The New Normal Of Retail Brand Experiences

The New Normal Of Retail Brand Experiences

About a year ago, the rollout of the new KPN retail brand experience began. KPN is the largest telecom and IT services provider in the Neth­erlands, employing around eighteen thousand employees and operating more than one hundred stores.

The reason that we want to highlight this particular new retail brand ex­perience is that it is revolutionary in both its user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) and in its application of technology. This new concept is already paying off in dividends through higher revenue and improved connectivity between the online and offline experience.

The easiest way to describe why this is the new normal is as follows: instead of wall-to-wall shelves, cabinets, and POS (point-of-sale) materials, this store doesn’t have any cabinets or shelves on the walls at all. The moment you walk in you begin asking yourself, “Hmmm, what’s so different here?” This is when you see that all of the walls, with the exception of the glass entry, consist of floor-to-ceiling digital screens. The functionality of the screens varies. On some, you are able to touch the screens in order to configure a phone or contract, and others display branded videos and relevant content.

You may think, so what? We immediately start thinking about how this has come together from an organizational perspective. There are great possi­bilities to consider here.

Firstly, by plastering a retail environment with screens (smart walls), you almost eliminate the need for traditional shop-fitting. A different set of vendors are required in order to create an experience like this, which is bad news for the traditional shop-fitting industry.

Secondly, there’s the need for continuous availability of relevant content. Due to the develop­ment of new technologies such as infrared, Kinect, touch, RFID, and more, the requirements for content are completely different from what they used to be in the old retail branding world.

Thirdly, imagine the impact not only on vendors, but also on the organi­zation’s internal set-up. Like many retailers, KPN used to be organized to accommodate supplier and vendor products and services. As this world is now changing radically, it means that there’s a need for retailers to radically reorganize internally in order to keep up. Some functions are disappear­ing, and other functions with new requirements for different skill sets are being created in their place.

Lastly, the need for IT connectivity is different from what it used to be. It is no longer a matter of IT being used only for transactional functions and security. Now IT needs to ensure a seamless exchange of data and interactivity on the screens and the many functionalities that come with it. In order to ensure that the correct information is displayed in the right place at the right time, excellent internal coordination between marketing and IT is crucial, where previously they had never been this closely connected.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Marc Cloosterman, CEO, VIM Group. Excerpted and adapted from his book Future Proof Your Brand.

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16 Entrepreneurs Share Their Personal Branding Idols

What public figure is your personal branding idol, and what about their branding strategy inspires you the most?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Richard Branson

Richard Branson is one of my personal branding icons. From Virgin Records to Virgin Atlantic, he’s built a strong brand and following through interesting storytelling, innovative initiatives, and world-class design. – Arry YuStormX

2. Marcus Lemonis

The more I watch him, the more Marcus Lemonis has climbed my list of favorite entrepreneurs and branding experts. His branding strategy always involves the people who have started the business and staying true to the original concept the business was founded on. The best part about the way he approaches the reshaping/rebranding of the businesses he invests in is how he cares about his partners along with how he wants both employee and employer to be in a win/win situation. Just because he’s a highly successful entrepreneur, it doesn’t mean he’s abandoned his humility. In fact, his humility and honesty are his most valuable assets. As a business owner, seeing someone with that kind of business portfolio and net worth treating other people with such respect is very inspiring. – Jared Ross WeitzUnited Capital Source Inc.

3. Cody Wilson

This is going to be a controversial pick, but Cody Wilson is one of the people I see as a branding genius. He’s the founder of Defense Distributed, a nonprofit organization centered around firearm production and distribution. They’re so controversial because of their products centered around 3D-printing guns, which has placed them at the forefront of the American gun control debate. Wilson has managed to turn a concept as terrifying as creating unlicensed garage guns into a sleek and modern business serving as a reflection of the IoT paradigm. He’s successfully sold his company as a bulwark for the second amendment and weathered some of the most intense press scrutiny unscathed. His brand is an example of how to be controversial and successful. – Bryce WelkerCrush The PM Exam

