received prior to cancellation (where applicable). The Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that tampers or attempts to tamper with the Entry process or the operation of the Contest or Entry; violates the Official Rules; or acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. By participating in the Contest, you agree that the Sponsor, its agencies, Pinterest, and each of their respective affiliates, officers, directors, agents, and employees will have no liability or responsibility for any claim arising in connection with participation in the Contest or the awarding of any prize. Winners assume all liability for any injury or damage caused, or claimed to be caused, by participation in the Contest or use or redemption of any prize.
  2. Release: For the good and valuable consideration of participating in the Contest and having your Entry considered for use by Sponsor or any of their websites and/or as otherwise detailed below, sufficiency of which, you hereby acknowledge, you hereby grant to Sponsor, its parent companies, affiliates, brands, subsidiaries, successors, licensees, agents and agencies and those they may designate from time to time (all of the foregoing, the “Contest Entities”), an exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, fully sublicenseable and transferable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, transmit, display, and perform such Entry, in whole or in part, in any media, format or technology, whether now known or hereafter discovered, and in any manner including all promotional, advertising, marketing, publicity, and commercial uses and ancillary uses thereof, without any further notice or payment to or permission needed from you (except where prohibited by law). You also hereby grant to the Contest Entities an unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, fully sublicensable and transferable right to use your name, photo, Entry, nickname, user name and biographical information (collectively “Personal Content”) as contained in your Entry, and Footage (for Grand Prize winner) in composite or distorted form or as otherwise incorporated into other creative works of authorship, in any media, format or technology, whether now known or hereafter discovered, and in any manner including all promotional, advertising, marketing, publicity, and commercial uses and ancillary uses thereof, without any further notice or payment to or permission needed from you (except where prohibited by law). Without limitation of the foregoing, submission of an Entry constitutes your agreement that the Contest Entities are permitted (but are not obligated) to display the Entry online (whether on Licensed Entities’ web pages, applications or on third party web pages or applications), to incorporate the Entry in online and offline promotional advertising, marketing, and/or other commercial materials, and to reproduce, adapt and distribute the Entry in all media whether now known or later developed. In addition, you hereby assign to the Sponsor all rights, titles, and interests that you may be deemed to have in any reproduction, product, or derivative work using or incorporating the Entry. You represent and warrant that: (i) the Entry does not and shall not infringe on any copyright or trademark or any other third-party right nor violate any applicable law or regulation, (ii) you have the right to grant any and all necessary rights and licenses provided herein, including without limitation, all necessary copyright, trademark and other related rights to the Entry, free and clear of all claims and encumbrances without violating the rights of any person or entity, including any right to privacy or publicity. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Entry or to be compensated for any such uses. By entering, you hereby release and discharge, on behalf of yourself and your successors, assigns and representatives, the Contest Entities and each of their respective officers, directors and employees from any and all claims, suits, actions, demands, liabilities and damages of any kind whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the following: use of such Entry, or Personal Content, or any other rights granted to Sponsor by any of the Contest Entities, including, without limitation, any and all claims for copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, violation of the right of publicity and persona, and/or defamation. Without limitation of the foregoing, in no event will you be entitled to, and you waive any right to, enjoin, restrain or interfere with use of the Entry or your Personal Content embodied in such Communication as permitted hereunder or the exploitation of any of the Contest Entities’ rights hereunder. You further agree to release and indemnify and hold harmless the Contest Entities from any and all claims that any commercial, advertising, presentation, web content or any other material subsequently produced, presented, and/or prepared by or on behalf of Contest Entities infringes on your rights as contained in the Entry. You agree that you shall have no right of approval, no claim to compensation or benefit, and no claim (including, without limitation, claims based upon invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, defamation, or right or publicity) arising out of any use of Entry, or Personal Content or any editing, distortion, alteration, optical illusion, or use in partial or composite form, whether or not intentional. By participating in the Contest, you agree to release and hold harmless the Contest Entities and Pinterest from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use of any prize.
  3. Disputes: You agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the State of New York in the U.S. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of New York or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York in the U.S.
  4. Winner’s List: For the winner’s name, available after September 17, 2012, send a self addressed stamped envelope no later than September 30, 2012, to: Web Site Makeover Contest Winner’s List, 1270 Broadway, Suite 803, New York, NY 10001 USA.
  5. Sponsor/Administrator: The Sponsor of the Contest is Brandemix, Inc., 1270 Broadway, Suite 803, New York, NY 10001 USA.
The Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Pinterest.  You understand that the information you provide will only be used in connection with this Contest.
December 19, 2009

Happy Holidays

What Would Your CEO Say?

BRANDING AND THE BOTTOM LINE

Branding, just as any other strategic endeavor, is about bottom line business results.
A brand makes attracting new customers and holding onto current customers cheaper.

Employer Branding does the same thing. It makes attracting talent cheaper and inspires turnover-cutting loyalty. Suddenly HR looks like a moneymaker.

So what would your CEO say to that?
“Why does our company need more than one brand?”

The answer, of course, is that you don’t.

The finer points of how the brand is communicated obviously differs from consumers to employees, as do the specific value propositions, but the core of the brand does not. It’s the still the same personality, the same voice, the same values.

HR is merely one of many stakeholders in an organization’s overall brand. It’s their role to communicate the brand in a compelling way to current and potential employees. Similarly, the CFO’s role as a brand stakeholder is to communicate the brand to the financial community. Marketing communicates the brand to consumers. PR communicates the brand to the media. But you never hear terms like “financial brand,” or “PR brand.”

