A Strange Thing Called Brand Love by Jessica Bedussi

It’s a tale as old as time (or of the last century at least): the love consumers have for brands.

While the addition of social media has added an interesting element to the relationship between people and brands, the concept of brand loyalty is nothing new. My grandmother has always sworn by Olay beauty products and I will always choose Coke over Pepsi when given the choice. What has changed is the brands themselves. Social media has given them the chance to join and add to a conversation that has been happening for decades.

Many times this conversation turns from a simple interaction to genuine affection. But what exactly makes people love brands on social media? Across a wide range of industries, there are certain qualities of well-loved brands that stay the same regardless of product or service. I’ve broken down some of the reasons fans fall for brands below.

It Takes Two to Tango

The basic premise of social media is a forum for dialogue. For brands and consumers, it’s no different. Whether communicating a negative experience, funny story, or positive anecdote, consumers expect immediate responses from brands. When fans receive swift and personalized responses, it only strengthens their affection for a brand.

I recently tweeted at Target expressing my love for a recent social media campaign, #TargetLoveNotes. Not long after, I received a personalized Valentine response from Target referencing my love of cats. This attention to detail and swift response goes a long way, converting passive fans to engaged loyalists.

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Birds of a Feather

Beyond acting as a friend to exchange messages with, brands have also become part of people’s lives as a way to express identity. The clothes we wear, cars we drive, and brands we value are an extension of ourselves. Brands like BuzzFeed have honed in on this, creating content that speaks to niche communities and evokes relatability through identity content.Fifty percent of U.S. millennials ages 18 to 24 and 38 percent of those ages 25 to 34 agree that brands “say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in.”

This identity content can be both attainable, like Coca-Cola, or aspirational, like Louis Vuitton. What it has in common is the fans who share want to either represent themselves or who they want to be seen as.

While the old saying may be that opposites attract, humans also find love through the realization of similar interests. In fact, the American Psychological Association reports relationship satisfaction is related to personality similarity. When a consumer finds him or herself in branded content, similar feelings emerge.

Brands like Benefit Cosmetics understand the value of identity content and regularly incorporate such into their content mix. As a Benefit connoisseur, I see myself in their content which in turn leads me to regularly share their posts.

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They Really Like Me

Because people value brands as extensions of their own identities, they also seek validation from brands. One way brands validate consumers is through the use of user-generated content or UGC. This UGC allows brands to highlight superfans and gives these fans validation from a brand they trust and respect.

When a fan reaches out to a consumer, sharing an image or positive anecdote, they look for a brand to engage, praise, and substantiate their identity in the brand. Just like any relationship, fans need reassurance that brands value them and really, truly care.

GoPro uses a wide-range of UGC to highlight fans, share their experiences, and confirm their status as adventure seekers. This approach not only encourages more UGC, it also results in a brand image that is respected and loved.

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While many things go into defining and maintaining, a lovable brand image, consistent everyday actions help build relationships between brands and fans. And just like in any relationship, sometimes the simplest gestures mean the most.

Which brands do you think do a great job at fostering relationships with their fans?

 

 



Building, Growing & Launching – That’s what we’re doing in Media at MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER

By Eric Perko

 

The last couple months have been fun. I came here in October to build a world-class media capability and we’re well on our way.

Our mission is to do great work by melding innovative media strategies with brilliant creative – something MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER already has in spades.

So far we’ve been afforded the opportunity to work on brands with great clients like Upwork, AAA, Audi, Netflix and others. And we’re getting out there exploring new opportunities every week.

The Upwork campaign launches this week and we’re excited.

Upwork is the rebranding of Elance-oDesk. Perhaps you saw them featured in Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends Presentation. Upwork is changing the way companies hire and people get hired.

To launch the new brand we developed a holistic, integrated campaign to announce Upwork’s arrival. The campaign features a balance of performance and brand marketing elements including: custom content, scalable distribution, performance-based lookalike targeting, high-impact digital, select outdoor placements in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as first-to-market native integrations across key strategic partners.

One highlight of the campaign is the partnership with Ev William’s Medium where we’ve created custom content tailored to its high-minded, thought-leading audience. Through the partnership we enlisted the talent of authors such as futurist Stowe Boyd, Workforce of the Future expert Anne Loehr, Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel, among others to write not just about Upwork but also about the future of work. We’ll be leveraging Sharethrough to scale the content to the right readers.

The campaign also features many other great elements such as content partnerships with VentureBeat, MIT Tech Review, partnership with LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and others.

Introducing Upwork, The Earth-Sized Talent Pool.

Click to view Upwork video.

Upwork Medium Article

 



Generation Z: Hit Play

By Justine Sarfan

BEGINNING A PORTRAIT OF GENERATION Z

For the last 30 years cult classics like The Breakfast Club, Clueless, and Superbad have brought the magic, ironies and idosyncracies of each new generation of teenage Americans to the surface of pop culture. These movies serve as portraits of each generation long after they grown up. Millennial teens have left their legacy, so it’s time for Generation Z to make their mark—selfies don’t count.

No doubt the 18-and-unders of today, Generation Z, are as love-sick, self-indulgent, accidentally poetic, and well, young, as those immortalized in pop culture once were, but the relationship to the world seen in the facts below will surely result in a cultural impact all their own.

PIC 1

DIGITAL PRECEDES THEM

The Internet has always been a part of their lives. They’ve had touch screens since they were born. Most have at least 5 screens in their lives. This means the way they communicate and absorb information is different than any generation before.

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It also means they have a unique relationship to the cultural artifacts made in the past. Generally, they think in 4D; they prefer pictures and video to words.

