This post originally appeared on Waxing Unlyrical on January 17th, 2012.
This isn’t going to be another deconstruction of the awful PR and social media job done by Boners BBQ in Atlanta recently. There are hundreds of those out there (though Unmarketing’s take is among the best).
The first step? Have a terrible looking website that advertises a secondary slogan so juvenile and childish that it is difficult to find it offensive.
There are plenty of examples of entities with edgier themes out there. Hooters, every single professional sports team that employees cheerleaders, you name it. Sex sells in our culture.
“A little South in your Mouth” with a girl riding a rocketship? Not big on subtlety, are we? And that’s fine, even if more than a little tacky.
It’s the BACK of the shirt that baffles me (the image on the right). Not I, nor anyone I know, would wear a shirt like that for any amount of time in public.
And that’s the whole reason why you MAKE shirts for your business in the first place, right? Cheap and easy word of mouth marketing?
The problem here is not someone unsavvy in PR or social media. The problem here is a business that has been started that never had the intention of succeeding. Boners BBQ was built to fail.
When your entire “atmosphere” is based on hating people, you’ll never win over enough customers to keep yourself profitable. There’s something to be said for being yourself, and you absolutely should.
However. If “yourself” is someone that publicly ridicules people for valid opinions you happen to disagree with, and using slogans about prostitution on your t-shirts, it may be time to re-evaluate “yourself.”
You succeed in business by getting people to spend money with you. If no one is coming to eat at your restaurant, or seeking out your services, you are going to fail.
You can indeed target a niche audience, and smart start-ups DO, but when that niche is one of hate, insults, stupidity and laziness, I have a hard time forecasting success.
This post originally appeared on Waxing Unlyrical on October 11th, 2011.
Netflix announced yesterday that it would end Qwikster, the company it spawned last month to handle its mail-order DVD service from its streaming service (splitting those apart happened over the summer).
As you might imagine, there was a hearty round of,“I told you so!”, “Finally! Netflix does something right!”, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. As you may have already guessed, I disagree with this decision.
Netflix proved this summer that it was a company that would choose to grow and adapt before the future arrived when it separated its streaming and direct mail services.
I could write an entire book on that decision (which I applaud), but I’ll stick to the topic at hand.
Ending Qwikster and bringing the direct mail segment back under the same roof simply confuses people as to which direction the company is heading.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings (I’m paraphrasing here) said the company moved too quickly in spinning the direct mail side of the business into a different company.
What’s really amazing here is that practically everyone agrees that streaming media is the way of the future, and that DVDs are destined to become Gen Y’s version of the VCR.
If that’s true, then why is Netflix constantly beaten down for trying to push all of its customers towards online streaming?
There are different fees paid for streaming media and DVD, right? So, why wouldn’t you separate those two entities? It allows you to focus on these as two different companies, making negotiating easier and to take each business in the direction it needs to go.
Are DVDs going anywhere anytime soon? Probably not. And as long as there’s a demand there, you should be filling it.
When decisions regarding the future of your company are made based on shareholders, who are less concerned with the health of your company and more concerned with the stock price, that can end up crippling the company.
To be clear, I’m not saying this cripples Netflix.
In fact, Hastings basically said this is a mea culpa in a few months of what were, while correct business moves, terrible PR moves. All that said, I still believe that Netflix was on the right path.
I supported the decision to split DVDs and streaming and to launch Qwikster. It’s a shame that the right business moves were nullified because those moves were handled with the grace of a drunk elephant in a china shop.
What do you think? Am I off my rocker? (On second thought … don’t answer that one.) Let’s have it out in the comments.
Twitter rolled out a major redesign last week and announced brand pages at the same time. While the brand pages announcement is by far the most exciting part of this, we’ll have to wait to see their full implementation since they’re available only to mega-brands at the moment. You can read all about the redesign here.
You’ll remember that Twitter purchased TweetDeck earlier this year, and at the time there was much hand-wringing over what Twitter would do with its new toy. Theories ranging from a complete shutdown of TweetDeck to a shelving of the popular 3rd-party service were flying around. Then, the redesign happened and we have an answer to the question of what Twitter will do with TweetDeck. The answer? Harness that team’s ingenuity into making the Twitter site and mobile apps a real choice for power users. The designs are strikingly similar; from the “compose” button all the way down to the fonts, the TweetDeck’s teams fingerprints are all over this.
