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Original articles from Andrew Turner.
 
McAfee: When Your Brand’s Namesake Goes Rogue
Off the grid, literally. McAfee the person and the brand have gone off the proverbial grid the past couple of months. YouGov’s BrandIndex put out a recent report that since early December there has been more negative news of the brand than positive news. What has changed in that time? The erratic behavior of its entrepreneurial namesake John McAfee and his attempts to outrun the law.

The UC Logo: Branding in Higher Education
The world of higher education is a fickle area for marketers. Having worked in the field for several years, I can attest to the level of politics involved in every marketing decision, which is infinitely more scrutinized in terms of branding. Which is why when the University of California, one of the largest public instructions in the nation...

Crowdsourcing: Danger to Your Brand?
As crowdsourcing becomes ingrained in marketing practices, the negative effect on brands increases. While there are many positive attributes associated with crowdsourcing, including increased consumer interaction and brand loyalty, the increase in the consumers’ autonomy inevitably causes the brand to suffer long-term. The increase in consumer interaction with brands through social media platforms...

1000 Channels, No Brands
Maybe saying “no brands” is a little harsh, but recently television outlets have been going through an identity crisis, abandoning their brands for the sheer appeasement of their viewers. TLC was the acronym for The Learning Channel, A&E used to stand for Arts and Entertainment Network, and MTV used to actually play music videos.

Stave Off a Brand Crisis
Handling brand crises is a more important issue than ever before. We can clearly see from the likes of Chick-fil-A and Penn State that the bungling of a PR problem can have devastating and lasting effects on a company’s brand. The importance of handling a crisis has been magnified by the scope of social media.

Encouraging Culture: Building Brands on Basic Levels
In an article on Fast Company, Caribou Coffee CEO Mike Tattersfield explains how his company develops its culture. He presents a multitude of good ideas about developing their brand on a basic level, but the greatest paradigm comes through in his discussion of how they break down their brand on a store level. “We try to have measurable connection at the store level,” says Tattersfield.

Deconstructing Your Logo
One of the greatest strategies for developing the identity of your brand is logo design, or, in many cases, redesign. In recent years we have seen logos trending towards simpler, cleaner designs.

Is Branding Irrelevant?
Is branding irrelevant? In a recent Fast Company article I came across, titled “Branding Talk Isn’t Helping Your Company. Here’s What Should Replace It,” author Brian Miller believes so. His contention is that companies have become too brand conscious, distracting their talents away from product design and forcing them to focus on what people like us have dubbed a “branding model.”

Google’s Brand Allocation: Google+ Local
Goodbye Google Places, hello Google+ Local. Google’s move of putting one of its products under the umbrella of its social media arm is more than just user experience; it is endemic of a new branding strategy. Google is positioning its highly used applications behind its social media arm Google+ in an effort to centralize its products into one platform. To understand the move, we must understand the Google brand. Google is a masterbrand. Its products (Places, Maps, Mobile) are individual brands.

A Great American Brand Drives Home
It was a blue day at the Ford Motor Company in 2006 when the company had to put up its headquarters, factories, and other assets up as collateral to qualify for their $23-billion loan. Among those assets was the iconic Ford logo. On Tuesday Ford was blue again, not with despair, but rather basking in the gleam of regaining its former logo.

JC Penney Needs to Win Back Its Loyal Customers
JC Penney’s new marketing campaign has done a lot to help build their brand, but it confuses consumers. Penney’s has fallen into a common branding trap of trading brand equity for actual profitability. In building its brand with catchy yet utterly irrelevant commercials, the company has overlooked the importance of turning a profit. Behind the new campaign is a new pricing strategy aimed to provide customers with deals on a more consistent basis. The ads, in turn, are supposed to promote this.

The Digital Campaign Rises: Building Anticipation for Your Brand
There is a new trend in product marketing that has taken hold amongst highly coveted products like cell phones and movies: digital campaigns. The Dark Knight Rises launched a new tie-in website this week. I was hooked by this movie long before this site went live, but now? I’m even more excited for the event.

