It is no longer enough to simply offer a good product. If a company wants to become a leader in their industry, they must be willing to create an experience for their customers and be innovative in the way they do business. Companies like Apple, Disney, and Coca-Cola have managed to stay innovative and are constantly looking for ways to improve. As a result these companies have been able to succeed even through the recession.
Every year Fortune Magazine creates a list of the world’s most admired companies. This list encompasses key attributes that executives and analysts find crucial in a successful company. Some of the key attributes are innovativeness, quality of product and service, and effectiveness in conducting business.
According to Fortune’s list, Apple is now number one. Apple has managed to create an experience for their customers not only through its products but its stores as well. No other computer brand offers the extended customer service at their local store or allows them to test the products before they purchase them. More importantly, Apple has completely changed technology in the way we communicate and interact with technology. With gadgets like the iPad and iPod, Apple has and will continue to revolutionize technology.
Nowadays, everyone is on Facebook, including businesses. Hence it is important as a business to have a Facebook fan page that accurately represents your business and promotes followers. Think about it, how does a bland/simple fan page make your business look: bland and simple! There are very easy things one can do, most without spending a penny, that will greatly help your fan page increase in followers, stand out from all of those regular, 5-minute made fan pages and appear professional.
1. Use a banner as a profile picture – a banner is a picture that is significantly longer than it is wider. What this does is it makes your profile picture extend down to almost the whole screen size, as shown below. This makes your page stand out right off the bat, and you barely did anything! Here is a great example: Nautic Studios fan page.
2. Customize Tabs – You can create custom tabs that allow your page to offer more than just a “Wall” for fans to write on. For example, the iTunes fan page has a “polls” tab where fans can vote on songs, movies or artists; as well as a “Video Showcase” tab. Granted the Itunes fan page has custom HTML content which will be my next point. The important thing to keep in mind with custom tabs is that they give your fan page functionality so fans have other incentives to visit and interact with your page. These tabs can also be made the landing page for visitors so it is seen instead of the wall first.
3. HTML Content - Much more professional than just text; adds a lot of credibility to the page. This step is not as simple as the previous two but it allows for many more possibilities with the custom tabs. This HTML content can be simply adjusted from your Web site’s HTML content and used in Facebook or designed for a special purpose. TutoringZone has a great Facebook app that allows for students to watch tutoring videos right on their fan page! This step may require the help of Web designers if you want something as complex as the TutoringZone video app.
4. Constantly Post & Share Content – By posting and sharing posts with your current fans, your fan page will appear on their wall, which will then be seen by all of those visiting your fans’ pages. It is also important to engage fans in discussions so they write on your wall and keep it alive in people’s news feeds (as every time someone posts on your fan page wall it will appear on their friends and your fans’ news feeds).
5. Network With Other Fan Pages - Build relationships with other fan pages and share content or interesting links with them. Help each other out by suggesting to fans or tagging ( using @ before the page name) on posts.
These are some simple tips that could go a long way towards getting great results from your Facebook fan page. Can you think of anything I might have missed?
When you first look at the picture to the left what is the first thing that comes to mind? For the average consumer the answer is Coca-Cola. Even though the can is not identified most people associate the color of the can as a Coca-Cola product. This is a perfect example of how branding can have a very strong influence in customers’ perceptions.
Brand equity is defined as the value of a brand. It measures the value of intangible items like a logo or symbol for a company. This idea of brand equity gives companies more credibility and creates a loyal customer base.
According to Interbrand, one of the world’s leading brand consultants, the companies with the highest brand values are:
Throughout the years these companies have spent time and resources developing their brand names. For several years Coca-Cola has dominated this list. Coca-Cola is much more than a brand; it is a culture and for this reason it will continue to remain on top.
Another interesting point is the presence of the technology industry on the chart. Companies like Google and IBM constantly appear to be raising their brand equity. From last year alone Google jumped from seventh place to fourth.
Do you believe Coca-Cola will remain on top or will a technological company become number one?
We can all remember the Reese’s Pieces that E.T. the extra terrestrial first ate in Steven Spielberg’s classic film. However, many of us do not know how they got there, or why it was not Hershey’s that was tickling our alien friend’s fancy. Believe me when I say that it was no accident. Sales of Reese’s shot up dramatically after the launch of the film, all because the company agreed with the producers to use the now famous candy.
The insertion of Reese’s Pieces defined product placement as an institution that could greatly affect sales and growth. From that point on, hundreds of movies and television shows (notoriously, the office) have featured branded products, and with the rise of TiVo and other DVR devices, you can be sure that the number will still increase. Nonetheless, the future of product placement is not in prime-time television dramas, but rather the web.
