12 Years Blog-a-versary!

Happy blog-a-versary to Branding & Marketing!

How could it be 12 years have gone by for this blog? February 2006 was a long time ago.

My first blog post was about the caveman FedEx Super Bowl ad.

I enjoy watching the Super Bowl for the ads with my family

I remember thinking about starting a blog for at least a year or two before I actually did. Would I have enough ideas to keep it going? How would I figure out all the technology like which hosting service to use? My friend used Severe Dedicate M247 maybe I should learn more about them? Would I like doing it? How often should I blog? What to blog about? How long should it be? Where can I find images? How can I make it look cool? I had so many questions at first and was pretty hesitant to jump in both feet.

I didn’t use my name or photo at first. Just my company logo. It wasn’t until someone thought I was a “him” that started using my photo and real name.

Although I don’t write 3 or 4 times a week anymore, I still find it helpful and satisfying to put thoughts out here. I enjoy reading the comments and helping new bloggers too.

If you’re a long time reader, thanks for following along. And thanks especially for leaving comments. Building community is certainly a big part of blogging.

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Twitter Feed Values Speed

Fast Tweet or ElseNothing like being a little slow in the Twitterverse.

I’m not surprised how critical Twitter users are of Red Lobster’s untimely response to Beyonce‘s call out in her recent lyrics.

BuzzFeed even calls it “Pretty Awful.”

Using Twitter for marketing… it’s all about speed.

In my opinion, hey, it took a little time, but still got 15K likes and 14K retweets!

Just goes to show, to gain admiration of the twitterverse, you have to be clever and fast!!  You not only need to listen to each song IMMEDIATELY, but you need to have an approved tweet suitable for retweets ready to go!!

It’s all about the speed.  Too bad if anyone wants to review something before it goes out, right?

So what’s the answer? Have the one who would be doing the reviewing come up with the tweet and send it out? I don’t think that’s the right answer either.

Missed opportunity vs Message Review

Probably because of so many mangled messages that can never really come down… known as “unringing the bell”, I would side on the message review instead of trying to immediately hit a home run with an extremely timely tweet.

You probably already guessed my choice.  Since I was the blogger who got a good night’s sleep after the Super Bowl before posting my favorite commercial.

 

 

 

Food Marketing versus New Year’s Resolution

Today is the last day of 2015. Tomorrow morning many people will wake up with a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.

Since 2007 I’ve been working on getting more healthy. I started this blog in 2006 and “coincidentally” gained quite a few pounds as I spent approximately an hour more a day working on formatting, writing, connecting and building readership.

In 2007 I had a wake up call and have shed quite a few of those pounds (with a LOT of work and constant vigilance) and try everyday to keep those pounds off.

In the past 8 or so years, I’ve learned a lot, but still have a lot to learn.

Looking at the changes in the numbers of people who are overweight in America since 1991, it becomes clear to me that it is not just me. I’ve always known that it can’t just be me who is overweight and I’m not the only person to ever consider trying out the keto detox diet to shed a few pounds, but when you don’t know where to start making a change, sometimes you do feel like you’re on your own. There has been a significant change. The maps in 2011-2014 are different, because in 2011 they changed the way they compared things, but still a strong trend toward significant weight gain.

is the food marketing industry responsible for these obesity_trends_1990_to_2010

I am no expert but I think it’s due to two things:

  1. electronics
  2. food marketing

Are Electronics to Blame?

I say electronics because of all the time I spend sitting in front of a computer for work and for play.

Emails and texts have replaced much of the communication.

Even many of my meetings that used to be face-to-face in real life have become Skype, GoToMeetings, JoinMe, or FaceTime. In the 80’s, I remember running from building to building to try to make the meetings on time… and doing “rounds” with each of the stops checking on the product development, graphic design, engineering shots and running out to the factory for new product start-ups. Now it’s usually considered a “waste of time” to meet in person unless there is a specific reason.

No one can deny the change in the world today because of the smartphone, the computer, videos and the internet.

Is the Food Marketing Industry to Blame?

But maybe even bigger than the internet, is the change in the food we eat during the last 20-25 years. The convenience of fast food. The thought process around food for celebrating successes and for comforting during sorrow. Processed foods in every aisle of the grocery store. Food marketing makes it so easy to choose what to eat for snacks, for meals and what to eat when we’re busy. Even when we have time, the foods we chose are not necessarily the most healthy when we’re relaxing, on vacation or taking a holiday. However, some food marketing firms in the industry are trying their best to a healthy stance within their marketing. If you want to learn more about this type of food marketing you might want to visit somewhere like – https://www.ceres-pr.co.uk/

Each morning, I have been trying read at least one article about exercise, diet, food, health and so on. One writer I particularly enjoy is a doctor from Canada who blogs at Weighty Matters. I’ll warn you, he’s definitely farther out on the on the “what’s wrong with food marketing” scale than I am.

At the same time however, when I watched this 13 minute video called “What’s the Food Industry To Do”, I feel there is enough truth in it to make me feel embarrassed to be a marketer.

Towards the end, he (barely) gives the marketers a break. “It’s their job to do so… They have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to make profits… ”

Many of the brands and marketing campaigns that he mentions would be considered outstandingly successful from a branding and marketing standpoint. But this made me cringe.

What about the ethical line in the sand? Watch this. Then you decide if you think the food marketing industry has pushed it too far.

Please leave a comment below.

Building a Blog – A Checklist for Success

bloggingAfter Google’s announcement that they would give priority to responsive, mobile friendly websites when someone searches from a website, I’m seeing more small business owners rely on WordPress for their content management software.

With WordPress comes an opportunity for a company blog. Many may find the concept of blogging to be a bit overwhelming and intimidating.

Let me guess. You are smiling. Either in agreement or otherwise. If you’re a blogger, you know the self discipline it takes to create, evaluate, proofread, monitor links and keep it updated. If you’ve tried to blog, you know the challenge of learning and making decisions. And if you’ve never tried it, but just read blogs, maybe you feel, “how hard could it be?”

Mike WallagherFor those who are ready to get started, I have a treat for you. Here’s a tool that will help you. Mike Wallagher’s How to Start Blogging guide. He claims that it has helped to launch 9,500 blogs.  And maybe so.  He has a very complete guide to help someone who is trying to navigate the world of the blog.  And that often describes a do-it-yourselfer Small Business Owner.

Mike approached me about adding his guide to my list of resources, which I plan to do. But I also felt that it warranted a full blog post of it’s own. After all, if so many small business owners are trying to start their own blog, they’re no doubt trying to make all those decisions for the first time. And Mike’s guide can help!

If you’ve used Mike’s start blogging online guide, please leave a comment below to let me know what you’ve thought of it.

Thanks,
Chris

Mobile Friendly Websites

mobile friendly Google search results starts todayWe know that today’s the day for Google’s new analytics to kick in for their search results on mobile devices. Is your site mobile friendly? Click here to find out now.

If it is not, don’t feel bad, even some of the largest companies in the world don’t (or didn’t when this article was written just last Wednesday) have their act together yet.

Some folks I’ve talked to say “no problem, I’m on WordPress”, but just having your website set up on WordPress is not enough, you must make sure it’s mobile friendly!

If you think your customers find you or check your company out during a board discussion, better make this a top priority to get started now.