This post has been moved to my new home on the web www.steve-e.co.uk. The post itself can be found here. 23Musings is going to remain dormant for now and some of its more popular posts will be transferred to the blog at my new site.

My reason for moving and not taking the years of posts with me is the need for a fresh start, 23Musings had been dormant for long enough for me to feel it was time to start my blog from scratch.

Don’t forget to check out my new blog! www.steve-e.co.uk/blog

This post has been moved to my new home on the web www.steve-e.co.uk. The post itself can be found here. 23Musings is going to remain dormant for now and somke of its more popular posts will be transferred to the blog at my new site.

My reason for moving and not taking the years of posts with me is the need for a fresh start, 23Musings had been dormant for long enough for me to feel it was time to start my blog from scratch.

Don’t forget to check out my new blog! www.steve-e.co.uk/blog

A widgets masterclass

March 3, 2008

Here’s an interesting series of articles and audio/video from Business Week on the subject of widgets. The series is designed to help influence CEO’s as to whether it’s worth dipping your toes in the waters of widgets (I’m a believer so I’d say yes, go for it).

Building a brand with widgets gives a good overview as to why it may be important to your brand to embrace new technologies and distribution channels such as widgets in order to promote your brand and discusses the viral aspects that can make brands fly online.

Widgets: The future of online ads is a piece singing the praises of widgets and all they stand for. On the flip side Why widgets don’t work is a counterpoint playing devils advocate.

A widget mogul in between classes is about the up and coming Facebook app developer Ankur Nagpal who’s made six figures at the age of 19 creating apps for Facebook.

When Facebook ads flop introduces us to some of the many unused Facebook applications and gives reasons for their failure. What’s good about this piece is the fact that most of the apps are from large companies with mature marketing strategies and yet they’ve still got it wrong, should be a warning to us all.

The CEO guide to widgets is a podcast talking about the use of widgets for advertising on social networks.

Finally, Making money from widgets is a video interview with VideoEgg CEO Matt Sanchez discussing how to go about monetising the widget world.

Great series of articles, definitely recommend sending this to your CEO (or manager…) if they really don’t seem to get it yet!

Who are the coolest brands?

September 14, 2007

The Coolbrands UK top 20 has been announced. This is the 20 brands which were voted as most cool in a YouGov survey recently. There’s a few tech brands in there (unsurprisingly) and more of a surprise to me was Virgin Atlantic’s appearance at 10.

Here’s the whole list, seems Google still have a bit of work to do to shake off the geek factor, if they manage that I reckon they’ll move up the list next year.

  1. Aston Martin
  2. iPod
  3. YouTube
  4. Bang and Olufsen
  5. Google
  6. Playstation
  7. Apple
  8. Agent Provocateur
  9. Nintendo
  10. Virgin Atlantic
  11. Ferrari
  12. Ducati
  13. eBay
  14. Rolex
  15. Tate Modern
  16. Prada
  17. Lamborghini
  18. Green & Blacks
  19. iTunes
  20. Amazon

There’s a great article in Wired Magazine talking about the wasted marketing dollars that are being ploughed into Second Life at the moment. Here’s some excerpts below:

At least 50 major companies have ventured into the virtual world to date, spending millions in the process. IBM has created a massive complex of adjoining islands dedicated to recruitment, employee training, and in-world business meetings. Coldwell Banker has opened a virtual real estate office. Brands like Adidas, H&R Block, and Sears have set up shop. CNET and Reuters have opened virtual bureaus there. It’s as if the moon suddenly had oxygen. Nobody wants to miss out.

On a random day in June, the most popular location was Money Island (where Linden dollars, the official currency, are given away gratis), with a score of 136,000. Sexy Beach, one of several regions that offer virtual sex shops, dancing, and no-strings hookups, came in at 133,000. The Sears store on IBM’s Innovation Island had a traffic score of 281; Coke’s Virtual Thirst pavilion, a mere 27. And even when corporate destinations actually draw people, the PR can be less than ideal.

This shows that for all the money invested, Second Life residents just don’t seem to be into the type of offerings that are placing themselves in the virtual world. Does this make it a waste of money? I reckon so for large investments (in pots and pans of course), it’s still worth getting into Second Life because it could be turned around and become more valuable to marketers and to win it you will have to be in it. Just don’t jump in with a huge investment straight away! It is with having brand presence!

I’ve decided that every time I come across a great piece of viral marketing I will post it up here. Viral is one area of digital marketing that I find fascinating. The effect a good viral can have is quite staggering, from massive acquisition of potential customer details to generation of huge brand buzz, and big brand who hasn’t yet at least investigated viral is missing out!

Here’s a great example from Carlsberg. It plays off the Coke & Mentos video virals really well and while not about acquisition, it will get many eyeballs and generate huge brand awareness for them. It’s also pretty damn clever!

Microsoft has been knocked off the top spot of the most powerful brands list by Google. The ranking from Milward Brown Optimor shows the most powerful brands and it’s aim is to show the value a brand is expected to generate for its owner in the future.

It’s the second year in a row that a tech company has beaten the household names such as Coca-Cola and Wal Mart. It’s yet another indication of just how all pervasive Google is.

The 10 most powerful global brands of 2007 plus value are:

  1. Google – $66.4bn
  2. General Electric – $61.9bn
  3. Microsoft – $55bn
  4. Coca-Cola – $44.1bn
  5. China Mobile – $41.2bn
  6. Marlboro – $39.2bn
  7. Wal-Mart – $36.9bn
  8. Citi – $33.7bn
  9. IBM – $33.6bn
  10. Toyota – $33.4bn

The 10 most powerful UK brands of 2007

  1. Vodafone
  2. HSBC
  3. Tesco
  4. M&S
  5. Royal Bank of Scotland
  6. Barclays
  7. BP
  8. Asda
  9. Standard Chartered Bank
  10. Lloyds TSB

Quite surprised by the UK brands that Vodafone is top considering they have consistently underdelivered to me and caused me to change my mobile service provider!