Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Threat of Tinder

I must confess something: I've spent an (gulp!) unreasonable amount of time this weekend swiping through Tinder, the now trending dating/social networking/hook up app.  Tinder's incredibly addictive quality is strongly reminiscent to the introduction of Facebook over a decade ago, a fact that should scare the crap out of Mark Zuckerberg. 

Since Facebook has graduated from college, it's lost a lot of its luster.  Off-campus, the social network exists principally as a place to keep tabs on old friends and glance through photos of nieces and nephews.  And truth be told, that's not really that exciting.  This is reflective in how users interact with Facebook now.  They log in for a few minutes, scan their newsfeeds and log out; users are rarely getting lost for hours on end and forgetting to go to class like they used to.

In the beginning, what made Facebook exciting enough to be an addictive substance was the phenomenon that became known as "face-stalking."  It made it was easy for a curious observer to do a little digging for information about someone they wanted to meet.  Let's not forget that introducing people is sort of what college is best at (or maybe even the best part).  The social networking site was the perfect aide for all this.

The Tinder app has captured what Facebook has let slip away - a focus on meeting new people.  The implied consent of users to put there own business out there for others to browse is built right in.  It's only for the willing, therefore, any uncomfortable similarities to the face-stalk is a decriminalized activity.  Tinder improves the process by matching only mutually agreeable parties who are free to go from there.     

While attempting to monetize Facebook through advertising, it reached for scale and eyeballs, adding bells and whistles like corporate pages, a messenger service, trending topics and profiles for your mom.  Now, only a decade later, it feels like a dinosaur.

Tinder is looks, feels and excites they way Facebook used to.  If it avoids the advertising trap, it's certainly greatest threat to Facebook' empire.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Give Love To Get It

You got to give love to get it in return.  It's common sense wisdom but could all use a reminder some times.

It's the same theory applied to marketing.  Struggling brands don't need more marketing, they need to show more love. Infusing a little love into your marketing and experience will transform stale, boring marketing pitches into something a whole lot more sincere.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Card That Actually Cares

Discover Card has a reputation as an innovator in the credit card industry.  They were the first to offer no annual fee cards and the first to offer cash back rewards, both of which have been widely adopted by the rest of the industry.  These benefits, among numerous others, served as excellent points of differentiation between Discover and its competitors, helping to position the brand as the most consumer-friendly credit card in your wallet.    

Although Discover's competitors adopt its innovations with the hopes of keeping up, Discover keeps finding new ways to live out its strategy as card that cares most about it's cardholders - its latest is offering free monthly FICO credit scores to their "it" cardholders, printed right on the statement.  This is an absolutely brilliant idea that will further reinforce Discover's position as the consumer-friendly brand.  Additionally, it's a great example of how a brand purpose should drive the actions of a company.  They live up to their own billing instead of tossing around empty slogans and promises and hoping for the best.

It's no surprise then that Discover, while only the forth biggest credit card brand, has ranked #1 in consumer loyalty 17 years in a row among credit card brands base upon Brand Keys Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index report.

Just an example of truly great marketing worthy of shout out.

As always, thank you for reading a sharing. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

JBL Doesn't Execute A Sound Strategy

                JBL has a strong reputation for superior sound.  They have been a trusted name for speakers and headphones for decades.  In fact, the company was actually founded way back in 1946.

However, judging from this recent advertisement for Synchros S700 headphones, experience might be seen as a detriment and not an advantage.  The ad takes direct aim Beats Electronics, the company founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre and responsible for the immensely popular Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.  The signature look of Beats headphones is highly-fashionable, thanks in large part to numerous celebrity endorsements of the headphones.  Beats by Dr. Dre are chic.  Not so much for JBL headphones.

To fight combat this, JBL employs the smart brand strategy of being the opposite.  They argue substance over style.  Their headphones have superior sound compared to the Beats. 

Unfortunately, JBL does a poor job at pitching this argument.  Despite making strong claims to be substance over style headphones, JBL never actually backs that up with any reasons other than an ambiguous hint of "live stage technology."  In fact, they wind up claiming to be exactly what they are supposedly rejecting, a real stylish pair of headphones. We watch as the actors donning JBL headphones are the center of attention and admiration as they walk down the street, appearing to know something that everyone else doesn't.   

Keeping this secret won't help JBL in their battle with Beats.  They need to make there marketing proposition as clear claim as the notes streaming from a set of headphones.

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing.  Also, some relevent bonus coverage on this subject from Seth's Blog.