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IDENTITIES THAT ARE “POST”- EVERYTHING

When it comes to traditional identity norms they think more broadly than past generations. They are multiracial, and grew up comfortable in a world where traditional gender roles and norms are blurred.

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AMBITIOUS DIY-ERS

In contrast to feel-good, over-coddling Boomer parents of Millenials, Gen Xers give their kids independence.
That independence, combined with access to the Internet hamade Generation Z self-starters.

They have a crowd-sourced, social-media informed, DIY-everything approach to life, a powerful addition their proactive attitude. Perhaps in response to the infectious spirit of start-up business culture, 42.2% of them plan to be entrepreneurs, 37.8% say that they will invent something that changes the world.

 

MIX IDEALISM AND PRAGMATISM

This contradictory cocktail reflects their Gen X parents’ values and the climate of post-9-11 American culture. While they are optimistic about their ability to impact the world—70% say they want to have a job that changes the world—they are also calculated and pragmatic. They were deeply affected by the Great Recession, making the economy and costs the things that worry them most.

The Hunger Games, dramatic as it is, is an apt reflection of their mindset about life and society. Most start working for pay at a young age and report learning about money, banking and entrepreneurship in school.

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CONNECTED COUCH
POTATOES

Their connectedness is a blessing and a curse. Members of Generation Z claim to feel empowered by their connectedness, but it may limit their experimentation with certain typical teen behaviors. They have less sex, drink less and use less drugs than those before them—food is their biggest vice. Consequently, they have a higher rate of obesity.

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SOCIAL MEDIA IS A WAY OF LIFE, NOT JUST A PART OF IT

For the under-18s of today, likability and importance are based on the number of likes or re-tweets on a post. Tweeting at a brand or a celebrity is totally normalized, and getting a reply or being part of a marketing stunt is even better.

They are heavily engaged with social media, but rather than being thrown out the window, cultural customs around public vs. private on social media are being evolved by this group. Fittingly, this is the first cultural site where we can witness their impact: 25% of 13-17 year olds left Facebook in 2014. They have a penchant for platforms that offer privacy and anonymity, such as Snapchat, Secret, and Yik Yak.

 

CULTURE MOVES WITH MAKERS

Generation Z has inherited a newly connected world from other generations but they will be the ones who truly appropriate it and transform culture with technology.

I look forward to seeing the universal hypocrisies, challenges and hopes at the core of our culture exposed through their fresh lens. We haven’t seen their version of Pretty In Pink yet, but whatever device we view it on, the themes here will be present. These truths are the foundation for the portrait of America’s youngest generation.

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Watch Stan Lee Teach Celebrities the Art of the Cameo

Comic book legend Stan Lee is known for making cameo appearances in many Marvel films, including the upcomingAnt-Man. So in this video — which happens to be an ad for Audi — Lee teaches a workshop in cameo acting to pass his knowledge on to the next generation.” Click here to view the full article on Time!

Stan Lee Avengers


STAN LEE TURNED AN AUDI AD INTO A CAMEO ACTING MASTER CLASS

Stan Lee might not ever become more famous for his cameo appearances in Marvel Comics-inspired movies than he is for the comics themselves, but it won’t be for lack of trying. Stan The Man has appeared in everything from X-Men to Spider-Man to Thor, and yes, you can see him in Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend (though I’m not telling you where). Click here to view the full article on Playboy!

Stan Lee


Kevin Smith Makes Ad Debut with Audi Avengers Tie-In

“With Avengers: Age of Ultron almost upon us, the Marvel cross-marketing blitz–which already includes partners like Target, Dr. Pepper and Kellogg’s–is only getting started. Longtime partner Audi, though, is taking a different route. Tony Stark’s automaker of choice, which will see the inclusion of the 2016 Audi R8, 2015 TTS and 2015 A3 Cabriolet vehicles in Ultron, has teamed with Muh-tay-zik Hof-fer to unveil a two-minute short directed by well-known comic book geek Kevin Smith.” Click here to view the full article on Agency Spy!

Stan Lee Avengers


Overused Marketing Words

Matt Hofherr Blog

By Matt Hofherr

I’m tired of overused marketing words. So I’m going to suggest a few replacements. But before I do – has anyone else noticed words like ‘modern’, ‘next generation’ and ‘innovative’ — are being used by marketers all over the place? What about just saying ‘new’, ‘forward-thinking’, or ‘advanced’? Here are a few words I’d like to kill:

ACTIONABLE

This is a buzzword I keep hearing. It’s usually code for this is ‘easy to execute’. So I recommend instead of actionable simply say ‘easily implemented’ or ‘deployable’.

OPTIMIZE

Marketers keep saying and saying it. I get it – you’re trying to tell a client you’re going to constantly improve. But somehow when you say it too much it loses believability. So let’s try ‘sharpen’, ‘enhance’ or ‘hone’. Or, here is a radical idea, just replace optimize with ‘improve’.

VIRAL

Viral is the biggest marketing joke word of our times because nobody has control over whether something goes viral. Sure, MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER has had a lot of success in this area, but that’s just a by-product of great thinking. And a lot of it has to do with the luck of having the right idea at the right time. We can’t guarantee a viral hit just like a songwriter can’t guarantee a #1 song. So instead of viral, I’m going to try ‘share-worthy’ or ‘curiosity-invoking’ or ‘infectious’. On second thought, I’m taking ‘infectious’ out because it reminds me of virus, which reminds me of viral.

SNACKABLE

It’s so cute it’s hard not to use. Snackable is just so easy to say. Who doesn’t like a good snack? Heck, my blog post is snackable, but I know no one is going to bite into it. So let me suggest two alternatives — ‘easily-absorbed’ and ‘concise’.