4. Elon Musk

Elon Musk is on top of his game when it comes to branding. He strategically posts about current events on Twitter, sharing both the good and the bad, and still manages to keep an unbiased opinion. He stays true to his own beliefs and consistently puts out the same message across everything that he does. His entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to change the world through tech inspire me and so many others across the world. – Samuel ThimothyOneIMS – Integrated Marketing Solutions

5. Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran sold her business in 2001 and hasn’t had a specific business venture since. Yet, somehow, she has been able to stay relevant by building her personal brand. From Shark Tank to Dancing with the Stars, she finds ways to make herself stay relevant. Rather than building a new business, she monetizes her brand with media engagements and inbound business investment opportunities. – Fan BiMenswear Reviewed

6. Darren Rowse

I admire the community that Darren Rowse has managed to create around his ProBlogger brand. His website is full of great advice for bloggers and his Facebook group is very active with writers helping each other out. He’s been able to successfully turn his brand into a fully engaged community which is hard to do. – Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

7. Tony Hsieh

I love how Tony has leveraged his personal beliefs to build his company’s reputation. He is known as the architect who builds strong company cultures that deliver great customer experiences. I believe that in the long term the companies that operate with honesty and transparency will be those that flourish. He has created both a personal and company brand that is often referenced as the quintessential customer-centric model. Customers want to do business with him and his company is a sought-after place to work.  – Brian GreenbergLife Insurance Quotes

8. Marie Forleo

Marie has done an incredible job branding herself, her most notable program “B-School” and her overall business. Every external brand touch point is consistent. The topics and advice she discusses on MarieTV resonate with just about any entrepreneur. The real deal, Marie is one of the few marketing experts that has been able to reach millions and teach thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs how to plan, launch and grow successful businesses. – Kristin Kimberly MarquetCreative Development Agency, LLC

9. Neil Patel

Neil Patel has created a great personal brand for himself. He has a well-optimized website, strong social media presence, a podcast and most recently has shifted over to video. I like that his brand is about experimenting with different marketing techniques and he then spills his secrets as to what worked for him and what didn’t work so well. Learning from him has saved me time and money by implementing processes right the first time. – Jared AtchisonWPForms

10. Gary Vaynerchuk

I’ve actually had the opportunity to meet Gary at his office in Hudson Yards. The eeriest thing was the conversation felt oddly normal because I had watched literally every video available on his YouTube well before ever meeting him. It was like we had been having the conversation every week for years. I start with that because of what he has helped me most with — authenticity. He is the exact same person you see plastered on social when you see him in person, very thankful and genuine. He has also helped me to learn to give without the expectation of anything in return. Those two things have helped me learn to be a better version of myself. – Frank B. Mengertebenefit Marketplace (ebm)

11. Grant Cardone 

Grant Cardone’s content is always on. From social to podcasts to events and everything in between, he really is an inspiration. Love him or hate him, he has mastered his own authenticity and has been able to create a massive following and move his audience to action. In a climate of conformity, he has securely gone against conventional wisdom on delivery and public relations, and this mastery of content has secured him solid conversion rates for his products, books, and brand. – Matthew CapalaAlphametic

12. Gabby Bernstein

Gabby Bernstein is my personal branding idol because she has uplifting content that is authentic and real. She is consistent with her videos, email newsletter, and social media presence. I have followed her for about six years, and she has always adapted to whatever the new virtual platforms are and she has dominated them. Her brand is consistent and clean yet has allowed her space to grow, mature and change as a woman and teacher in ways that are easily communicated with her audience. – Ally LozanoAlly Lozano LLC

13. Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins has built an empire helping others become the best versions of themselves. He’s an inspiring teacher and mentor to those who may not otherwise have a good role model or mentor in their lives. Tony’s communication skills are phenomenal. He’s able to talk to a room of people but connect to people individually. He can relate to a lot of different people which I think is one of the main reasons people like to listen to him speak and take his advice to heart. – Chris ChristoffMonsterInsights

14. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

With around 12.8 million followers on Twitter, Dwayne’s messages tend to speak mostly of hard work, love and making the most of one’s life. I feel his overall appreciation for life that shines through his posts works brilliantly in building a brand based on his core beliefs. His posts come with an element of charisma and intimacy. It appears that he’s tailored his page to suit the needs of his fans, often highlighting people with whom he has memorable encounters. This has more than the desired effect in breathing life into his brand because the appreciation he showers on others is always well-received. The inspirational stories he shares help build the emotional connection. Besides, his consistency, with around three to five tweets every day, tells his fans that he’s always around. – Derek RobinsonTop Notch Dezigns

15. Sara Blakely

Sarah Blakely has always been a personal idol, both when it comes to her business acumen and her personal branding. Even though she is now a billionaire, she frequently discusses her humble beginnings, discussing how she gave everything she had into starting Spanx. These stories are not glamorous, and are incongruent with her current status, yet she keeps telling them. This consistent message of determination against the odds positions her as a relatable leader and makes her an immediate inspiration for young entrepreneurs. As a woman, she knew the potential for her product, and she used her personal experience to find a consumer insight that changed the industry. Her personal branding is all about being herself and empowering others. – Kate EdwardsHeartbeat

16. Jay Shetty 

I have seen how Jay Shetty has built his brand around “Wisdom Goes Viral” from the get-go and there are so many motivational people who are similar to who he is and does what he does. To stand out among his peers, he created video content that touched people’s feelings. I’ve watched him grow his brand from the ground up and I can see how he has generated such a loyal fanbase through his small snacks of wisdom. Everyone can use a little wisdom now and then, even though it may feel like common sense. He has touched people in ways that are making the world a better place, a single individual at a time. He provides a great model and platform for me to then build my brand with my domain expertise. I haven’t been as successful as he has, but I know what is possible as well. – Sweta PatelSilicon Valley Startup Marketing

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The Coca-Cola Company Acquires Costa

Acquisition to Give Coca-Cola a Strong, Global Coffee Platform with a Footprint in More than 30 Countries and Potential for Future Growth

The Coca-Cola Company announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Costa Limited, which was founded in London in 1971 and has grown to become a major coffee brand across the world.

The acquisition of Costa from parent company Whitbread PLC is valued at US$5.1 billion/£3.93 billion and will give the company a strong coffee platform across parts of Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, with the opportunity for additional expansion. Costa operations include a leading brand, nearly 4,000 retail outlets with highly trained baristas, a coffee vending operation, for-home coffee formats and Costa’s state-of-the-art roastery.

For Coca-Cola, the expected acquisition adds a scalable coffee platform with critical know-how and expertise in a fast-growing, on-trend category. Costa ranks as the leading coffee company in the United Kingdom and has a growing footprint in China, amongst other markets. Costa has a solid presence with Costa Express, which offers barista-quality coffee in a variety of on-the-go locations, including gas stations, movie theatres and travel hubs. Costa, in various formats, has the potential for further expansion with customers across the Coca-Cola system.

The acquisition will expand the existing Coca-Cola coffee lineup by adding another leading brand and platform. The portfolio already includes the market-leading Georgia brand in Japan, plus coffee products in many other countries.

Costa also provides the company with strong expertise across the coffee supply chain, including sourcing, vending and distribution. This will be a complement to existing capabilities within the Coca-Cola system.

“Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide,” said President and CEO James Quincey.

“Hot beverages is one of the few segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market with a strong coffee platform.” Read Quincey’s commentary on the announcement.

Coffee is a significant and growing segment of the global beverage business. Worldwide, coffee remains a largely fragmented market, and no single company operates across all formats on a global basis.

“The Costa team and I are extremely excited to be joining The Coca-Cola Company,” said Managing Director Dominic Paul.

