BRANDE : blog archives for July 2014

July 28, 2014

Mobile is the Future of…Everything

Mobile really is the future of the internet. A survey by InMobi finds that Americans and Britons consume 70 minutes of online content via their desktop or laptop, but 134 minutes via their tablet device and phone combined. In addition, mobile devices have impacted marketing, recruiting, and even employee communications. Here are the latest trends.

Mobile for marketing

Mobile has become a major channel for marketing. Spending on mobile advertising increased from $18 billion in 2013 to $31 billion this year, according to eMarketer.

And how are brands using that money? One of the coolest interstitial ads I’ve seen recently was for Fiat. The ad, which appeared on tablets, included a 360-degree view of the car, a feature that let you change the car’s color, a dealership locator, and a video. While many people (me included) used to skip videos on mobile devices or only watch them for a few seconds, Fiat claims that 80% of users watched the entire video.

Fiat tablet ad

As you can see, mobile marketing doesn’t just mean pop-up banners anymore. Now there are lots of possibilities out there for creative brands. Ford branded a CAPTCHA. Hershey’s served users 12 different ads on their home screen — a different one each time a user unlocked their phone. And don’t forget about mobile coupons — 25% of mobile phone users will redeem this one year.

Mobile for recruiting

As I pointed out a few months ago, mobile is making a huge impact on recruiting. According to Jobvite’s 2014 Job-Seeker Survey, 43% of job-seekers have used their mobile device to engage in some type of job-search activity. LinkedIn Talent Solutions puts that number at 70%. In addition, 27% of job-seekers surveyed say it’s “important” to be able to apply for a job directly from their mobile device.

Mobile recruiting means more than having a careers site that’s legible on an iPhone. AT&T has color-coded squares that make navigation easy. Sodexo has its own careers app. McDonald’s includes video testimonials from employees and managers.

AT&T jobs mobile site

There’s a lot of innovation happening in the space, and employers should recognize this before falling behind. ERE was the first to honor the best mobile recruiting sites and strategies. Now there are the Mobile Recruitment Awards, with categories like Best Mobile Recruitment Marketing Campaign and Best Mobile Employee Engagement Platform.

And speaking of employee engagement…

Mobile for employee communications

For years, intranets and employee communications have been trapped in worker’s desktop computers — or worse, limited to bulletin boards. But mobile is igniting a revolution in internal communications. Take new theEMPLOYEEapp, an app that workers download to their phone. The app allows companies to “push important information and content (multimedia and documents) to their employees instantaneously, no matter where they are located.”

The Public Relations Society of America calls mobile a “revolution in employee communications.” After all, studies show that 47% of employees spend their days in a “non-desk setting,” and 80% are using their mobile device for work. How are those workers receiving company communications? How engaged are they in employee referral programs, wellness programs, or online career advancement?


Mobile is the new frontier in reaching employees in every setting. Especially when you consider that around half of companies have social collaboration tools, but three quarters of employees find it difficult to access those tools on their mobile devices.

Mobile for everyone

Convinced yet? This is the only beginning. Major publications like Forbes are publishing stories on how mobile is changing retail, how mobile is changing the event experience, and even how mobile is changing branding itself.

At Brandemix, our expertise in branding, marketing, and recruiting includes the latest in mobile design and technology. If you’d like to learn more, contact me and we’ll talk.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.

July 21, 2014

Employer Branding Beats Consumer Branding For Young Job-Seekers

Two studies recently came out that provide interesting perspectives on how a brand is viewed by the general public and by young workers looking to start their careers. These surveys illustrate both the connection and disconnection between branding and employer branding.

