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The Big Brand Theory: Arby's Is Listening

On January 26, 2014, singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams descended upon the Grammys red carpet sporting his Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hat. Arby’s Director of Digital & Social Media, Josh Martin, covering the Grammys from home, heard a lot of...

Posted April 14, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: Tyson Foods Is Listening on Social

The Great Depression wasn't the worst of times for everyone.  My grandfather purportedly made a modest fortune being a rum-runner in Alabama, which he later used to start what was to become the largest used auto parts yard on the Eastern side...

Posted March 31, 2014    

The Circle: Dystopian Social Media Takes Over the World

According to a Pew Research Center study, social media usage in 2012 was down in almost every age group. By the end of 2013, it had shot back up with a vengeance.  Of course, there is still a sizeable holdout from social media usage in every...

Posted March 18, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: Realtor.com Engages Communities and Influencers

Some job titles have outworn their welcome. Take for instance, the sobriquet, "used car salesman," or more recently, as Frank Eliason pointed out, "Risk Mitigation Officer." Around 1915, the National Association of Real Estate Boards came to that...

Posted March 17, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: The Body Shop Has Beauty With a Heart

In the mid-70s, Gordon and Anita Roddick decided to close their hotel and restaurant business. Gordon took off to fill a long-held ambition to ride a horse from Buenos Aires to New York, while Anita opened up The Body Shop, a small boutique in...

Posted March 10, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: Citi Rethinks Customer Care with Social Media

 "There's a lot of bad social media advice out there."I'm having a conversation with Frank Eliason, the Director of Global Social Media at Citi. Eliason is something of a legend in the brief history of social media, having put it to good use...

Posted March 4, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: Sony Influencer Program

Within 50 years of the invention of the printing press, over 20 million books had been produced. While a few authorities used some of those books to burn heretics, it was not before the availability of printed material helped to overthrow...

Posted February 11, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: Motorola Solutions Builds Internal Community

Back in 2011, Motorola was split into two separate companies: Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. The first has been in the news lately as Google, who bought the company at the time of the split, has decided to sell-off the company to Lenovo....

Posted February 4, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: Dell Gets Intimate with Customers

In one of those iconic technology company-started-in-a-dorm-room stories, Michael Dell saw that there was value to be created in selling computers directly to consumers.  In the early 80's, that simply wasn't the way of the world, and for the...

Posted January 28, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: Publix Has Come of Age with Social

If you live in, or visit Florida, it's very likely that you're familiar with the grocery store chain Publix and its bright green logo. Since its establishment in 1930 by entrepreneur George W. Jenkins, the chain has spread to six other southern...

Posted January 21, 2014    

Augury, Predictions, and Prognostications in Social Media

This is the time of year when writers and editors everywhere are working on blog posts and articles about what social media experts are saying is going to be “the thing” for 2014.I’m not fond of the word “expert,” nor “guru,” “ninja,” or any other...

Posted January 16, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: Transamerica and the Art of Influence

A few months ago, shortly after being appointed Enterprise Director of Social Media Strategy for the insurance and financial services company Transamerica, Allan Gungormez was sitting in a traffic jam during his morning commute in Los Angeles. While...

Posted January 14, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: AOL's Goals and Metrics

 Sometimes we forget: before the era of the large social media platforms, there was America Online. While its peak base exceeded 30 million users, a number that is modest in comparison to the social media goliaths of today, the service played a...

Posted January 7, 2014    

The Big Brand Theory: Capital One's Big Ka-ching

In days past, a car window would be rolled down; a phone would be dialed; and a cash register would sing out, Ka-Ching! Now, those car windows glide down at the push of a button, we key-in phone numbers (unless you’re directing your...

Posted December 31, 2013    

The Big Brand Theory: Casio Creates a Big Splash With Other Brands

 Depending on the era in which you came of age, you might remember the Japanese electronics company Casio for something different.  In the 70's, their electronic calculator was a popular choice amongst students.  In the 80's, their...

Posted December 25, 2013    

The Big Brand Theory: Bloomberg LP

In 1981, 39-year-old Michael Bloomberg lost his job as head of Information Systems at a major New York brokerage. With a severance check in hand, he formed a new company, Bloomberg LP, to provide financial information. Today, the Bloomberg LP...

Posted December 10, 2013    

Big Brand Theory: Hilton Hotels and Resorts

In 1919, 32-year-old year old Conrad Hilton drove to Cisco, Texas with the intention of buying a bank. When that deal fell through, he bought the Mobley Hotel instead - the first of many hotel acquisitions to come. In 1943, his company became the...

Posted December 3, 2013    

Big Brand Theory: Boston Celtics

Social media tactics and strategies that work for one industry often don't work in others. In one, a focus on customer service can be effective, while in another, a focus on content marketing, influencers, or community might work best.Brands that...

Posted November 26, 2013    

The Big Brand Theory: Discover Making Customers Visible

I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. (...) When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me. ― Ralph Ellison, Invisible ManIn...

Posted November 19, 2013    

The Big Brand Theory: Social Business and Fun with Southwest Airlines

It's pretty rare that you'll go to a social media conference and someone does not use an airline as an example of good or bad social media. Many of the speakers will have just flown on a plane to get to the conference, and as there's nothing quite...

Posted November 5, 2013    

 
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