“Costa is a fantastic business with committed and passionate associates, a great track record and enormous global potential. Being part of the Coca-Cola system will enable us to grow the business farther and faster. I would like to say a huge thank you to our customers and to everyone in the Costa team who have helped us build the business to this position, and I look forward to the next exciting chapter in Costa’s vision of Inspiring the World to Love Great Coffee.”

The article The Coca-Cola Company Acquires Costa appeared first on World Branding Forum.

Lufthansa Employees Are Committed to Helping Disadvantaged People

Founded in 1999 by 13 Lufthansa employees, help alliance supports and promotes around 10,000 disadvantaged people

Corporate responsibility is an integral part of the Lufthansa Group. This applies along the value chain as well as beyond it. As an internationally operating company and part of German and global society, the airline assumes responsibility for social challenges over and above its business activities and contributes to tackling them sustainably.

Help alliance, the aid organisation of the airline, is at the heart of these efforts. Now the non-profit limited company and central pillar of the company’s social commitment has published its annual report. It consists of two parts, a review and a facts section. The new design in two parts makes it more enjoyable to read. The review section focuses on people. In addition to insights into the work of the aid organisation, it also includes success stories from the projects.

Founded in 1999 by 13 Lufthansa employees, help alliance supports and promotes around 10,000 disadvantaged people – especially children and young people – in more than 30 projects worldwide to give them better prospects in life. By providing access to education and promoting income-generating measures, the beneficiaries are given the chance to lead a self-determined life. The projects are exclusively funded by donations.

What is special about it is that each project is submitted by the airline employee and managed in a voluntary capacity. And every single donated euro is spent on the project work, because the Lufthansa Group covers the administrative costs of its aid organisation with a donation. The employees pay regular visits to the project sites to make sure the donations are spent as intended.

All project content is oriented towards the sustainable development goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030, in particular, goals four (quality education) and eight (decent work and economic growth).

The article Lufthansa Employees Are Committed to Helping Disadvantaged People appeared first on World Branding Forum.

Lufthansa Employees Are Committed to Helping Disadvantaged People

Founded in 1999 by 13 Lufthansa employees, help alliance supports and promotes around 10,000 disadvantaged people

Corporate responsibility is an integral part of the Lufthansa Group. This applies along the value chain as well as beyond it. As an internationally operating company and part of German and global society, the airline assumes responsibility for social challenges over and above its business activities and contributes to tackling them sustainably.

Help alliance, the aid organisation of the airline, is at the heart of these efforts. Now the non-profit limited company and central pillar of the company’s social commitment has published its annual report. It consists of two parts, a review and a facts section. The new design in two parts makes it more enjoyable to read. The review section focuses on people. In addition to insights into the work of the aid organisation, it also includes success stories from the projects.

Founded in 1999 by 13 Lufthansa employees, help alliance supports and promotes around 10,000 disadvantaged people – especially children and young people – in more than 30 projects worldwide to give them better prospects in life. By providing access to education and promoting income-generating measures, the beneficiaries are given the chance to lead a self-determined life. The projects are exclusively funded by donations.

What is special about it is that each project is submitted by the airline employee and managed in a voluntary capacity. And every single donated euro is spent on the project work, because the Lufthansa Group covers the administrative costs of its aid organisation with a donation. The employees pay regular visits to the project sites to make sure the donations are spent as intended.

All project content is oriented towards the sustainable development goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030, in particular, goals four (quality education) and eight (decent work and economic growth).

The article Lufthansa Employees Are Committed to Helping Disadvantaged People appeared first on World Branding Forum.

Ketchum Elects Eight New Partners to its Management Team

Four individuals recognised for outstanding counsel, underscoring commitment by Ketchum to client service

Global communications consultancy Ketchum, a part of Omnicom Group, today announced the election of eight new partners in recognition of their contributions to the agency. Partners are responsible for leading a significant client relationship, industry, specialty, marketplace, complementary business, or a critical operational support function.

Criteria for consideration include a demonstrated commitment to collaboration and a client-focused, borderless mentality. Partners also must exude the consultancy’s values – Curious, Brave, Inspiring and A Force for Good – all whilst pushing boundaries, inspiring employees and delivering extraordinary client service.

