A Ralph Lauren spokesman has apologized for “the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body,” and pledged that future artwork would represent the brand “appropriately.” The company was criticized for digitally retouching a model’s image to make her appear abnormally thin. Daily Mail 10/10/09
The Coca-Cola Company’s Facebook page, which has 3.7 million fans in contrast to Pepsi’s 250,000 fans, was actually started by two Coke fans in August 2008. The pair was then invited by Coke to run the page with the company’s backing. Adweek highlights which key brands have successfully leveraged Facebook and which ones fall short in “Brands Seek Fans on Facebook,” 10/11/09.
Dell, the world’s no. 2 PC maker,offers the full range of its Studio and Inspiron laptops for personalization. Customers can choose from more than 350 images from 25 artists and branding partners such as Major League Baseball, (Product) Red and OPI nail polish. The company says the importance of customization goes back to the company's beginnings when "it was really about getting a product that could do what you wanted it to do." Adweek, 10/11/09
Starbucks Corp. is suing a former executive of violating non-competition and separation agreements to work for rival Dunkin' Donuts as its brand operations officer. Chain Store Age 10/9/09
According to the New York Times, consumers used to buy small cars because the were cheap, eschewing air conditioning, power windows, compact players, etc., to keep the price low. But as the cost of gas rises, consumers of all income levels are buying small cars to save fuel costs but adding hundreds or thousands of dollars on options. Hot sellers? The Toyota Prius hybrid and the Honda Civic.
Source: Car Buyers Downsize, but Spend Big on Options, New York Times, 7/17/08
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ExitReality is a new social media platform that aims to improve your online experience with an enhanced 3D, multi-user, immersive messaging environment.
Features include the ability to create:
Photo albums that become virtual galleries where you can walk through, admire and even comment on the photos that decorate the wall.
Video clips that transform into 3D flat-screen TVs that you can enjoy watching with friends... hey, even fight over the remote.
Immersive Messaging where you are able to see and interact with all your friends while chatting with them at millions of locations online.
ExitReality works with leading global social media sites Facebook, MySpace, Fraudster, Hi5, Rout and Bebop and is currently taking beta applications. They plan to launch “soon.”
ExitReality, via Techcrunch
Blurb is a company that provides software to help you create your own hard cover book, including a full cover custom dust cover.
According to the website, you simply download “Blurb BookSmart”, their free bookmaking software. Add photos, artwork and text. Then order as many books as you like.
For an impressive gift to a special customer, bundle up your white papers in a book.
You pay only when you publish; prices start at $12.95 per book.
Burgeoning trends in mass customization and do-it-yourself, as well as user-generated content on blogs, YouTube, and social networks, reflect consumers’ growing interest in brands and products that reflect their unique personalities. Here are two examples of companies that leverage consumer interest in brands that enable self-expression.
Scion hopes to attract “younger, stylish drivers” by hopping on the social network bandwagon with ScionSpeak, a website enabling Scion owners to express themselves by creating their “personal ‘coats of arms’.”
Scion owners can choose from “hundreds of symbols, all designed by a professional graffiti artist,” to create their crest. Then, if they choose, they can pay to have it rendered by an auto-shop.
Self-expression with a generous dose of irreverence is the core equity of Durtbagz ---bags that purchasers can customize with witty sayings masquerading as ‘street signs,' such as “Don’t Drive Durnk.” Website copy informs potential purchasers:
“some bagz are offered in multiple colors, some are not. it's what we've got at the moment. we only print 12 of each sign; WHEN WE'RE OUT, WE'RE OUT. that's how we roll.”
Erin Atherton, head bag lady and owner of Durtbagz, helpfully points out that Durtbagz bags can be used for overnights, shopping, or to carry around a severed head. The “Just Dust” page offers “all you durtbagz” an opportunity to “speak your minds, assuming you have one.” The Durtbag who posts the best ‘durt’ could win a free Durtbagz bag.
“Durty Laundry” is the company blog where
Erin recounts imagined interviews with celebrities such as Amy Winehouse and Avril Lavigne, as well as the day-to-day challenges of growing her own company. The blog is authentic, funny and down-to-earth, which should resonate with a young target audience and reinforce her brand.
Is the desire for self-expression a core attribute of your target audience? Strengthen your relationship with them by providing opportunities for them to express themselves and make the brand uniquely their own.
Source for ScionSpeak: International Herald Tribune
Memetrics is a provider of testing and optimization solutions for digital marketers. Memetrics technology is available on demand for Web-based campaigns or through licensed software for enterprise-level multi-channel initiatives.
Widemile Inc. is a provider of web testing and optimization technologies and services for online marketers. The company employs a multivariate testing and optimization platform with creative development and campaign management, to accelerate the path to optimal results.
Kefta provides a content optimization solution helps companies build a profile automatically for each site visitor, and then translate that profile in real-time to a targeted and optimized online experience by delivering a specific, instead of generic message.
ChoiceStream develops personalization solutions for online consumer services, mobile operators and TV providers.
ChoiceStream's technology helps customers increase loyalty and drive revenue by automatically delivering the most relevant content, products, search results and advertising to each consumer.
Certona Corporation is the creator of Resonance®, a Web 2.0 optimization and personalization platform that automates a company’s ability to provide relevant, individualized content and experience in real-time that calls visitors to an online sales or other marketing-related action.