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Branding

STUDY: How Many Brands Would You Call ‘Friends?’

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Is your favorite brand the kind that you might call…your best friend? How many brands would even qualify as casual acquaintances? And which ones do you come back to again and again like a well-worn pair of pants?

Yes, these are ridiculous questions–but they’re also very serious, because their answers go a long way toward determining where the average John or Jane spends his/her money. A new survey of more than 4,000 consumers worldwide by IBM-owned email marketing tech provider Silverpop addresses the very real idea that every business should personalize its service as much as possible.

As you probably know, a “best friend” brand is one that will regularly lead consumers to open and even actually read emails, therefore leading to more sales etc.

Some stats, then:

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To Turn Things Around, Maybe Crocs Should Just Admit Their Shoes Are Ugly

crocsAfter a boom in which it seemed everyone and their grandmother owned a pair of the wide, colorful Croslite Crocs, the company is in trouble. To turn things around, the company introduced different styles, including ballet flats and heels. Still, the company reports that net income fell 44 percent for the second quarter, it’s going to need to close as many as 100 of its 624 stores around the world and 183 people will have to be laid off.

“The company is now planning to cut back on its range of styles by 30% to 40%, as a result,” says Business Insider.

Now might be the time for Crocs to take a lesson from Birkenstocks: You can’t be successful if you can’t face the cold hard truth that the shoes you sell are ugly.

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Q&A: Which Brands Won (and Lost) the World Cup?

Big Ballz

It’s all over but for the shouting…and the crying.

Germany may have surprised nearly everyone–especially Brazil–in winning everything this year, but the question remains: which brands came out on top? Which corporations got their money’s worth on the world’s biggest sporting event?

According to Rick Miller, vice president of data and insights for Networked Insights, the three big winners were Budweiser, Hyundai and Castroland the losers were Sony, McDonald’s and Visa.

We spoke to Miller to get more on the why and the how; questions and answers after the jump.

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Airbnb Shows Its New Face to the World

You may have heard of Airbnb. The company (and other “sharing economy” businesses lumped together despite serving different constituencies in different industries) has struggled a bit to define itself to the public as its business is a patchwork “community” made up of people who want to share their homes and people looking for homes to be shared.

Today the company launched a new website, a new logo, and a slew of content designed to give us all a better idea of what it does–and to give the members of its community a clearer sense of identity.

First, the video explaining the logo and tying it into the brand proposition:

According to the release, the Bélo also stands for ”open windows, open doors, and shared values.”

Founder Brian Chesky explains things in a blog post after the jump.

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Nordstrom Ads Feature Models with Disabilities, Generate Goodwill

Image via press.nordstrom.com

Fact: At least one-third of Nordstrom’s advertisements feature models of color and/or models with disabilities.

For Nordstrom, this isn’t just a commitment to diversity—it’s a commitment to accurately reflecting its shoppers. It’s also a smart move.

According to Meg O’Connell, a partner at the consulting firm Global Disability Inclusion, people with disabilities represent a significant marketing opportunity, with $225 billion in discretionary spending.

“Companies that understand this will have an advantage,” she says. “[Nordstrom] is a leader in this space and has been a long-standing supporter of disability inclusion not only in their advertising but also in employment and accessibility in their stores.”

The company has been using models with disabilities since 1997 and regularly advertises in minority publications including Essence, Latina, and Ability magazines.

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Meet the Top 10 Brands That Will ‘Disappear’ in 2015 While You Can

24-7-wall-streetFrom CEOs with the worst reputations to the worst places to work in America, the happy-happy-joy-joy-listicle fun people at 24/7 Wall St. can’t (and won’t) stop. This time, they offer an apocalyptic countdown for 10 beleaguered brands across this great land of ours.

While many of the ten here have suffered due to a lack of a coherent crisis comms strategy, some of these haphazard brands made the list because of the ever-growing mergers and acquisitions market. In short, those brands may not have a choice about disappearing.

And so, here are 10 brands those subjective observers believe will be gone by this time next year.

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Crumbs Didn’t Fold Because It Only Focused on Cupcakes

crumbs bake shopNow that we’ve all wiped away the tears over the loss of the Crumbs Bake Shop, people are wondering what the heck happened. (*Now we’re also wondering if the shop will actually make a comeback.)

The biggest problems were financial. The company kept expanding, which is expensive, and they weren’t selling enough cupcakes to cover the cost. The company also went public in 2011, which can lead to a whole separate set of business issues.

Tied closely to that is the belief that the whole premise of the company was a fad, destined to flame out from a drop in sales. Cupcakes shot to prominence with Sex And The City and a guest appearance by Magnolia Bakery, another cupcake bakery, in the early 2000s. The AP makes the case that other companies like Krispy Kreme and TCBY also grew to great heights based on a food trend then eventually came crashing down along with all of our sugar highs. Things like changing health concerns (people are more calorie-conscious these days), shifting taste buds and increased competition from others who are chasing a fad can hurt business.

We’ll propose that it was less the cupcake fad and more the Crumbs brand that played a role in the company’s demise. People still like cupcakes. Maybe not as much as before, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen someone turn one down. Part of the problem was that Crumbs wasn’t as fun as a cupcake business should be.

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What Would Madea Do? Sue Someone in Jesus’ Name.

madea jesusJanie Tinklenberg, 47, a youth pastor from Holland, Mich., wanted to make Jesus a central part of her student’s lives by asking one salient question in Bible study. Another idea would be to brand that query somehow — pencils, pens, notepads — and then it hit her: beaded bracelets.

So, in 1989 she approached a local marketing firm about developing a brand and “W.W.J.D.” was born. However, not protected. By the time Tinklenberg decided to call the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it was determined that the logo was already so popular, it would remain public domain. (Source: Salon.)

Fast forward to 2014: two people decided to earn some extra dough and sued for the trademark of the ecumenical acronym. And this guy won because that’s what Jesus would do, right?

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‘Most Patriotic Brands’ List Is Almost Completely Arbitrary

FLAGS

The 4th of July Holiday is over, but we can still talk about which brands benefited the most–and we don’t mean which ones built particularly brilliant campaigns around the event; we mean which brands benefitted from being identified as distinctly American and therefore “patriotic.”

We’ll review five of the top ten placements on a completely subjective measure of patriotism: a survey conducted by the people at the firm Brand Keys and summarized in a Forbes post last week.

So why are these brands seen as “most patriotic?”

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14 Brands That Got a Little Creative for Independence Day

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Independence Day can be a tough one. Everyone’s almost required to mention it somehow, but there’s only so much you can really say on your brand’s behalf.

When the kings of real-time keep things contained, you know it’s time to be very subtle with your messaging.

Still, the holiday did facilitate some creativity on behalf of various accounts, which we listed after the jump.

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