“These eight new partners are committed to morphing and changing our offerings and expertise as they strive to meet client’s needs and evolve our agency,” said Barri Rafferty, partner, President and CEO of Ketchum.

“They aim to continuously be ahead of marketplace and industry trends whilst building a workplace that enables our employees to stretch, grow and bring their whole selves to work.”

Underscoring the consultancy’s commitment to its client service, four individuals were recognised for providing outstanding counsel, leading one of the newly formed industries and cultivating a depth of expertise that helps drive our clients’ businesses forward.

Those individuals are Sara Garibaldi, managing director, Travel & Economic Development; Courtney Perry, Managing Director, Snacks & Beverages; Christy Salcido, Managing Director, Wellness; Lisa Sullivan, Director, Technology.

For driving vital future-of-firm expertise, the following two individuals were recognised: Mary Elizabeth Germaine, Managing Director, Ketchum Analytics; Jim Lin, Digital Strategist and Creative Director.

For leading two of the firm’s critical businesses – one of the largest combined communications consultancies in Germany and the other a specialty business focused on building luxury brands, the following individuals were recognised: Elizabeth Harrison, Principal and CEO, Harrison & Shriftman; Nadine Schulz, General Manager, Brandzeichen Markenberatung und Kommunikation and CMO, Ketchum Germany,

“One of my greatest privileges as CEO of Ketchum is working alongside our amazing talent and being able to recognise their hard work, achievements and outstanding leadership,” said Rafferty.

“They are all so deserving of this honour, and I look forward to working with them to shape the future of the firm.”

The article Ketchum Elects Eight New Partners to its Management Team appeared first on World Branding Forum.

How Higher Education Brands Can Face Disruption

How Higher Education Brands Can Face Disruption

Harvard University was founded in 1636 and is the oldest institution of higher learning in America. In the 382 years since, education has been practiced and perceived, more or less, in the same traditional ways…until now.

Those in the business of higher education must seriously contemplate how to respond to the disruptive forces at work today. Powered by a number of internal and external factors and accelerated by technology, we are witnessing transformation at key points from how higher educational institutions are populated, considered, positioned, marketed, and offered. Through this disruption, our notions of higher education as educators, consumers and marketers will change radically and will make our own college experiences seem quaintly simple and nostalgic by comparison.

The question facing the 6,900 or so accredited institutions in America is simply this: Are you ready?

Laying The Groundwork For Disruption

Every president, provost, dean, marketing director, admissions director, and alumni director must deal with a growing list of economic, technological and demographic challenges in today’s hyper-competitive higher education landscape. At no other time in history have the challenges facing educators been greater or more complex:

  • Escalating costs and growing concern (and negative publicity) over epidemic student loan debt
  • A new cost-versus-value debate regarding a typical college education
  • Declining graduation rates
  • Declining enrollments for six years running
  • Increased “non-traditional” student enrollments (working, part-time, supporting a family)
  • State universities losing funding
  • Competing on a virtual global scale with the advent of online learning
  • Elevated consumer expectations in service
  • Declines in administrative staff productivity
  • Free speech issues, controversies and politics
  • Scandals involving high profile administrators or coaches
  • Adapting to a rapidly changing demographic student makeup
  • Adapting to a ‘phygital’ world that blends the physical and digital for enhanced engagement

Disruptive Responses Are Required

Institutions of higher education are discovering that new challenges require radically new solutions, such as new business models, new applications of technology and new marketing strategies that don’t just communicate but connect.

Where To Start? Evaluate the leadership. Are they part of the old or part of the new? The brand stewards needed today don’t see disruption as something that is happening to their brand but rather for their brand. They understand that disruption is a place where the new value that is needed for their competitive future is discovered.