Does HR really need its own term for this responsibility? I can deal with it if you can, so long as we don’t lose sight of the fact that it refers back to the same brand that everyone else in the company is talking about.

If everyone is striving for profitability then having just one brand is only natural. Just ask Phil Knight or Steve Jobs. Nike and Apple, two of the most desirable places to work, don’t do “employer branding.” They don’t have to. Their brands are so well integrated throughout every department that employees and consumers alike are attracted magnetically.

Whether you call it employer branding, employment branding, or just plain branding, your CEO still only wants to know how it can save money or make money for the company.

For more perspective, call BRANDEMiX.

December 11, 2009

Who Wants to Work for Tiger?

Recruiting through Disaster- 7 Ways to Improve Your Employer Brand.

Maybe your firm was recently rescued from the abyss by the US government. Perhaps your CEO was photographed having breakfast with Bernie Madoff. Or your boss, one of greatest sports figures who ever lived, the face of your brand, has been caught playing in cars and courses he doesn’t belong in.

As your best laid recruiting plans crumble, current employees might linger longer at interview lunches and critical openings go unfilled. The open EXIT door seems to beckon even you.

But don’t despair. Though your task may seem impossible, armed with a plan, you can assuage a publicity crisis and accomplish recruiting objectives with a bit of skill, planning and diligence.

Here are 7 things you do:

1. Be honest and authentic. The chances are, it was a lack of honesty in the first place that got your organization in the mess, so now it’s time to come clean. Be candid and transparent about your situation and you’ll have a good shot at earning back the trust with current and potential employees.

2. Hold town halls, focus groups and monitor web chatter. The conversation is happening around you so get in on it. Take two Advil and get a firm grasp of exactly what potential and current employees think of your company and see what the damage really is.

3. Dust off your employer value proposition. Get back to the basics of communicating your fundamental differentiator as an employer. Theoretically, your intrinsic value as an employer is still intact so take the focus away from ancillary distractions and drive home your core value proposition through recent actions and examples.

4. Fight the battle on your own turf. Ubiquitous social networks mean more opportunities for social humiliation. Armed with insight, mitigate the issue by providing details and counterpoint on your website or vanity landing page and post comments and links to drive traffic to that page.

5. Revisit your workforce plans. One positive to situations like this, is that it gives you carte blanche to rethink certain strategies or processes. Do you still want to hire the type of employees you did 2 months ago? This could be an opportunity to bring in new blood and grow in directions you never before considered.

6. Refresh all your online recruitment messaging. Last week’s job postings won’t help you through yesterday’s disaster. Build brand equity quickly and inexpensively with current messaging that show people you know what they’re thinking, and what you think about it. The opportunity for swift change is the beauty of our digital world.

7. Create and promote an employee recognition program. Recognize and publicize the talent you have, and show the world that human capital still remains your strongest asset. Featured professionals will appreciate the kudos and can become the face of your recruiting efforts, featured in blogs, videos and printed materials. Potential recruits will be reminded of the brain pool they have an opportunity to be part of.

While we can’t always plan for future disasters, a properly executed disaster recruiting “plan-in-the-can” when your Tiger tanks is as easy as 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

8. Call BRANDEMiX

December 4, 2009

Keep It Simple Stupid.


Believe it or not, branding is supposed to make things easier…for everyone.

“What has become the science of pontification was once the art of simplification.”

Remember that a brand is really just a shortcut. When we see a logo, we can make assumptions about the product that bares it. If you don’t know anything about aspect ratio or refresh rate you can just buy a Sony television because you know it will be quality. If you don’t want to spend your weekend comparing the price of Frosted Flakes at every grocer in town, you can just go to Wal-mart because you know they’ll have the lowest prices anyway.

Imagine a world with no brands and only products. You’d have to laboriously balance the pluses and minuses of every product for every purchase. You could have no preconceptions or expectations. You could make no assumptions. You’d have analysis paralysis every time you went to the deli.

Sadly, this is what job-hunting feels like a lot of times. You’re forced to form an opinion of a company based solely on the few tangible benefits listed in a job posting. A brand should replace this process of rationalizing and help create an emotional connection (or not) with the company and the culture.

However, too often employer branding is used as just another rational benefit – another “plus” on the old strengths vs weaknesses scale. Your employer brand is not just another reason to believe. It’s the reason to believe. It’s the higher order that supersedes all the rational benefits. So if you spent the time, money and effort to develop a brand, but continue to base all your communications around the same old rational benefits, then you’re spinning your wheels.

Google’s recruitment Youtube video says nothing of pay or benefits – it talks more about the cafeteria and the culture. This is with good reason – for many technical positions, Google pays less than Microsoft does, but Google is the heart’s desire for young engineers not Microsoft. Google has taken the side-by-side comparison out of the equation replaced it with brand.

Or, look at the recruitment ads for Southwest Airlines, one of the strongest employer brands. Absent are the bulleted lists of good reasons to join the company or an “about us” paragraph touting the company’s prestigious history. Instead they seduce you with brand identity.

You’re brand should take the guesswork out of joining your company. It should let people put away the scale and listen to their gut. Just as shopping for clothes is as much emotional as it is rational, so too is shopping for a job. So allow your brand to pull its weight. Allow it to make things easier for jobseekers. Allow it to simplify your communications. Allow it to simplify your recruiting strategy. And if you don’t have a brand, call BRANDEMiX.