Fergalicious Step in the Wrong Direction?

So, I am pretty positive that most people who are active in the digital world has seen the latest viral video in which is Fergie singing the National Anthem. To some its far from fergalicious, to others its who Fergie is, its her brand. And to be honest I have to agree, it is her brand to over sexualize and make things into her own. In my opinion, it was a very weird performance but not unexpected. In 15 years, we will look back at this event and it will be iconic.

With all of that being said, in this post I am going to talk about how creating and sticking to your own personal brand is beneficial now and in the long run. This is how people will not only see you but remember you. For example, my brand follows the theme of "Creating what is good, what is true, and what makes sense." This is how I approach not only my personal life but my professional life. This is how I approached my internship as well as my part time job at Target.

The reality is, marketing not only extends to products and services but with who we are as people and how we represent ourselves. From Donald Trump to Ellen Degeneres, these people are not only known for their personal brand but have created a strong fan base and following because of this. If Michael Dell, the creator of Dell computers followed his family's history of becoming doctors, the world would never have been enhanced or impacted by the technology of Dell computers. Michael Dell stuck to his strong desire and passion for technology and computers and built a successful business off of that.

So my question for you all is think of who you are, how you want to be perceived, what matters to you, where you see yourself in the future; and build off of that, create a brand that exemplifies that. I have been listening to the "How I Built This" podcast(which I strongly recommend) and these billionaire entrepreneurs didn't become successful by following the masses. They stayed true to who they were and built successful brands and companies from it.

Local Athens Companies Killing the Game

Living in Athens, you cannot walk down a street without seeing some sort of small business. This not only gives Athens so much character, it also unfortunately creates a large amount of competition. In the 4 years I have attended this university, I have seen various businesses open, but a large amount close as well. In an area that is dominated by too many options for food, clothing, and bars; how can these small businesses differentiate itself, creating loyal customers.

Cheeky Peach, Jittery Joes, and The Last Resort are some of the small businesses in Athens currently killing the game. Cheeky Peach, a boutique located in the heart of Downtown Athens, is a company who uses social media to their advantage. By posting styling tips on their instastories and on Facebook live; they are able to connect with consumers outside of their brick and mortar. This alone creates large brand awareness. Their continuous growth is shown in their constant recognition in the Bulldog 100 which recognizes the 100 fastest growing companies owned by UGA alumni.

The Last Resort also uses social media to post and highlight the food they make. The Last Resort has become such an Athens staple and one of the first restaurants people recommend when family and friends come in to town. The Last Resort not only uses social media, but creates huge satisfaction, that word of mouth plays a huge role in brand awareness.

Jittery Joes coffee shop also does a great job at marketing. With many shops around Athens, they are located in concentrated locations(like Five Points) and Downtown Athens to appeal to consumers. They also create a warm and inviting atmosphere where anything from studying, to meetings are welcomed. They do this so well, that even huge coffee competitors such as Starbucks can exist down the street and people would still go to a Jittery Joes.

All three of these businesses and a great deal of others, have done a tremendous job in marketing. The reality is all of these companies still face huge competition such as Urban Outfitters, Starbucks and chain restaurants, but they use what makes them unique to their advantage, creating a huge loyal customer base.

A Thing of the Past?

Is it still worth it to invest marketing dollars into tv commercial advertising: Super Bowl Edition

After watching a couple of the lovely Super Bowl commercials, I began to wonder if investing marketing and advertising dollars into tv commercials was a waste. Truth be told, I don't watch commercials anymore, let alone television. However, on the slight chance I do, it tends to be during a major sporting event such as The Super Bowl, a UGA football game or Grey's Anatomy.

However, to not make this all about me and what is true to me, I decided to take a visit to good ole google and do some research. What I found was slightly shocking but also not. According to Adage, 47% of adults between the age of 22-45 "are watching absolutely no content on traditional tv platforms." Even more so, according to CNBC, for those who are watching television, they are finding that mobile usage spikes during commercial times. ""Every 15 or 20 minutes, right when there's a commercial break on TV, you just see this massive peak in [mobile] activity," said Ashish Chordia, founder and chief executive of alphonso."

While the information I've shared has seemed like tv advertising is a thing of the past, I would like to offer a glimmer of hope. I would love to point out a company who is doing exceptionally well in tv advertising.Two words, DILLY DILLY. Bud Light has changed the game with their new Dilly Dilly commercials and because of that Bud Light has gained a ton of publicity and larger brand awareness.

Therefore, if I were to be honest, I believe that companies have the ability to increase brand awareness(therefore hopefully increasing sales) with investing in tv commercials and advertisements. However, they need to hone into there target market, do their research, and be incredibly creative. According to Harvard Business Review, "Ads with a high level of artistic creativity contain aesthetically appealing verbal, visual, or sound elements. Their production quality is high, their dialogue is clever, their color palette is original, or their music is memorable. As a result, consumers often view the ads as almost a piece of art rather than a blatant sales pitch." Going back to my first article, I believe the key to a successful ad is originality, fluency, creativity and authenticity in who they are and their approach to their target market.

Marketing Authentically

Marketing Authentically-The Identity of a Brand & their Digital Effects

How does this apply to the digital space? How does this affect the way a consumer views the identity or brand of a company?

Dove, H&M, Pepsi, Chick-Fil- A, Coca-Cola, UGA Football, Wendy's. Do these names ring a bell?  These are just a few companies (good or bad) that have popped up on my social media accounts within the past year. While all being so different, they all have made a significant impact in the digital space.

Is the identity of Dove, a company that in the past has embodied an identity of inclusivity and diversity for all, diminished by the video posted on one of their social media sites? One would say yes, one would say no, but I believe their identity is unclear and at times questionable. In my opinion, this made their controversy last longer than others do.

Chick-fil-A on the other hand is a brand who despite the occasional negative press, has consistently stayed true to who they are. A company founded on the principles of Christianity, they have not wavered when they experienced backlash due to expressing their opinions on gay marriage. Initially, I believed that a brand with strong opinions and at times unpopular opinions could be damaging, they have continued to be successful. Why is that? I believe that people value authenticity, something clear and decisive. They want to know that they will feel good about spending their money at a place rather than regretting they did.

All in all, controversy ignites from the use of our voices on digital platforms. It is imperative for a company to know their identity and create a strong brand message. It is also important to create digital content that is reflective of your brand and what you stand for. Doing this, creates a foundation that can withstand negative press and gives a clear message to consumers.

Be kind to one another.