Friday, February 5, 2016

If You Have More Than 200 Friends Online, You're Totally Fake

Okay, okay, that headline may be overstating things a bit. But a new study by researchers at the University of Oxford suggests that social media – despite its apparent efficiency in enabling us to communicate with large groups of people – can’t overcome our basic psychosocial wiring, which limits us to relationships with roughly 150-200 individuals.

The article, titled “Do online social media cut through the constraints that limit the size of offline social networks?” investigates social media in the context of the “social brain” hypothesis, which states that there is a characteristic or average size for human social networks.  

What is that average size?  Read the entire article here courtesy of Media Post.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Most CEOs Still Not On Social Media

Pity the bosses, who have to contend with all sorts of dilemmas as they figure out how to budget their time. On one hand, as CEO you’re also basically the company’s top spokesperson and therefore expected to be on social media. But creating thoughtful content requires a substantial time investment, and let’s be frank: that four-martini lunch is not going to drink itself.

Presented with these conflicting demands, most CEOs are choosing to just skip the whole thing, judging by a new study by business management software provider Domo, which checked up on the bosses of all the Fortune 500 companies and found that just 39% have a presence on any of the six big social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+). That figure is up 7% from last year’s “Social CEO Report.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How Younger and Older Millennial Shoppers Differ

Digital shopping is standard procedure across the millennial age bracket. But there are some differences in how the younger and older consumers go about things, online and offline, as explored in a new eMarketer report “US Millennials at Key Life Stages: How Younger and Older Segments Differ and Converge.”  Read the complete article here courtesy of EMarketer.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Who Are the Year's Best-Loved Brands?

Conventional wisdom holds that it takes decades of hard work for a company to become the most respected in its field. Maybe that’s still true, but consider this: half of the most respected brands in existence have been around fewer than 20 years.

That’s just one of the findings of the YouGov BrandIndex’s best-perceived brands of the year, released today. (You can find profiles of the Top 10 brands and charts of their brand growth in recent years below.)

Not only are the top placers surprisingly youthful companies, but they are—not coincidentally—also media and technology heavies. “New media and technology are dominating the list,” said BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli. “Seven out of 10 of these brands are these new media brands and many of them didn’t exist 10 years ago.”

YouGov polls consumers each year about 1,400 brands, asking respondents to score them based on what they’ve heard about them (good or bad) in the preceding two weeks. That makes the survey a pretty good measure of advertising efficacy and media reach, which probably explains why Amazon, Netflix and YouTube—all of them companies involved in disseminating content as well as creating their own—reign at the top of the list.

But by ranking brands on customers’ perceptions, the survey is also a gauge of how much damage a bad incident can do to a brand. Case in point: Subway, last year's No. 4 brand, got knocked clean out of the Top 10 list—most likely in the wake of the disaster that spokesperson Jared Fogle became.

In fact, as the charts below illustrate, YouGov's data highlights how fast-changing American perceptions of brands can be.

Brands like the iPhone have passed in and out of favor, for example, while Amazon has consistently held the high ground. As Marzilli points out, it's not always easy to pin down exactly why consumers hold a brand in high esteem in the first place, then turn their backs on it.

But one thing is certain: Being digitally savvy and socially sharable goes a long way to keeping a brand in high regard. And in that respect, even an older brand can still share the limelight with the youngsters. Consider Samsung, founded in 1938, but now the leading maker of smart phones on planet earth—and the No. 7 best perceived brand, too.

Want a look at America's 10 best-perceived brands going into 2016, click here for the full list courtesy of AdWeek.

Monday, February 1, 2016

America Wants . . . American?

Today, companies like Apple and Google are re-creating and redefining the idea of American excellence, making “Made in the U.S.A.” evocative once again. Even American automakers, once a sad symbol of America gone wrong, are creating exciting, innovative products and finding new and ardent fans. Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” campaign set a stage of American resilience and pride – perfect for the re-launch of the brand. Cadillac’s move to New York and subsequent luxury differentiation was a smart move that should start to pay dividends as well.

We are on the verge of another golden era of American design and manufacturing. Americans are proud of themselves again. They believe in themselves again. And they want to buy American.

The brand of “American made” has waxed and waned over the years. During the height of national pride and support in World War II, iconic brands such as Jeep, Boeing and Spam launched, and “Made in America” stood for ingenuity, dependability and progress. The ‘70s, ’80s and ‘90s saw that brand erode with the introduction of Japanese automakers, Nintendo and the Internet making it much easier for individual consumers to buy from any country.

Despite a rocky history, Americans are turning back to American brands in record numbers and our research discusses why.

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