Learning At A Distance

One approach that has grown rapidly over the last 10 years is to take education out of the classroom and onto the Internet. This increases accessibility and enrollments in the face of rising costs. Many colleges and universities have adopted this distance-learning model, commonly known as MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). Introduced in 2006, MOOC has proven to be an ideal learning solution for a generation raised on the internet and for those already in the workforce who need the flexibility of time and online collaboration outside the classroom.

Early adopters such as Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech and Arizona State have not only been successful, but have grown their brand awareness and reputation through its implementation. Another early adopter of online learning, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, boasts a staggering online enrollment of 100,000. Western Governors University has comparable numbers without the support of a physical campus or a sports program. Purdue University is presently launching its “Purdue Global” via a smartly produced national cable TV campaign. These and other institutions are finding that the growth of their brand is not limited by the size of their campus, the number of satellite campuses or the availability of qualified applicants in their market. Their marketplace is now the entire world.

Given this new digital world of higher education, brick and mortar schools must consider how best to bring their brands to life online. How to leverage their brand reputation, maintain continuity and compete in a world filling up with rivals.

Where To Start? Identify all the ways in which your institution has made compromises with the consumer (for example; the absence of distance-learning) and then break them all so that that consumer gets exactly what he needs and wants.

Learning How To Brand

Higher education is no longer the sole domain of older teenaged and young 20-year old students. Half the enrollments are over 25 years old. The majority is female. Many work part-time. With demographic disruption come branding implications. For example, many institutions are re-evaluating the perception of their brands and how they are effectively marketing them to remain relevant and desirable to changing demographic and economic needs. Such attention to serious marketing efforts by academic institutions would have been unthinkable and unnecessary just 20 years ago.

For example, there is often a lack of brand differentiation, which has become something of an expectation in the category. Higher education’s approach to brand marketing has been rightfully criticized for being slow to adjust to new demands and expectations. Often, there is sameness in the portrayal of individual school brands all vying for the same students. Campus life is often portrayed as a sunny, carefree and Frisbee tossing experience. The problem with this and other formula-driven images and ideas is that they fail to communicate creatively and compellingly what is unique and special about the brand they are attempting to sell. This stems from not defining what makes them unique and compelling in the first place. Given the changing demographics and needs of today’s higher education students, the school brand may appear to be woefully out of touch.

Where To Start? Ask, ‘what would the world miss if this institution ceased to exist?’ Build on the value revealed by that answer. If no differentiating value is revealed it needs to be created.

Learning How To Compete

By outward appearances, the level of marketing sophistication has increased over the last decade. Non-marketers handling branding and marketing duties have slowly given way to professional talent either in-house or to contracted design studios and agencies. The shift has been noticeable. Ask anyone who follows their favorite college football team televised on fall Saturdays and they will agree that the painfully awkward and poorly produced spots for even the largest universities have given way to slick, creative and production-rich commercials. School sports mascots and uniforms, from very small colleges to major athletic conferences, have gotten professional makeovers worthy of any ESPN coverage.

Although expensive, the reliance on sports to compete for awareness and prestige will likely continue even in this age of disruption. College athletics and lucrative TV contracts, along with the Big 3 apparel and equipment brands (Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor) have kept and grown college and university brands into legendary, mythic status among their ardent supporters. According to Statista, college sports sponsorships topped $1.24 billion in the past 12 months, climbing steadily for the last 12 years.

Sports programs and television coverage aside, competing in an age of disruption requires a shift for many in how to think about marketing their higher education brand. First, know your marketing partners and their strengths. Before any external communication plan is even considered, think through the brand strategy. It’s work that will require participation and commitment from key stakeholders and a highly facilitated brand positioning process. This initial work is largely in the domain of brand consultancies.

Understand that advertising agencies traditionally focus on the execution of creative strategies. That is, they will determine the best marketing vehicle to reach your target audience and will use compelling creative to make a connection and entice a reaction. The best ones are strategic in nature and see tactics as a second step.

A brand consultancy traditionally lives by this philosophy: Instead of trying to communicate a brands’ features and benefits, they recommend studying the minds of the target audience first and then try to “position” the brand in the mind, taking advantage of the strengths of the brand and weaknesses of competing brands. Further, aligning your institutions unique value with those most important to its future. This process ensures that your brand has selected the most powerful benefits to own and that it has developed the proof points and reasons to believe for those benefits.

