Archive for the ‘Branding & Marketing’ Category

I’ve been able to catch up on my blogs today, and wanted to put together some interesting, if topically disparate, posts that I came across:

Web 2.0 applications are coming, going, and denting companies’ reputations. See “Losing Face,” about how British Airways and Virgin Atlantic were dinged by their employee’s posts on Facebook, and then read about how blogging is going (has gone) mainstream in “Oh, Grow Up” from the Economist.

Businessweek‘s Management IQ blog has a post titled “The Gender Pay Gap: Still Alive at the Top, Too” where they quote a recent report saying that women execs make 85% of their male counterparts.

Research from Cornell about the 40-hour workweek was recently released: “Forty Hours Doesn’t Work for Everyone: Examining Employee Preferences for Work Hours”. From the summary:

Current economic conditions have caused many employers to reduce employees’ work hours—a trend that will likely continue if the economy worsens. Yet research on work hours is limited, as most studies in this area have focused on the effects of employees’ working in excess of a 40-hour work week. This report seeks to specifically examine the effect of “hours mismatch,” which is defined as the mismatch between the number of hours the employee desires to work and the actual number of hours worked. Based on a study of 1,032 individuals, the results show that hours mismatch is an important predictor of attitudinal outcomes, including life satisfaction, work-family conflict, job stress, and intent to turn over.

In other news, we have a new president! Merchandise, sporting Obama’s portrait, has been big business, but apparently a nanoscale portrait of our 44th president has been created as well. If you want to learn more about what’s going on during the presidential transition, then go to change.gov, the first-ever American presidential transition website. If you’d like a little sordid history about the 2008 Presidential Campaign, head over to Newsweek, where they’re doing a seven-part series on “Secrets of the 2008 Campaign”. Read all about how both McCain and Obama’s computer networks were hacked, and what you get for a $150,000 shopping spree.


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In this past Sunday’s “On the Hotseat” segment of the Boston Globe business section, Julie Gilbert, a Senior VP of Best Buy, discusses the company’s initiative to find and market to the under-served of the electronics store: women.

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There’s a fascinating HBS working paper by Benjamin Edelman, “Securing Online Advertising: Rustlers and Sheriffs in the New Wild West”, which investigates the many types of malicious advertising on the internet–where a hacker will use advertising to install programs that track a user, cause popups, or create annoying toolbars. Some of the top online merchants have been duped into assisting these hackers in their efforts as well, which goes to show how prevalent this problem is. From the abstract:

Read the news of recent computer security guffaws, and it’s striking how many problems stem from online advertising. Advertising is the bedrock of web sites that are provided without charge to end users, so advertising is everywhere. But advertising security gaps are equally widespread: from “malvertisement” banner ads pushing rogue anti-spyware software, to click fraud, to spyware and adware, the security lapses of online advertising are striking.

During the past five years, I have uncovered hundreds of online advertising scams defrauding thousands of users—not to mention all the web’s top merchants. This chapter summarizes some of what I’ve found—and what users and advertisers can do to protect themselves.

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Businessweek features its ranking of the 100 Best Global Brands this week. There’s all sorts of cool video, slideshows, and interactive tables. Don’t miss the great articles, such as this article about branding for millennial girls (women?), written by three millennials.

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With every presidential election cycle, voters (or consumers?) get their fill of candidate advertising. At the same time, other interested parties play up the election. This XX Factor, a blog from Slate.com, points out a pretty disturbing set of “get out the vote” ads from Declare Yourself.

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This article is from last year’s USA Today but I thought it was a pretty interesting article about how cities are trying to design more women-friendly spaces.  It’s a good quick read, available online here.  The idea stretches beyond cities, to roadways, building construction, and public transportation.  Is it possible that, sometime in the future, cities will be marketing themselves to women?

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Wired has an interesting article about Julia Allison, a person who has become famous for something that doesn’t come natural to many people–shameless self-promotion. As one of the nouveau “Internet Famous” Julia is, like Paris Hilton, famous for being famous. When first moving to NYC, she set a goal for herself to become a cult personality, and has seemingly achieved it. The Wired article describes some of the methods Julia has used in personality marketing, an obvious niche in marketing that has flourished through social networking.

Allison’s greatest accomplishment isn’t the volume of content she creates; it’s that she gets anyone to care about it. Her trick, she says, is to think of herself as the subject of a magazine profile, with every post or update adding dimensions to her as a character. “I treat it like a fire,” she says. “You have to add logs, or it’ll be like one of those YouTube videos that flame out.”

Read the rest of the article, or visit her site to see more of her tactics.

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