Disney World, Perdue Chicken ‘Most Loved Brands’

Disney World, Purdue Chicken, Brand Marketing
Image source: mediapost.com

by  | Media Post

Disney World and Perdue Chicken are the “most loved brands,” offline and online respectively, based on positive conversations and referrals, according to Engagement Labs. 

When consumers love a brand, they don’t just purchase its products and services, they are more likely to recommend that brand, talk about it with friends and engage with its marketing content. In a recent analysis of more than 500 consumer brands in a variety of categories, Engagement Labs ranked the most loved brands based on positive conversations happening online (via social media) and offline (via face-to-face conversations), as part of its TotalSocial Brand Awards series.

Disney World, Wegmans and Febreze were the top finishers offline, and Perdue Chicken, CVS and Hampton Inn were the top finishers online. 

The awards are based on the company’s proprietary TotalSocial data, which continuously measures the four most important drivers of brand performance. These are: sentiment (having more positive than negative conversations), brand sharing (the extent to which people are sharing or talking about a brand’s marketing or advertising), volume (a measure of how many conversations mention a brand) and influence (the extent to which an influential audience is talking about a brand).  

“While creating a beloved brand is, first and foremost, predicated on having a good product or service, it also requires the cultivation of a passionate fan base that is encouraged to evangelize for the brand,” said Ed Keller, chief executive officer of Engagement Labs, in a release. “The country’s most loved brands aren’t just big marketing spenders. In fact, Wegmans, which ranked second, made our list of most beloved brands without a large marketing budget. Wegmans chooses to invest in recruiting and training employees. The brand has been able to create a positive customer experience that consumers are eager to talk about with friends and family, both offline and online.”

Disney World topped the list of most loved brands offline—or those which are spoken about positively during face-to-face conversations. Disney World and Febreze, which ranked first and third respectively on the offline list, are big spenders on advertising. In 2017, for example, Febreze launched its “OdorOdes” campaign and debuted its first Super Bowl commercial.

Perdue Chicken tops the list of most loved brands being talked about during online conversations. Perdue’s marketing campaign featuring its multi-generational family business resonated with consumers in 2017, according to the study. Similarly, when it comes to budget-friendly hotels, travelers have plenty of good things to say about Hampton Inn, which ranked third for its high sentiment in online conversations.

“Brands need to be aware that you don’t have to be an e-commerce or digital company to have consumers speak positively about your brand on social media,” Keller says. “You just have to inspire consumers enough that they want to engage in conversations about the brand, and that is exactly what the brands in our most loved online list did.”

Article source: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/314762/disney-world-perdue-chicken-most-loved-brands.html

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SPN Spaces: UNO’s Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising

Innovation, Tech
Image Source: http://siliconprairienews.com

By  | Silicon Prairie News

SPN Spaces is a new series that takes a look inside the region’s most inspiring startups, workspaces, incubators, accelerators and organizations.

Inside Mammel Hall on the south side of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s campus is the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising. The Center supports entrepreneurial education and collaboration, innovative hands-on learning experiences, as well as faculty research, conferences and mentorship. CIEF also provides advisory services to start-ups and small business entities throughout the region.

The CIEF website says the center serves as a bridge between the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and the diverse entrepreneurial community in the Omaha, Nebraska area. SPN dropped in on UNO’s Maverick Startups class led by Dr. Dale T. Eesley, Director and John Morgan Community Chair in Entrepreneurship to talk more about how the CIEF and UNO are preparing the region’s next wave of founders.

Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising at University of Nebraska at Omaha’s College of Business Administration

Lead by: Dr. Dale T. Eesley, Director & John Morgan Community Chair in Entrepreneurship

SPN: What classes and programs does UNO offer through the CIEF that are supporting the Silicon Prairie’s next generation of business founders?

DE: The CIEF at UNO’s College of Business Administration offers a wide range of entrepreneurial classes, all of which have a heavy applied focus.  These include Entrepreneurial Foundations, Maverick Startups, New Venture Formation, Entrepreneurial Finance, Social Venturing, Entrepreneurial Selling, Commercializing Technology and Technology Ventures (IS&T students paired up with Business students in teams).

We also have a number of classes taught by faculty outside the College of Business Administration including Media Entrepreneurship, Geography, Gender & Entrepreneurship, Political Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship & the Arts, Entrepreneurship & Leadership in British Literature, and Creativity & Innovation in Organizations (taught by the Psychology department).

