So why did that guy #hashtag my brand?

While doing some casual browsing, I recently stumbled on a model showing how the world’s best brand builders seek to continuously iterate with consumers/3rd parties as they build powerful brands.

As the chart highlights, brands/consumers/influencers are in a continual iterative dialog on social platforms – with all stakeholders adding meaning to the brand with every consumer generated or branded post. (chart courtesy of Grant McCracken).

Visual Brand Tag

Increasingly, consumers are choosing to “return meaning” to [...]

The Age of Authentic Imperfection

The extreme desire for authenticity is clearly in the zeitgeist.  After decades of listening to scripted, highly polished politicians tell half-truths and outright lies, voters were looking for a deeper level of authenticity from Presidential candidates in 2016.

It is interesting that despite his own tenuous relationship with the truth, Trump used social media and unscripted events to build an aura of authenticity and imperfection – winning the [...]

Turning micro-influencers into brand ambassadors

Just this past week, Markerly released a study detailing the rise of the micro-influencer.

Markerly found that as an influencer on Instagram grows his/her audience–engagement typically drops.  In many cases, micro-influencers provide higher engagement levels and conversion potential for brands – especially within niche audiences – according to the study.  Hence, pulling together a plan on how best to identify and work with micro-influencers makes sense for brands looking to go beyond a [...]

The insane rise of User Generated Content

User Generated Content has been on the rise for years – but over the past couple of years it has accelerated with incredible speed.  In 1999, when Kodak was at its peak, consumers were taking about 80 Billion photos yearly. 

No one really knows how many photos are taken yearly, but Benedict Evans did some “back of the envelope” work to give us a sense for the [...]

Will ad blockers usher in a new era of permission based marketing?

Who has an ad blocker installed right now?  After being followed around the web by a shoe ad (or “retargeted”) I finally gave in and installed an ad blocker over the holidays.  Turns out, retargeting from brands has been a large contributor to the rise in ad blocking (see graph below from this HBR article).  It makes sense, right – people get irritated when a brand stalks them around the web without [...]

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