For the longest time, many people (I among them) argued that the worst part about Twitter was its own webpage and its mobile apps. When Twitter purchased TweetDeck in May for the low, low price of just $40 million,functionality was a big reason I thought they were making the move. Twitter’s functionality was a reason many used services like TweetDeck; and many still do. The gap is getting smaller though, and I’ll predict that within the next year, TweetDeck will simply be known as either Twitter Web/Desktop App. It’s all the same company now, so TweetDeck shouldn’t care about what it’s being called and Twitter SHOULD want to have its name all over power-users preferred app.
A few other things I’ve noticed:
- Your Real Name Matters - Rather than your username, Twitter is displaying the name you’ve given them as the prominent identifying text. That’s bad news for spammers, because they just got even MORE obvious. It’s fantastic news for those whose name is their brand; freelancers really benefit here.
- Twitter Is Going After 3rd Party Apps - Seesmic, HootSuite and other popular 3rd party apps have been put on notice by this redesign. What Twitter did isn’t all that different than what the Angels did last week in signing Albert Pujols. Twitter went and got the big free agent name to help them win; and that free agent just smacked a huge home run.
- Twitter Is Morphing Into A News Aggregation Site - I’d love to say I thought of this, but the good folks at Poynter thought it first. I’ll paraphrase a bit of what they have to say, and I’d encourage you to click through and read that article. The new Discover section is huge. It’s a personalized news wire and what you tweet is much more important now as each tweet is embedable. Tweet with care and compose those in a way that encourage people to use them on their blogs and elsewhere.
What about you? What do you think of the redesign? Love it? Like it? Hate it? Think I’m off my rocker? Let’s hear it in the comments.
Influence. In the world of digital marketing, influence is a currency quickly becoming almost as valuable as actual money for brands. Who is an influencer in this brave new world? How can you measure influence? These are questions that have spawned several different services aimed at putting a number on influence. The most well known of these is Klout. An ongoing debate has raged for a while now, centering on how you can put a single number on influence. And whether or not you should actually lend any credence to that number.
Recently, Klout changed its algorithm causing some scores to go up, some to go down, and everyone to question just what was going on. I’ll let others break down the nitty gritty of that. I want to tell you why you’ll not find my profile on Klout anymore. I was inspired to delete my account by Danny Brown‘s post earlier this week. That’s not to say his post is what drove me to delete my account; more like the final point in an argument. I’ve long said that you are responsible for your online privacy, however, that premise assumes that you signed up for an account on a site. If you agree to someone’s terms and conditions, you don’t have a whole lot of room to talk.
Klout has been pulling information for a very long time about people to determine their score. However, these people hadn’t signed up for a Klout account. This information is public info; tweets, Facebook posts/comments etc. but there’s something about a company using that information to create a profile on their site without permission that crosses a line in my mind. That’s the main reason why I quit Klout. I’ve attempted to defend Klout in the past to a certain extent, but I can’t in good conscience do that anymore.
Klout’s goal is an admirable one; trying to make online influence easy to understand and measure. After all, comparing numbers between 1 and 100 is pretty easy. However, many marketing and PR pros had begun to look at a Klout score as a be all/end all for online influence. Ignoring potential sources because their score was under a certain number or even refusing to interview certain candidates because their score wasn’t high enough. If the algorithms were more transparent, I might be able to buy that but Klout remains far too easy to game. An example: I’m from Iowa. I tweet/post CONSTANTLY about the Iowa Hawkeyes. Yet, I was more influential about hurricanes than about Iowa when I deleted my account; and I had no idea why.
I still think Klout has a place in the discussion of online influence, and I’ll probably be back at some point in the future once they get everything straightened out. I’m rooting for Klout. I hope this whole mess is a bump in the road and they are able to accurately and reliably measure online influence in an easy manner some day. What do you think? Will you be sticking with Klout? Are they being shady in your mind? Let’s hear it in the comments.
Who am I? Here’s my Twitter bio:
Husband. PR, Marketing, Social Media. Hawkeyes/Cubs fan. I may or may not use humor as a defense mechanism. All thoughts are my own.
Want to know what your personal brand is? If you even have one? Ask people what they think of you. Ask them to re-write your Twitter bio. Ask them to describe you in one sentence.
I’m pretty confident about myself. I feel like a I have a pretty good handle on things, and that when I give my opinion, it is a well-informed one (which doesn’t mean it’s always right). That said, it doesn’t matter what my perception of myself is. It matters what YOUR perception of me is. So, *deep breath* re-write my Twitter bio for me. 2-3 sentences to define who I am. I’m sure this will be interesting as this is posted to Facebook, and I am connected with many more people there that I know in real life as opposed to having met on Twitter. Tweet it at me, leave a comment on Facebook, or leave it in the comments here. I’ll collect them and then write another post that’s re-evaluated what my personal brand is.
Have at it.