SPN: How are you emulating real-life business problems and experiences in the classroom?

DE: Classes such as Entrepreneurial Foundation and Social Venturing have hands-on projects where they apply their classroom learning to solve problems for local startups, businesses and non-profit organizations.  In Maverick Startups students engage in customer discovery and validation with 50 potential customers using their own concepts and business models.  New Venture Formation and Technology Ventures are classes where students work on their own business concepts and try to create new businesses or at least test their viability.

A new program we have started, the Maverick Venture Fund, trains 12 students a year on how to do seed-stage investing.  After a semester of training, they make actual investments in student, alumni, and community startups.  It doesn’t get any more real than that!  By the way, if you are searching for funding, please apply to pitch your venture to the fund!

SPN: Do things like startup classes and entrepreneurial groups in college give students an advantage over their self-taught peers once they graduate?

DE: Our classes are very hands-on and applied classes always enhance students’ ability to understand and master the content, so it stays with them long after graduation.  Our students have to venture “outside the building” and in so doing, they learn about the startup community in Omaha.  So compared to the self-taught, they know where to go for advice, partners and funding when they are ready to launch a new company.  Our graduates tend to stay in the Omaha area, so the connections they make through our classes have long-term benefits.

SPN: How are you teaching young entrepreneurs to look at their talents and skills (everything from music, to design, to athletics) differently?

DE: In our classes, we train students to think empathetically and to really understand their customers’ true needs.  We do this by having them identify their interests and experiences and then identify an area in which they can contribute.  We also use Gallup’s Builder Profile assessment to help them better understand how their talents can be used to create solutions.  We emphasize the development of an entrepreneurial mindset that can be used for much more than starting a new venture.  For example, our classes in Journalism, Political Science, Theater and Psychology apply entrepreneurial thinking and processes to topics far outside of business.

In the last two years, we have offered an Entrepreneurial Living Learning Community where freshman live together, take cohort classes, travel to places like Denver and Silicon Valley and engage in 30 hours of entrepreneurial activity each semester.  This is an incredible way for them to explore their entrepreneurial interests and what they discover about themselves helps shape what they do and the way they do it throughout their college experience.

SPN: Every entrepreneur will experience at least one “small failure” in their career. What advice do you give students for when they inevitably face setbacks?

My best advice, and one we teach in our classes, is that the startup process is a search for information, and failures are really important pieces of information!  By taking the steps to minimize the financial risk in the earliest stages, students will have the ability to fail fast multiple times while searching for the right business model.  I also support students who start their careers working for others because it lets them build their skills, save money, and let their employers pay the price for their early mistakes.  At the same time, if they have a great idea, I think now is the perfect time to go for it, before they are saddled with responsibilities and commitments we take on as older adults.

SPN: What CIEF events are coming up that will give the community a chance to get involved with the program and UNO? 

The CIEF offers a lot of events and programs outside of the classroom to enhance their entrepreneurial development.  We are always in search of judges, mentors, and sponsors for events such as:

We are particularly excited about this year’s Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference April 6 & 7. Over 400 people from Omaha and more than 25 universities will come together to learn from speakers that include billionaires, shark tank contestants and social entrepreneurs.  There’s something for everybody and it is open to the public.

Article source: http://siliconprairienews.com/2018/02/spn-spaces-unos-center-innovation-entrepreneurship-franchising/

A journalist’s 12 tips to writing good content

Writing, Content
A journalist’s guide to writing good content / Thought Catalog

By  | The Drum Network

Good writing isn’t easy, nor should it be. The fact that every man and his dog thinks he can write these days only serves to make the role of writers more important – with a real need for people to write quality content that stands out from the mediocre morass.

However, even the best writers get writer’s block and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. In that spirit, here are 12 things I learned as a journalist that I’ve taken into marketing. Hopefully they can aid you in your quest to fine tune your writing.

  1. Read widely: The more you read, the better a writer you become. Look at your competitors – but also become a voracious reader of blogs, websites, newspapers, magazines and books. Good writers ‘magpie’ ideas from a variety of sources.
  2. Keep it simple: Journalists are encouraged to consider whether their parents or grandparents would understand their copy, stripping away unnecessary jargon and explaining terminology. Always consider if your audience would understand what you’ve written and use short, sharp sentences without too many clauses to avoid confusion.
  3. Be active: Think of the loose formula ‘subject, verb, object’. So, ‘Andrew wrote a rant for The Drum’ is probably better than ‘The rant came in an article written by Andrew’. Don’t be constrained by this rule but keep it in mind to write punchy content.
  4. Bullet point lists: Google loves a bullet point list – and so does your reader. Use them to make your content digestible.
  5. Use a thesaurus: Avoid using the same word more than once in a sentence. A thesaurus is your friend.
  6. Become self-reflective: Read back over posts you’ve written, preferably after a week or more has passed. Learn to critique your content and see what has and hasn’t worked.
  7. Write for pleasure: Writers who keep their love for their craft will give you that little bit extra. Write a blog about your personal passion in your free time and the process of writing will never become a chore.
  8. Listen to others: Good writers observe the world around them and channel their observations through the written word. Listening carefully to others will especially help if you write for an audience you aren’t part of.
  9. Don’t be too precious: People will disagree with you as a writer. They’ll often fuss about one or two words. You need a thick skin. Don’t be upset by the one word you were forced to change, be proud of the hundreds of others that are published.
  10. Challenge your brief: If you’re writing something and it feels wrong, it probably is. If you’re bored or confused by what you’re writing, then you can expect your reader to feel the same. Be prepared to question what’s in your brief.
  11. Write it how you’d say it: Are you stuck? Think about what you would say if you were to explain this verbally. Maybe write this out and then turn those words into something that’s more appropriate in a written form.
  12. Talk to other writers: A good team spirit and open dialogue between writers is important. Writers can help each other through difficulties by suggesting possible solutions or maybe offering links to articles they’ve read or written for inspiration.

This article first appeared as a chapter in volume two of The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Your Brand. 

Article source: http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2018/02/13/journalists-12-tips-writing-good-content

Why Businesses Will Struggle to Adapt to 2018’s Social Marketing Challenges

Social Marketing, Influencer Marketing
Image Credit: PonyWang/iStock

By 

In its ongoing efforts to redefine popular beauty standards as part of its decade-long Real Beauty campaigns, Dove learned the hard way about the thin line that exists between positive social message and controversy. For a company that has so successfully promoted positive body image in the past, it must have come as a shock that an idea so well thought out (or so it thought) ended up being so misinterpreted.

But that’s just one of many examples that what looks good on paper might not look as good on Twitter.

While the marketing mistakes we saw in 2017 might have taught us a thing or two about social marketing, 2018 might bring with it a fresh list of public relations mishaps, legal issues and other unanticipated challenges.

By looking at trends, we can predict and prepare for what’s to come in 2018.

People will expect authenticity

As brand messaging, giving to charity and claims of “green” become popular ways to attract customers, consumers are putting their guard up and being very selective about what they believe.

“Consumers are no longer being impressed by new old tactics that used to be woven together into cause marketing,” Electra Cruises CEO Randy Clayton said. “Going forward, businesses will need to be more believable.”

The answer to this is authenticity. To be able to connect with consumers at a personal level, social marketers––and marketers in general––will need to cultivate an authentic voice that customers can easily identify with. The messages sent out must reach customers, be genuine and at the same time enhance brand principles—something that’s not been very popular in 2017.

So, what can you do to make your voice more believable?

“The time is ripe for transitory content,” RockHer CEO Jim Vernon said. “Social marketing will need to pick up the momentum set on transitory content such as Instagram Stories and Facebook Live videos in 2017. This type of content has a better shot at making your brand credible, as opposed to other types of content, which look and feel rehearsed and perfected.”

Brands will be required to be even more transparent

Back in 2015, Machinima had to settle charges imposed on it by the Federal Trade Commission for failing to adequately disclose paid endorsements to YouTube influencers for the promotion of Microsoft’s Xbox One.

This is a case of influencer marketing done right (Machinima had promised its client 19 million views) but against the law.

With the rising application of influencer marketing, sponsored content and other related techniques taking center stage in social marketing, brands are under a lot of scrutiny. This has called for more transparency on their part in the way that they leverage these methods to get their products out there.

Speaking of the Machinima settlement, Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, explained, “When people see a product touted online, they have a right to know whether they’re looking at an authentic opinion or a paid marketing pitch.”

Lawsuit Settlement Funding CEO Chris Janish said, “The legal aspect of advertising has long been a non-issue, but now, companies will need to carefully consider this area before they can even begin to sell their message.”

With such developments, influencer marketing might become irrelevant, or at least not as effective in 2018 as it has been in the previous years. Customers will find it hard to believe a message if they can clearly see that an influencer has been paid to push it.

Managing messaging across channels will be more challenging

Traditionally, the idea of optimizing content for different channels was to take the same piece of content and make small changes to fit it into the target channel. However, as it is, every piece of content has to be created for a particular channel, from the start.

The content-creation process is changing drastically, and social marketers will need to adapt to these changes. They will need to constantly look back at past content and see what has worked before, including the social data and target audience information.

“Each platform provides unique opportunities for you to tell the story of your brand,” Scorum CEO Vladislav Artemyev said. “To succeed in each, social marketers have to clearly define the type of content to create for their audience in each of the channels. They have to know the key pillars of each platform; what content matches the target audience, and which types to do away with; and the audience engagement levels on each platform.”

While 2017 gave us lots of Kendall Jenner Pepsi ads, it also gave us Heineken’s Worlds Apart ads. So, nothing is predetermined. Some marketers will still rise above the challenges and use the trends to their advantage. But the time to act is now.

Article source: http://www.adweek.com/digital/james-jorner-effective-inbound-marketing-guest-post-2018-social-marketing-challenges/

7 creative ways small businesses can encourage employee innovation

Human Resources, Innovation, Workplace
Image credit: HRDive

Pete Jansons, Vice President, New Business Group at CareerBuilder | HR Dive | original post January 30, 2018

Innovation is a word often associated with the Googles, Facebooks and Apples of the world. But while small businesses might not have the budget to take the risks that big businesses have, innovation is just as important to staying competitive, attracting customers and recruiting top talent. Coming up with new ideas, however, is easier said than done.

That’s where your employees come in. Together, they hold a wealth of hidden ideas just waiting to be unearthed. Here are seven ways to encourage innovation among your small business employees.

  1. Make it okay to fail. Many employees are reluctant to submit ideas for fear that they will fail and look foolish. Make it clear that failure is okay. Take a cue from companies like Amazon, Netflix and Coca-Cola, and embrace the idea of failure. (After all, as JFK himself once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”)  Once your employees let go of their fear of failure, they will feel free to challenge old ways of thinking and bring new ideas to the table.
  2. Reward risk-taking. Employee recognition is key to boosting morale, productivity and overall job satisfaction. But while it’s important to recognize employees for good performance, rewarding them for taking risks will give them incentive to think beyond the status quo. Consider a “risk-taker of the week” award to celebrate your employees’ daredevil spirits. You never know when great risk will lead to great reward.
  3. Encourage off-site learning. Give employees opportunities to enhance their skills and learn new ones. Send them to conferences, seminars or off-site classes where they will not only build their expertise, but also meet new people and be exposed to new environments and different ideas.
  4. Hold a hackathon. No longer just for tech companies, hackathons (or hack days) are days set aside to let employees take a break from business as usual and work on completely different projects. Even if the day doesn’t result in a new business venture, the day “off” will help rejuvenate employees mentally and can help spur ideas for approaching their daily work in new ways.
  5. Create an idea submission hub. It may not be that your employees don’t have great ideas; it might be that they just don’t know what to do with them. Give employees an easily accessible method for submitting ideas – from creating a virtual “idea box” on your company’s intranet to an actual “old-fashioned” suggestion box. Make it a point to review these ideas monthly or quarterly, and act on the best ones.
  6. Schedule time to innovate. Hold regular (perhaps monthly) team meetings where employees can submit ideas and build on others’ ideas. Create a “safe space” where every idea submitted is taken seriously, appreciated and considered.
  7. Prevent burnout. Mental burnout can be a huge obstacle to innovation. Yet, CareerBuilder research shows that 3 in 5 small business employees feel burned out out at work. Make work-life balance a priority. Consider offering flexible schedules, redistributing workloads or bringing in temporary help.

Remember, innovation fosters innovation. The more you encourage and support new ideas and creative thinking at your company, the more it will become a part of your culture – one that attracts like-minded, creative candidates with new ideas of their own.

Article source: https://www.hrdive.com/news/7-creative-ways-small-businesses-can-encourage-employee-innovation/515908/