A Branded Internet
We know of today’s internet as being plagued with banner and skyscraper ads. Not to mention the tedious pop-ups that have the tiniest close button, often hidden behind auto-scrolling boxes that make it impossible for you to escape; and those are the ones your pop-up blocker doesn’t catch. In the internet of tomorrow, these ads will be replaced by more subtle and tasteful ones. For example, the home theme of Grooveshark often showcases different products and services. While searching for music on the site, you can simultaneously see news feeds from MSN, the latest bra collection from Victoria’s Secret, or even textbooks from Chegg. Although it may not be product placement as we know and love it, it is just subtle and delicate enough for us to embrace without thinking twice about it.
Into the future
In the near future, we may also see product placement in popular YouTube videos. Of course people already see the Wonderbread and Miracle Whip brands in Lady Gaga’s Telephone video, but what about the independent producers such asSmosh? Surely advertisers have to be interested in placing their products into videos that have almost 600 million combined views. Maybe the next time Anthony and Ian (creators of Smosh) decide to do a crazy shenanigan, it will be with aNike baseball bat or an Adidas athletic cup…who knows.
We must also acknowledge that a growing part of America’s youth is participating in online gaming. This is a resource that has been largely untapped. According to Erica Brown of Forbes, in 2005, $56 million was spent on in-game advertising (see whole article here). But $56 million is a paltry number compared to an industry that was worth over $10 billion in 2004 (article), and is now worth over $100 billion. That’s right, $100 billion (article). Perhaps soon we will see the walls in the maps of Call of Duty painted with symbols of Coke or Pepsi. Or perhaps companies will continue to ignore this chance to get brand recognition out to the hundreds of millions of video game players worldwide.
First, we see everyone dressed in the same white gown, with our main character reading “1984″ (the same year the iconic Apple commercial was released). In the end, our hero breaks through the barriers and gets the fair young lady to remove her symbolic white headphones. Its quite clear that Motorola wants Apple’s share of the tablet market.
Not much is known about theXOOM tablet yet, but a few of the specs are available. For instance, the XOOM has a 10.1 inch display, whereas the iPad has only 9.6. The XOOM also beats the iPad in terms of display with a 1280×800 pixel resolution with 150 pixels per inch. Apple’s iPad on the other hand only produces 1024×768 with 132 PPI. Both tablets boast 720p HD video, but the XOOM is coming with both front and rear cameras.
The main differences will boil down to processor speed and operating systems. We already know that the iPad has a 1GHz Apple A4 custom processor, but what is still relatively unknown is how fast Motorola’s “dual-core” processor will be. Speed aside, the real battle is between the iOS 4, Apple’s mobile operating system, and the Android 3.0 “honeycomb” released by Google. We have all seen how sleek and efficient the iOS 4 has been, but many complaints have been made about the lack of 3G support. iPad users also complain about the lack of internet access for the Wi-Fi only models. Motorola seeks to remedy this problem by making the XOOM upgradeable to 4G coverage.
All in all, there is potential for both the iPad and XOOM to grow in 2011. Tablets are expected to continue to grow at an alarming rate through 2015, with an expected sales of 24.1 million units this year. The question, however, remains…who will be the dominant tablet provider after the XOOM’s expected launch at the end of February? Will it be the iPad, or will it be one of the many new tablets being made by Motorola, Acer, Asus, Samsung, Sony, and even Vizio?
Companies are always faced with the constant desire to expand to different audiences. A relatively big market that is increasingly catching everyone’s attention is racial diversity. According to the U.S Census Bureau, around 34% of the United States population is a minority and that number is expected to grow exponentially in the upcoming years.
Of all the ethnic groups, the Hispanic population is growing at the fastest rate and it has caught the attention of many industries. However, a lot of companies’ slogans and advertisements do not translate well and were not designed to reach a universal audience. So how are companies changing their brands to appeal to specific racial groups?
They turn to Multi-Cultural Agencies to do the job. Companies such as Dieste focus on creating nationwide Hispanic campaigns that are custom made for that specific audience. Dieste has already worked with companies like AT&T, Frito-Lay, and Gillette in designing their new campaigns, which focus more on family values and attempt to utilize celebrities that are known in the Hispanic culture.
The real challenge now lies in not only attracting different ethnic groups, but also attracting individuals within these groups who may not consider themselves bound to just ethnic standards. What companies must realize is that within these diverse communities lies a complex network of different subgroups that need individualized attention to be targeted successfully. Factors such as age, socioeconomic status, and household differences all need to be accounted for when trying to attract as many customers as possible. As the culture of the United States continues to transform, companies must do the same if they wish to remain competitive in the market.