The first study was conducted by CoreBrand, which annually surveys more than 10,000 business decision-makers from the top 20% of US businesses. This is a survey of peers, not of average consumers. It determines two factors: Familiarity, based on whether respondents could name a brand’s verticals or subsidiaries; and Favorability, based on respondents’ opinions of the brand’s overall reputation, perception of management, and investment potential. CoreBrand considers brands with the highest scores in both categories to be the “Most Respected.” The top 10 of 2014 are:

1. Coca-Cola
2. PepsiCo
3. Hershey
4. Bayer
5. Johnson & Johnson
6. Harley-Davidson
7. IBM
8. Apple
9. Kellogg
10. General Electric

In short: business leaders know these brands, like them, and feel they’re well-run and have successful futures.

Collegefeed then looked at brands from the other direction, asking 15,000 Millennials (60% college students and 40% recent grads) their top three companies to work for. Respondents weren’t given a list; they could name any companies. Their top 10 are:

1. Google
2. Apple
3. Facebook
4. Microsoft
5. Amazon
6. eBay
7. LinkedIn
8. Yahoo
9. Goldman Sachs
10. IBM

The high number of tech companies may be due to the fact that 50% of Collegefeed’s respondents were in a “tech-oriented major,” or it might be reveal that more college students are studying technology to get ahead in the weak, post-Recession economy.

Either way, only two companies from Collegefeed’s top ten overlap with CoreBrand’s top ten: Apple and IBM. Coca-Cola and Pepsi, which are CoreBrand’s two “Most Respected” brands in the world, don’t even make Collegefeed’s top 50! Why the discrepancy? Could it have something to do with employer branding?

Indeed it does. A scan of Glassdoor’s 2014 Best Places to Work shows LinkedIn at #3, Facebook at #5, and Google at #8. Twitter, which just outside the top ten of Collegefeed’s list, is #2 on Glassdoor. My conclusion is that a brand’s familiarity, likability, and even peer respect isn’t as compelling to young job-seekers as whether the company is a great place to work. That’s reinforced by Collegefeed’s respondents’ reasons for choosing their top employers: more than 75% said “people and culture fit.” Meanwhile, “company mission” scored below 45% and “market leadership” was below 20%.

As surprising as it may sound, recent college grads would rather work at an online company that treats them well than one that sells candy or soda or motorcycles.

In fact, the situation gets even more intriguing as you move down the list of Collegefeed’s most sought-after companies. “Boring” brands like Salesforce (#18) and Qualcomm (#19), which Millennials rarely encounter or use, placed ahead of “cool” companies like The Walt Disney Company (#20) and Nike (#21), which Millennials grew up with. Again, the answer lies in the employee experience. Qualcomm is #13 on the Glassdoor list, ahead of Nike (#29) and Disney (#42). Salesforce placed an amazing #7 on Fortune’s list of Best Companies to Work For.

Did all these college students read the lists? Probably not. But their information also came from some surprising places. “Friends” was the most-cited way that Collegefeed’s job-seekers heard about a company, with more than 70% of respondents putting it in their top three. Social media accounted for a third. As the CEO of Collegefeed put it, “If college students like something, they tell their friends on social media or face-to-face.” If you ask me, that’s one definition of employer branding.

Look at it another way: There are certain companies that are well known, but it’s not considered “cool” to work for them. I’m thinking of Walmart, ExxonMobil, or Bank of America. Job-seekers may encounter them every day, and even use their products. And the company might have a lot of job openings that match the job-seekers’ skills. But it will take extra convincing to overcome young people’s perceptions. One way a brand is responding to this problem is WalmartLabs, the retail giant’s outreach to the tech community, which positions Walmart as an alternative to Google.

The takeaway from all these lists and statistics? For a brand to attract top talent, it’s better to be liked by employees than by consumers, or even by other industry leaders. Hip companies like Google and Apple will always have a slight edge, but job-seekers care far more about cultural fit and career potential than about what their employer actually does — or what they pay. So if you think your “dull” company with average compensation can’t go after the best employees, think again.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.

July 14, 2014

Social Media Fun Facts 2014

As Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix, I constantly research trends in social media. Recently, I’ve come across some interesting facts and statistics across the biggest social networks. Here are some of my most surprising social media findings.

