At #SXSW14, Austin Kleon delivered a keynote in which he talked about vampires who suck your energy out and that being a scenius is even more important than being a genius. A scenius has the ability (and humbleness) to surround themselves with people who have different skill sets and are not afraid to share not only their knowledge, but also the process of how they get things done. It made sense with what appeared to be a constant during this year’s SXSW: all great things are created through collaboration, an open source mentality and an approach to real social…

Real Time Marketing.

Sometimes saying nothing is what gets you into the most trouble (example: not wishing your spouse a Happy Anniversary (trust me on this)). If you’re a brand, saying nothing can get you absolutely pilloried, particularly in social media and particularly over a politically hot-button topic such as the Russian anti-gay laws that, to many, have become the focus of the Sochi Olympics. Brands that take the tried-and-true approach of staying above the fray are finding that, at least in the world of always-on, always-chattering social media, where everything is amplified and reposted, the fray will come and find them. It’s…

Here We Go Again.

A couple of weeks after the brouhaha over Chick-fil-A’s CEO’s comments about same-sex marriage prompted a national debate reflected in social media, another fast-food chain, Papa John?s, has dipped its toe in the red state/blue state divide and is paying the price in public perception. Via http://mashable.com/2012/08/10/papa-johns-charts/

The RNC’s Latin-DOH!

Mitt Romney has been increasingly keen on courting the Latino vote, which is believed to heavily favor President Obama, but the Republican National Committee’s Hispanic outreach site may not be doing Romney any favors. RNCLatinos.com recently featured as its main image a stock photo which tags the photo with keywords that clearly suggest the “Latino” children shown are actually Asian, including: “asia,” “asian,” “interracial,” “japanese,” and “thailand.” The photo has since been removed. Via http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/06/14/rnc-latino-site-features-stock-photo-of-asian-children

The Evolving Nature of Brand Alignment.

The algebra of business is simple: companies connect with customers, and customers connect with brands. The brand is everything in today?s digital world; and brand loyalty is a recurring business. It used to be a one-way street. No longer. Now with the emergence of social media, customers are deeply engaged with products and services across the entire digital space and they have begun to feel the brand need and are demanding greater interaction with it. They?ve come to expect brands to engage and respond to them at all times and from everywhere. The best companies today understand that brand engagement…