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The top brands of the world all have 7 things in common…

#1 is: An Origin Story

All beliefs have an origin. And we all want our clients to believe in us. How we originated fulfills the primal human desire to understand how we all came to be.

The best brands in the world know this. Do you?

Whether you know the full story or not, most people can muster up some details about how Steve Jobs and Woz started off in their garage before becoming one of the highest valued companies in the world. Google and Facebook were started by roommates in a dorm room at a college.

Your creation story is a crucial first step in providing answers to why people should care about you.


It’s often the first question we ask someone new, reflecting our primal need to identify and classify. Without that information, we find it hard to connect. The same is true of your brand. A creation story is not a strategy, it is the way you tell your audience who you are, and more importantly, WHY you are. It is the first step toward developing emotional engagement and customer loyalty. Put succinctly, origin is the foundation of trust. Without it, you cannot form a relationship, with a person, or a product.


james_gandolfini2-238x300This week it is our pleasure to present a great blog from one of co-conspirators Jack Signorelli of Soundview Advice. Jack plays an integral part in helping build the back end side of things here at GB, but also has a great mind for marketing. Here is his take on the unfortunate death of James Gandolfini.

James Gandolfini passed away suddenly last week at only 51 years of age. Known mostly for his role as Tony Soprano, while tragic, isn’t the public reaction to his death interesting?

Why is it that an actor can command such attention and adulation for playing a role they didn’t create or write? The Governor showing up at his funeral mass? All of the flags in NJ at half staff? Why?

Here are some of my observations:


  • Lesson #1: Video is so powerful that people who have never met you will think they know you.
  • Lesson #2: Video connects with people emotionally.
  • Lesson #3: Video portrays a “trust factor” that the written word can’t match.
  • Lesson #4: Video can even create the feeling of “Love”!

As Business Owners how can we use this knowledge to our benefit? If your new business clients come mostly from referrals than you know that a referral is simply a recommendation from a trusted source. That most of your prospects become clients only after they have met you, looked into your face, and shaken your hand. If you’re like most of us you only have time to do that, at most, just a few times a day.

Studies show that within 15 seconds of meeting someone we decide if we are going to do business with them. Since the beginning of time we have relied on our vision to assess situations. Risk, friend or foe, fight or flight. Why should we expect marketing to be any different?

But what if you could create an “electronic handshake”? Think about the power of a vision. If you could create a video that was seen by your prospects many more times a day. A video that touches people emotionally, creating trust, just like a referral, how many more clients would you have? Then add video testimonials!

If you sell by developing trust then get all that verbiage out of your marketing. Newsflash: No one reads it! Look to photo’s and video to brand yourself as a trusted source and watch your marketing $ start to give you a real ROI!

jack Jack Signorelli is a Certified Business Coach. His career spanned 27 years in Corporate America with companies like Xerox, Wang, and culminating as VP of Sales and then President of Konica Office Products, (now Konica Minolta), an $Billion International Fortune 200 manufacturer and distributer of office products and services with more than 1200 employees. Jack retired at age 50 and now owns two businesses. He has been providing practical advice to business leaders and companies, in all industry segments, throughout the U.S.. Visit Soundview Advice at www.sondviewadvice.com

Starting up a social media campaign takes a lot of hard work, dedication, knowledge, and perhaps even a little luck. No one can really help you with the lucky part, and the hard work is something you have to put in for yourself, but when it comes to the knowledge, there’s a lot you can learn by viewing other brands’ social media campaigns.

You don’t only want to look at the successful campaigns, either. Sure, it’s great to know what you should be doing, but you also need to look at the failures to see what you should be avoiding. Below you will read about the three biggest successes and failures in social media campaigns for 2012. With this information, hopefully your 2013 campaign(s) will be successful.

2012’s Social Media Successes

2012 Election
Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign made great use of social media, but it paled in comparison to 2012’s campaign blitz. Part of Mr. Obama’s social media dominance over his opponent was his use of Twitter. Real-time tweets, debate news, making light of tough situations, etc – Obama was able to endear himself to others while also politely running down his opponent. Since Obama won reelection, this has to be considered a smashing success.

The Swedish furniture company Ikea had a huge campaign in 2012, operating an interactive catalog, Celebrate Brilliantly, which was loaded with video clips, sharing options and other features for users who wanted to share gift ideas, friends, etc, via Facebook and Pinterest. It was very innovative in the sense that sharing became incredibly easy, and adding in user-generated content was just the icing on the cake.

Dollar Shave Club
The Dollar Shave Club proved that even a small company can have a huge social impact with the right campaign. Campaigns in social media widely vary in terms of promotions, apps, etc, but Dollar Shave Club made their splash with a simple YouTube video. The video featured tennis legend Roger Federer catching a beat-down; a colorful catchphrase:  “Our blades are f***ing great”; and it was funny and lighthearted enough to pull in around 8 million views.

2012’s Social Media Failures

In early 2012, Snickers went the “Punk’d” route by hijacking the Twitter accounts of Rio Ferdinand and Katie Price in order to pull a publicity stunt. With Price’s account, Snickers made a series of Eurozone debt-related tweets, which were snuffed out by Price’s audience as fakes. Then Snickers chimed in with, “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” promoting their brand.

The fast food mega giant thought it was a great idea to start a campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #McDStories, where loyal customers would share their favorite McDonald’s moments. However, people quickly started to tell tales of fingernails in sandwiches, animal cruelty, and other unsavory stories. McDonald’s pulled the campaign within two hours, but the damage is still going.

Urban Outfitters
There was just something about Hurricane Sandy that obviously made many companies feel it was okay to use the storm as advertising material via Twitter. Another in a line of Sandy fails, Urban Outfitters tweeted out, “This storm blows (but free shipping doesn’t)! Today only…” They had to go into damage-control mode quickly, and their Twitter presence still hasn’t recovered.

Points of Interest to Focus On

  • Operate legally and morally when building a campaign. Hijacking accounts for publicity isn’t a good thing. “Bad press” is still bad press!
  • You can tweet about anything as long as you’re honest and don’t offend anyone. Being sociable and friendly is a great supplement for an existing campaign.
  • Always think of the implications of your campaigns before you start them. Using tragedies or offering an open platform for your audience may backfire.
  • Streamlining the sharing process is a great way to help spread the word around. Users tend to respond well to innovation, so if you have something worth sharing coupled with a streamlined process, it’s liable to be shared more often.
  • Engaging campaigns often mean interactive campaigns. Giving your audience something to actually participate in is a great way to bring a lot of attention to whatever it is you’re promoting.
  • Entertaining videos are still money in the bank when done properly. Humor, catchy slogans, unique content – make sure a video campaign is geared toward entertainment and not only getting your message out.
  • Personalizing your image in the public arena gives you a great opportunity to connect with more people. This is the difference between a company that’s strictly business and a brand people can interact with.

A lot of people marketing via social media believe that campaigns are either hit or miss. This isn’t entirely true. There are multiple levels of success and failure, and you’re going to experience a lot of grey in most of your campaigns, probably never achieving massive success and hopefully never falling flat on your face.

Quality and consistency is what you should strive for with your campaign, so use the examples listed above to teach you a lesson about what you should and shouldn’t do in a social campaign.

Post written by: Craig Robinson, online writer for Qwaya – a facebook ad management tool. Besides writing about social media topics, Craig covers other trends within social media for Qwaya and he has studied social context and media-communication science.