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BRANDE : blog archives for April 2016

April 25, 2016

Fantasy Brand Acquisitions and Apple Innovation

Sports fans have their fantasy leagues and it sure is a great pastime. You evaluate options, buy team members, and track performance. Since our game is marketing and branding, we thought it would be fun to do the same kind of competitive acquisition exercise, only with brands. It all started with an article we read in the Hollywood Reporter about  Apple CEO Tim Cook and what he could dream up for the $18.4 billion in profit this giant made after its recent Apple Watch and TV successes.

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With $206 billion at its disposal, Apple could go on quite a buying spree, and pick up some other innovative media brands.  But we recommend staying true to your brand and buying things that represent success, innovation and design:

Bands are Brands, Too

Does a favorite band make you feel unique and cut from the herd? Musicians have all the earmarks of a brand, with their different allure and audience demographics. Acquiring such a brand is a no brainer for Apple.  May we suggest Taylor Swift? According to Forbes, Swift is worth over $200 million, with estimates upward of $240 million. With the combination of her album sales, touring, and endorsements, she’s raking in about $80 million a year.  Or how about Imagine Dragons? This rock band, formed in 2008, had a banner year with nods from both the Grammys and The Billboard Music Awards.

Fashion House Prada

As a woman-owned business we couldn’t resist making a fashion brand one of our fantasy acquisitions. Miuccia Prada is a leading fashion designer and an entrepreneur. The house she rules is known for embracing a woman’s curves and signature handbags like the Saffiano.  Prada’s portfolio has included other iconic brands like Fendi, Helmut Lang and Jil Sander. Prada is valued at $3.4 billion USD.

Become an Uber Brand

Uber disrupted the transportation model with their ridesharing app valued at a mere $51 billion. An Uber acquisition could certainly fall within under the brand for it’s technology, simplicity and adoption among 16-34-year olds. (Currently about 75% of their US user base.) Its a natural with endless possibilities for cross-promotion. Not to mention that both brands have expensive pricing models. I love this one simply because it pays homage to Steve Jobs who never had a license plate on his cars.

This sure is a nice diversion. Think about which brands and media you would want under your umbrella.  How about a movie theater chain? Rumor has is Regal wants to sell. We’ll give you some of Apple’s billions as a fantasy stake, so start dreaming… and please do share your ideas with the Brandemix team.

April 11, 2016

The Most Buzzed About Social Recruiting Posts of the Week.

As a Branding professional I am of the belief that true brand equity is built over time through the promotion of a series of consistent messages that promote a firm’s unique offering- or value proposition. Yet over the years, I’ve been following with interest the widely successful TV and Radio spots for Geico Insurance. In case you’re not familiar with them, they are an 80-year old insurance company (the GEICO name is an acronym for Government Employees Insurance Company because when they were founded, they targeted a customer base of government and military employees) and today they are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

Flying in the face of branding convention, their consumer advertising is anything but consistent. They’ve memorialized Cavemen, Gecko’s and Hump Day. Watch the clips from their website link and you’ll find them short, humorous and disruptive.

For those who follow my ERE articles, you’ll know that my mantra is “One Brand” which advises Talent Acquisition professionals to tie the Employer Brand to the consumer brand. So of course I was curious about Geico Careers social recruiting methodology. Are they following a more traditional path of promoting jobs and the EVP (employer value proposition: the sum total of the benefits of working for a given company or what the company want’s to be known for in the minds of a candidate) or adopting the corporate path of anarchy?

The answer – it’s a little of both. High marks for their Facebook Careers Community Manager for promoting their commercials –I really do love Alligator Arms.

After all- don’t job seekers need car insurance too? Yet their also doing a terrific job in promoting

career development:

managing candidate expectations:

addressing consumer concerns:

and

providing glimpses into their corporate social responsibility and recognition:

So, I guess they’re just lucky. They have a lot of great assets to pull from and a great story to tell. The Social Recruiting takeaway for the rest of us is to use a mixed bag of tricks to make sure that you’re staying true to your brand and your culture while still promoting the career opportunities you’re looking to fill.

Happy Hump Day.

April 5, 2016

Is your Message Getting through to Remote Employees?

hammerWith the influx of millennials and an emphasis on work-life balance, remote workers are becoming an increasingly vital segment of the workforce. This year, Global Workplace Analytics cites 63 million Americans (or about a third of the workforce) as working remotely. Analytics, workforce demographics and communications are crucial elements of Brandemix business, so we’re tickled to delve into strategies for reaching and engaging all the segments of a staff.

First, make sure everyone knows they are included
According to an Inc. article, one difficult aspect of managing remote workers is how to loop them in. Be sure to include everyone in meetings (using videos, your Intranet or a conduit like Go To Meeting), and publicly acknowledge the contributions of each remote worker. Take steps to keep them informed of what is going on back at the office, especially when it comes to epic staff events like a JCAHO audit, benefits open enrollment, or your summer outing.

Next, launch an enlightened Internal Communications Plan
A solid internal communications plan captures attention and bolsters employee engagement. At Brandemix, we have a four-phase process to identify and promote your objectives and reach your employees—wherever they reside. Today’s plans are increasingly social and interactive, enabling real time conversations between on and off-site staff members. The savviest companies communicate with a multi-channel approach to advertising and marketing; equally important when broadcasting messages inside the company.

Use Your Intranet, Blog and Social Media
From sharp videos to updates on your blog or Facebook pages, internal information can be made into something that is compelling and memorable. Use posts to remind people of forthcoming deadlines, new bids/projects in the house, or an ongoing employee referral program. Celebrate social events like weddings, new hires and promotions, or the team who ran that half-marathon. Integrate activity streams (also called news feeds), puzzles and quizzes if you really want to get people enthused, say the experts at My Hub.

Create a Buddy System
Remember as a child when you were paired with a swim/trip buddy at school and camp? Accountability Partners is a similar strategy that pairs different workers in different places to ensure they stay on track. From checking in on project status, to asking probing questions, buddying up works to everyone’s advantage. We learned of this concept from Freelancers Union, possibly the largest collective of remote workers around.

Brainstorm
The best way to make sure your messages are getting through is to create remote ambassadors who can let you know if you’re getting through and come up with ideas on how to improve your cascade.  Thinking about creative solutions is a great way to unite people in different locales.

Give us a shout and we’ll brainstorm more on your Internal Communications efforts and objectives.