The Brand Auteur
Auteur Theory is a common term used in film criticism. From the French for “author,” the theory holds that across a director’s body of work, one can see a commonality in all of the films that derives from that director’s creative voice. Think of Alfred Hitchcock, probably the most famous auteur. The theory, first presented by François Truffaut, contends that the predominate creative voice of the director silences the noise from other cogs of the creative process like the screenwriter and cinematographer. Auteur theory is what we as brand ambassadors strive for; consistency in creative voice across the body of work.

Spotify: The Soundtrack to Your Brand
There is a new billion-dollar Internet start-up changing the face of music around the world, and it has taken hold in America. Spotify, the music-streaming app, has now turned its sights on incorporating megabrands into its mass of American appeal by offering specific brand apps in an effort to offset the royalty-rich licensing fees that are associated with free music players.

Baseball and Branding: How Team Logos Embody the Sport
Baseball is back in full swing. If you haven’t noticed, many teams have made alterations to their images. The changes provide an interesting perspective on baseball brands and logos. Subtle changes to logos can have a serious affect on the entire image of the teams.

Managing a Brand Crisis
Companies spend millions of dollars on logo design, social media, advertising, yet do not use the proper metrics to measure the corporate brand. Are you spending money on measuring your key stakeholders? If not, how will you be prepared for a brand crisis?

What is Brand Authenticity?
Through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., consumers have a gluttonous accessibility to brands. Therefore the only way to be “authentic” is to be malleable and shape your brand around the consumer’s wants, needs, and problems. Here are three concepts that will help your pliability.

Google and Its New Branding Battle
Google apparently is building its brand just like everyone else these days: with ads. As the giant moves into new product fields it has turned to traditional advertising in an attempt to gain market share. But in doing so it signals Google’s looming battle with brand parity and brand dilution.

The Revival of Brand Mascots Through Social Media
In the past couple of years, companies and ad agencies have begun to revitalize the roles of mascots that they once popularized in the early '60s (i.e. Charlie Tuna and Mr. Peanut). In the 1960s, the advent of television created a new medium for these characters to develop their character arcs. In this same light, today ad agencies are utilizing social media to develop the mascots.

Branding Advice from the Greatest Entrepreneurs of our Time
Brands initially succeed because they are good at what they do but great brands endure because they are able to adapt and have leaders who can see the big picture. Fortune has compiled a list of entrepreneurs who have done exactly this. Having done my own personal research on many of these thinkers I have found that I agree with many of the entrants on this list.

Building Luxury Brands in a Tattered Economy
The difficulty of creating brand value and economic woes have a positive correlation; as economic problems increase, so does the difficulty of creating brand loyalty, especially with luxury brands. However, 2012 may be the year to buck that trend. According to Brand Finance, luxury brands have done exceptionally well at solidifying their brands.

'March Madness': The Branding Beneath Bracketology
By the time you read this, or neglect to because you’re too busy watching that 8-9 matchup between Southern Mississippi and Kansas State, the undeniable omnipotence of March Madness will be dominating television, social media sites, and even the office. Who would have thought college basketball could become such a distinctive brand?

Timeline: Branding's Graphic Museum
Essentially, this is the greatest aspect of the new Timeline format: centralization. Unlike a museum, where visitors have to travel to a physical location, now there is a place for brand history that is readily accessible, easily navigable, creatively diverse, and attractive. Not to mention it integrates your advertisements seamlessly.

'Stories': Facebook's New Ad Game Changer
Branding is, in effect, word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising, right? Well, now social media giant Facebook is unveiling a new set of premium ads that will capitalize on the WOM institution of branding and the “friendship” aspect of Facebook. They call it “stories." The “stories” advertising format is simple and the idea behind it is elegant.

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