The most photographed location on Instagram — you could say the most Instagrammed place on Earth — is the Siam Paragon Shopping Mall in Bangkok, Thailand. The complex includes a movie theater, a concert hall, and an aquarium, along with photogenic displays which encourage people to take pictures. The Thai people have fallen in love with Instagram and seem to have less concern over tagging their location on social media. (source: Instagram Blog)

Looking instead at Google images, and photo-sharing powered by Google, the most photographed place in the world is the Guggenheim Museum here in New York City. (Sightsmap)

Inside the Guggenheim Museum

The most popular hashtags on Instagram  are #love, #instagood (originally indicating editing by the Instagood app, now meaning anything the user is proud of), #me, #tbt (Throwback Thursday), and #follow. (Webstagram)

As expected, the World Cup broke a few social media records. The final match, a 1-0 victory of Germany over Argentina, generated a historic high of 618,725 tweets per minute. A week earlier, Germany’s blowout win over Brazil had set the record at 580,166 tweets per minute. Facebook announced that the final match produced 280 million interactions on its site, beating Super Bowl XLVIII’s record of 245 million interactions. (Twitter, Facebook)

Meanwhile the most popular tweeter in all of Twitter is Katy Perry, whose account has more than 56.3 million followers. She’s followed by Justin Bieber (52.7 million) and Barack Obama (44 million for the 44th president). The first non-social media, non-news brand is Spanish soccer team FC Barcelona, #62 on the list with 12 million followers. (Twitter Counter)

The recruiting Twitter with the most followers is ParkPlace Careers, with more than 106,000. Park Place owns luxury car dealerships in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (Social Recruitment Monitor)

The most retweeted tweet of all time is still the “Oscars selfie” photo that features Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Meryl Street, and Julia Roberts — 3.43 million retweets. (Favstar)

For at least the third year in a row, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta is the most checked-in location on Foursquare. (Skift)

This year’s reining YouTube champ is the same as last year: Psy. His video for the song “Gangnam Style” has more than two billion views — and more than one million “dislikes.” (The Richest)

Is lemon velvet cake the new garlic cheesy bread? According to Cakes By Sue, a photo of a slice of cake has been repinned 110,000 times, which would beat last year’s champion, garlic cheesy bread, and its 105,000 repins. However, it’s difficult to measure Pinterest popularity because anyone can save an image off Pinterest and re-upload it under a different name. The lemon cake photo sure seems to be repinned a lot, but total numbers remain elusive until Pinterest offers a way to track duplicate pins. (Cakes By Sue, Pinterest)

Lemon velvet cake

LinkedIn recently analyzed employment history and skills of 259 million users, and discovered that the most “in-demand” skill that got people hired in 2013 was social media marketing. #8 was recruiting. (LinkedIn)

The Facebook page with the most likes in the US is Walmart, with more than 32 million, followed by the TV show Family Guy and rapper Eminem. Coca-Cola, a favorite Facebook page of mine, didn’t make the top 25.It has 85 million likes, but less than 14 million of those are from within the US.  (Inside Facebook)

Want to learn more about these and other social media sites, and how Brandemix can use them to help your consumer branding or employer branding campaigns? Contact us!

Jason Ginsburg is Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix

July 7, 2014

Social Media PR Disasters: Think Before You Post

 A raft of small-scale disasters have shaken social media over the past few days, and they all have one thing in common: poor judgment. There’s something about the immediacy and brevity of Twitter and Instagram that leads brands to post with little thought to the consequences. Learn from their recent mistakes.

Adam Richman bites off more than he can chew.

What happened: When Man vs. Food host Adam Richman posted a photo on Instagram that showed off his weight loss, he used the hashtag #thinspiration. Unbeknownst to him, that term has become code for anorexics and bulimics online. A few of his followers, mostly female, pointed that fact out to him.

Richman’s responses were riddled with profanity. He called one commenter a fool, another a dummy, and told a third that he didn’t care about “haters and closed-minded internet loudmouths like you.”  One lucky fan was told to “grab a razor blade & draw a bath. I doubt anyone will miss you.”