Where To Start? Evaluate your marketing partners, they are more important now than ever before. Know who you are working with and expect to be involved in defining the strategic direction of your brand.

Building A Strong Brand In An Age Of Disruption

With times of rapid change come opportunity and advantage for first movers. Schools of higher education, large or small, can have a strong brand in this age of disruption, if they have the strategic intent and infrastructure in place to advance at the pace of change.

Where To Start? Put the processes that have built your institution and have driven your decisions on trial for their lives. They are too weak to survive the future. Change must be in your DNA now.

The Blake Project Can Help Your Higher Education Brand Compete: Disruptive Brand Strategy Workshop

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

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Elton John Enters the Rap Scene in New Snickers Ad

Latest Snickers ad builds on the ‘Locker Room’ spot featuring Joan Collins and Stephanie Beacham, and the ‘Mr Bean Kung-Fu Master’ ad from 2014

Captain Fantastic Elton John, best known for captivating audiences with bittersweet ballads and world-conquering anthems, is back with a bang in a new Snickers ad – but not as you have seen him before.

The clever new ad, which comes out 1 September, 2018, sees Elton venture into the hip-hop genre as the personification of American artist, Boogie, amidst a rap battle, when he is lost his edge due to hunger.

The film kicks off at a house party with an MC battle featuring up-and-coming talent, Emarr Kuhomano and Monique Lawz, before Sir Elton steps up to the plate wearing his iconic red glitter jacket and glasses. Out of place in a cypher, Elton lets rip one of his biggest hits “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” humorously cringing the crowd. Oxford-born UK rapper Femi Nylander takes matters into his own hands, getting the beat back on track by offering Elton a Snickers bar – wherein the real Boogie returns on form.

“Most people already know I have long been an advocate of hip-hop and that is why I wanted be a part of this – I got to hang out with Boogie and some great hip-hop talent from the UK too,” said Elton John.

“Moreover, I love the direction the new ads from the brand have humorously portrayed being off your game when you are hungry, but in a way that is current and relevant to young people, especially considering hip-hop is one of the biggest music genres in the world today.”

“Building on the ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ theme, which has connected so well with consumers, we are glad to see this latest instalment take the story a step further, said Dale Green, Snickers Global Brand Director.

“When we developed the rap battle concept, we knew Elton John would be the perfect fit to help bring this to life. His unique blend of music, style and humour is instantly recognisable around the world and works well with our brand.”

Boogie, who is signed with Eminem Shady Records, said: “Working with Elton on the set of the new ad was everything I expected and more – he is generous with his time, funny and fantastically talented. Between him and fresh new hip-hop talent like Femi Nylander, Emarr Kuhomano and Monique Lawz – it was an incredible coming together of multi-talented people.”

This latest ad builds on the ‘Locker Room’ spot, which launched in 2012, featuring Joan Collins and Stephanie Beacham, and the ‘Mr Bean Kung-Fu Master‘ ad from 2014.

The article Elton John Enters the Rap Scene in New Snickers Ad appeared first on World Branding Forum.

Dunkin Donuts Expands Accessibility with Amazon Alexa Integration

” Alexa, Order from Dunkin Donuts “

For a new way to help guests run on Dunkin’ even faster, Dunkin Donuts announced that On-the-Go Mobile Ordering is now available through Alexa, Amazon‘s cloud-based voice service.

With this new integration, DD Perks Rewards members can place a mobile order for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, beverages, baked goods and breakfast sandwiches on an Alexa-enabled device, and then speed past the line for pick-up.

Guests who have a DD Perks account and an Amazon account can link them together in the Alexa app once they open the skill, with all ordering and payments happening within Dunkin’ Donuts’ mobile platform.

