Archive for December 2011

Wasted Space

My train of thought was directed to Facebook for my blog this time around. It always amazes me that many of us don’t utilize the space we are given when setting up our images on our Facebook pages, and now that there is ANOTHER “new Facebook layout” (the timeline) lurking around the corner I want to take the opportunity to remind you business savvy people to prepare yourself on the front end this time and use that space to your advantage!

The new upcoming “cover image” on your Facebook page is a decent sized space for you to utilize whether it be advertising a special, getting out contact information, or telling a visual story about you or your business. You can manipulate a picture, or you can create a custom page sized to 850px by 315px pixels and create some pretty cool messaging ideas. You can get some great ideas from Mashable here. Carpe diem!

Procrastination Has a New Name: Pinterest

Rarely does a night go by that I don’t lie in bed, staring at my iPhone. It used to be Twitter that had my heart, but recently I’ve been pretty obsessed with Pinterest.

Pinterest is virtual bulletin boards where you can collect the things you love. Imagine if you had unlimited virtual cork boards separated by theme like style, home, food, anything really – and over time you could collect and “pin” items to these boards as you came across them on the internet. That is Pinterest.

Not only can you “pin” items you find or create, you can follow others and “repin” their items as well. Have a friend who has great personal style? Follow her boards. Covet someone’s interior design sense? Follow their boards and learn about their inspiration and aesthetic.

Pinterest obviously has some great business applications; everyone from wedding consultants to interior designers and photographers have boards where they pin their creations and allow others to repin them, socially spreading their goods.

And if all this great stuff wasn’t enough, I found a recipe for mini-lasagnas via Pinterest…if that isn’t motivation, I don’t know what is.

Follow me on Pinterest here.

Domain Names & Protecting Your Brand

Domain Names & Protecting Your Brand

This recent case is interesting. French fashion giant, Chanel sued a company that was selling counterfeit knock-offs of their high-end products and the judge penalized the counterfeiters in a unique way.

Ultimately, in this case someone is trying to leach onto an established brand. The folks at Chanel recognize how powerful their brand is and rightfully chose to protect it. What is very interesting is that the judge ruled that mainstream social media platforms and search engines must de-index the counterfeit sites. This is the part that I found very surprising about the case. When I asked local attorneys their opinion – they said this is a pretty bold step for a judge. What possible implications could this have for marketers? Based on this case, a judge could potentially ask someone to change their domain name because it is too close to an established brand.  Maybe next time you are coming up with a brand, focus on becoming the next Pappy’s (St. Louis reference) and not McDowell’s (Coming to America Movie Reference).

So, what does this all mean to the small business owner or VP of Marketing? It means do the right thing and build your own brand. While you may be able to beat the system for a period of time, in the end building your own brand with its own story is the only thing that will be sustainable. Trying to leverage another brand will just get you in court or out of business.

If you want to sell perfume could you appeal to someone that would like Chanel but couldn’t afford it? Sure. What emotion could you play into from a product and positioning perspective that might make someone feel better about a unique product? Could you give $1 from each sale to a cause? Would that have more impact than counterfeiting a product?

The folks leveraging the Chanel brand – instead of taking the “easy” way out when it comes to launching a website – think about how you can be different and not a rip-off product. All of that energy could have been put to good use instead of being shut down.