Adam Richman's response
The consequences: Richman finally posted a video apology on Instagram that, for some reason, was deleted soon after. He then issued a statement to E! which read, in part, “I’ve long struggled with my body and have worked very hard to achieve a healthy weight…Instead of responding to comments with compassion, I lashed out with anger.” But it wasn’t enough: his new Travel Channel show Man Finds Food, which was supposed debut on July 2, has been pulled off the network’s schedule “indefinitely.”

The lesson: All Richman had to do was offer a brief apology to the first commenter and claim — quite reasonably — that he didn’t know the hashtag would cause any harm. Instead, he got into an unwinnable argument, cursing at his fans, and finally posting “No apology is coming,” before posting an apology.

KLM says goodbye to good sportsmanship.

What happened: On June 29, the Netherlands beat Mexico in the World Cup, eliminating them from the tournament.  To celebrate, Dutch airline KLM posted a photo of an airport “Departures” sign captioned “Adios, amigos!” Snarky? Yes. A little smug? Sure. But KLM went the unnecessary extra mile by adding an icon next to the airport sign: a sombrero, mustache, and poncho.

KLM 's World Cup tweet

The consequences: As with anything associated with a global sporting event, the image quickly went viral. Mexican actor Gael García Bernal tweeted that he would never fly the airline again. The next day, KLM apologized, issuing a statement that said, in part, “it was never our attention to hurt anyone’s feelings” and “In the best of sportsmanship, KLM apologizes to those who feel offended.”

The lesson: It’s OK to brag on Twitter — you could argue that it’s Twitter’s core function. But there’s no need to put others down when you do it. Show restraint and dignity after a victory…or even a loss, as we can see from the airline of the losing team. AeroMexico tweeted this in response: “Thanks for this great championship. We are proud of you and are waiting for you at home.” The accompanying image? An airport “Arrivals” sign.

FAFSA uses a “poor” choice of words.

What happened: FAFSA, the Federal Student Aid office, decided to have some fun while encouraging high school and college students to fill out their financial aid forms. They used an internet meme — a well-known image or animated gif, accompanied by a caption. Their choice was a still from the film Bridesmaids, a scene in which Kristen Wiig’s character says, “Help me, I’m poor.” FAFSA added, “If this is you, then you better fill out your FAFSA.”

FAFSA's "poor" tweet

The consequences: As the Washington Post points out, student aid isn’t just for “poor” students, who shouldn’t be mocked in any circumstance; many colleges require a FAFSA form from any student applying for grants or scholarships. Stigmatizing kids who are trying to attend (or stay in) college by likening them to a cloying, desperate movie character is pretty horrible. Less than a day later, FAFSA tweeted an apology: “We apologize for the insensitivity of our previous tweet. Our goal is to make college a reality for all. We’re very sorry.”

The lesson: Blogger Mikki Kendall, who first brought the tweet to light, put it best: “This is what happens when your social media rep is great at analytics & terrible with culture.” FAFSA probably thought that using a meme from a raunchy movie would garner a big response from its young audience — but didn’t consider what kind of response that would be. There are so many popular memes, there’s no reason to choose a controversial one; how about one that celebrates learning, like Chemistry Cat?

Twitter’s speed and short content may lead some brands to think they’re having casual, inconsequential conversations. Instagram, mostly used and seen on mobile devices, gives off a similar ephemeral quality. Adam Richman may have thought he was talking only to a few commenters; KLM may have thought it was speaking only to its fans; FAFSA may have thought its adolescent followers were in on the joke. But most tweets are public, and even private ones require just one follower to snap a screenshot — which remain long after the tweets are deleted.

You don’t have to plan every single post weeks in advance and send it through five round of approvals. But you should look at your content from every angle and consider how it might appear to the general public. Get a second opinion, rewrite to avoid confusion, and examine how similar posts have fared in the past. Use a little judgment and you can avoid even the smallest social media PR disaster.

Jason Ginsburg is Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix.