As marketers, you learn through execution, implementation, trial and a whole lot of error that a brand is only as relevant in the overcrowded marketing landscape as the stories it shares and tells. Then comes in authenticity, execution, creativity and distribution. All of the "marquee" brands of the world - Nike, Redbull, Coke, Barbie - are all fantastic storytellers. Newer marquee brands - Warby Parker comes to mind, also great storytellers.
One of the greatest gifts of social media as a "marketing channel" is how fluid it is. For better (and at times for worse) it just moves, scales, and grows or it doesn't.
It gives brands, companies, celebrities, non-profits and regular human beings the chance to share stories, content, messages and information that they previously might not have been able to share to an external audience. Imagine as a photographer if you had to print flyers or buy OOH in order to sling your services. Or as a new jewelry designer, having to sell your e-commerce with only banner ads and PPC.
Social media gives us an opportunity to tell a lot of stories. One of our favorite stories for the past year has been the collection of inspirational places that we have gathered on behalf of Mandarin Oriental (client). This simple social story has a clear purpose and heart felt message from distinct and empowered New York voices. What's not to love? In particular, it is rewarding to partner with brands like Mandarin who extend beyond the walls of their property to truly elevate a community. Inspired.
Many of us are life-long New Yorkers, some of us came as adults. Even having been here for 7 years (to-the-day, actually) as I have, change has been witnessed and manifested in many ways. The Williamsburg apartment that was my first home in NYC is now 5x the price in rent, literally. And it hasn't even been renovated.
My favorite diner in the West Village is now a not-so-awesome club. A good friend and well known restaurateur just informed me last week he's losing his lease in NYC to pave the way for another shoe store that slings slingbacks I'll never be able to afford. The meatpacking district is now mostly (and sadly) unbearable. Even 7 years ago, there were great gems like APT hidden away there for cocktail fun that never felt pretentious. Bleecker street, steps away from my office, is as bad as SoHo on a Saturday. And Elizabeth Street, in my mind one of the most amazing streets in this city, now is rich with chains and overpriced Japanese denim.
Change, as I remind my friends who are fighting it hard out in Montauk (my second home), is inevitable. Not always good, not always bad...but always going to happen. As someone (originally a singer perhaps?) once said "the only thing that stays the same is everything changes"...
Really enjoyed diving into this read from a life-long NYer lamenting the change that is happening in this city. Whether you live in New York or Charleston, SC or Montauk or Venice Beach or Bloomington, Indiana, I bet you can relate. I suggest you take the five minutes and read it.
Every year when Social Media Week hits NYC (now twice per year) we become like little social media robots, scurrying around the city, programmed to suck in as much as we can from various industry thought leaders, learn as much as we can around new platforms and opportunities and of course, share a few things of our own. People always seem to think that because we consult a lot on social media that we spend a lot of time on our own. The contrary, really. We invest in our clients not in our own, there are only so many hours in the day, afterall. When you're in the trenches we've found best to invest in innovation on the people who matter most.
A few highlights and notes we'd love to share:
- Bigger and better than ever?
- Tons of content around the 2012 Election - which many are calling the first social election
- Grammys! Mania!
- Pinterest...perhaps THE buzz word this week.....even Zuck is on it
- U Plan Me & Blackbook (and the fun party that happened with it)
- Shoutlet 5.0
- Social media week is really every week, isn't it?
- The future of social media sharing (we love a good infographic, don't we?)
- And last, but not least, our office dog made his social media debut this week, on the blog of an adorable dog-adoring child of one of our colleagues
Last week we went to the Ultimate Cocktail Blast to hang out with some of our favorite spirits brands, some of our marketing friends, client partners... and of course, most importantly, to taste some of their award-winning cocktails.
We trekked up to Times Square in the pouring rain to the Marriott Marquis and were excited to be greeted by some classic favorites like St. Germain and Bulldog Gin and discover some new gems like Farmer's Organic Gin, Adult Chocolate Milk (Delish- look at the cocktail recipe with this in the pics below - amaze!) and the team fave Junior's Midnight Moon Moonshine and Cat Daddy from Piedmont Distillers.
Y'all know we hail originally from the south, so immediately ran towards the cute Mason jar bottling of the Midnight Moon product. It was love at first taste. They make small batches of handcrafted deliciousness that is triple distilled and comes in flavors like Apple Pie, Cherry, Blueberry and Cranberry. Their other product, Cat Daddy, stole the show for us. Smooth, delicious, unique. We're serving this at our next cocktail party.
Putting our social media hats on, it was interesting how many opportunities were missed at this event packed with consumers and tastemakers to actually acquire and retain them. There were very few brands (the only one we saw was done by our friends at Rebel who had iPads on-site registering folks into social channels) who activated beyond a Facebook or Twitter logo on the event collateral.
Some sample, simple activations that would have been rad:
- Foursquare tip on the 'official' event location that gave booth visitors a special exclusive cocktail
- Social rewards for any social action (Follow/Tweet @ brand, LIKE brand on Facebook, Recommend brand on Facebook)
- Digital drink recipe cards
- Samples branded with social call to action (and corresponding consumer promotion online)
- Give away to random on-site visitors who follow/LIKE real-time (via random selection)
And those are just the basics. Drop us a note, spirits community, we've got ideas for days. Overall it was an amazing way to spend a rainy evening. Here are some pics we snapped:
Sometimes you have to just take a moment and really just breathe in the great city of New York City. We feel so grateful to work here with so many amazing companies and brands. Images like this remind us of the beauty that we all know is here, around any (and every) street corner, daily. We live here. We love here. We work here.
As people who frequent client meetings, airports and other destinations that are either not conducive to subway travel (running late!) or otherwise inaccessible, we get excited about what we like to call "car service on-demand."
We are currently big fans (and users) of the service Uber so are thrilled to hear that there is a healthy bit of competition stampeding the market here in NYC with the recently mobilized GroundLink.
What makes GroundLink exciting:
- Ride Now or Ride Later feature allows you to book a car in the future (assuming, of course, that it shows up)
- Flat rates based on distance. Traffic jam? Same rate.
- Large fleet...they're not going to disrupt the sea of yellow anytime soon, but they're also not going to be impossible, response pending, to actually ride
- You can track your car real-time in the app so you know exactly where it is (no waiting around on the curb freezing)
- They have an on-time guarantee - so if they're late you're covered
- Affordable airport trips!
Of course all of this comes down to execution. But we have high hopes and we're excited to test this puppy out and will keep you posted.