When a guest places and submits an order through Amazon Alexa, they will be asked which location they would like it to be sent to and the time their order will be ready. Guests can order from saved Favourites they have previously ordered via the Dunkin’ Mobile App.

To start their order, guests need simply say, “Alexa, order from Dunkin’ Donuts.” A more detailed list of steps to follow for placing a Dunkin’ Donuts order via Amazon Alexa can be found on the Dunkin’ Donuts blog.

The new Dunkin’ Donuts Ordering skill for Alexa joins the Dunkin’ Donuts Quiz, first introduced on National Coffee Day in the US last year. The quiz allows users with an Alexa-enabled device to enjoy a unique quiz that includes freshly brewed questions on everything from hot and iced coffee facts and the history of coffee, to Dunkin’ knowledge and doughnut trivia. To play the quiz, guests can enable the Dunkin’ Donuts skill in the Alexa app and say, “Alexa, play Dunkin’ Donuts Quiz.”

“Our integration with Amazon Alexa is our latest innovation to better serve members of our DD Perks programme, which remains one of the fastest growing loyalty programmes in the quick service restaurant industry, with nearly 8 million members,” said Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, Vice President, Digital and Loyalty Marketing for Dunkin’ Donuts US.

“As a brand, we are always looking for ways to fit seamlessly into our guests’ daily routines and provide new levels of convenience and speed.”

The article Dunkin Donuts Expands Accessibility with Amazon Alexa Integration appeared first on World Branding Forum.

8 Tips to Evaluate Cultural Fit

Many articles point to the fact that the job interview is really all about the so-called cultural fit of the candidate, provided the skill and experience requirements are met as well of course. The thing is that in addition to the hiring manager, several other company members, too, are interviewing candidates to add their own assessments.

For practical purposes, what’s called company culture can be separated into two distinct areas. One is influenced by the top leader of the organization, and the other is influenced by the departmental leader or the hired employee’s immediate supervisor.

Years ago, I worked at a Fortune 100 company that had a history of buying many other companies whose individual and distinct cultures had been kept intact and independent of each other all along. At one point, though, a new CEO took over and decided to instill one single culture throughout the hundreds of subsidiaries and affiliated companies under his jurisdiction. That action caused an amazing transformation. I compared the new CEO’s influence to a magnet approaching a bunch of nails: all of a sudden, all of the nails aligned and connected to the magnet.

Certainly, a departmental boss has an impact on departmental culture. Often, when you ask someone a question like, What’s it like to work at that company? the reply reflects the person’s pleasure or displeasure with his boss and, at times, his colleagues.

So, how—during the interview—can a candidate seem to fit into the company’s culture?

Similar to the cliché that says, “A leopard can’t change its spots,” a person can’t radically change personality. But because the outcome of the interview is highly influenced by a candidate’s cultural fit, the candidate can at least attempt to make the right impression, which amounts to simply the same thing as adjusting the words in the résumé to match the job requirements stipulated in the job ad.

People may have different understandings of what lies behind the proverbial cultural fit. The most accepted notion suggests that cultural fit includes the display of characteristics related to organizational cultures, such as values, language, and outlook. Culture is the behavior that results when the members of a group arrive at a set of rules for working together. The rules may include elements of decision making, daily work practices, and even such things as the office setup. For instance, some organizations are hierarchical—with office spaces and sizes linearly matching employees’ functions in the organization. At the other end of that spectrum are organizations that are very egalitarian—with open-architecture office space, in which all employees having equally open and equally sized spaces.

Before the interview, the candidate should explore with as many people as possible inside the company certain issues, such as:

* Whether the work environment is highly stressful or rather relaxed

* Whether promotion is from within or fresh experts are hired from outside

* Frequency of meetings

* Volume and tone of internal e-mails (formal or informal, friendly or abrasive?)

* Whether teamwork or individual effort is the typical means of problem resolution

* Whether employees’ opinions are solicited or not

* How well poor behavior and underperformance are tolerated

* Whether successes are celebrated and in what ways

The list is endless, but those are a few examples of issues pertinent to company culture.

 

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