If #nuggsforcarter can do it, so can Your Social Media Platform

It’s official: Brand Iron has hopped aboard the #nuggsforcarter bandwagon. In doing so, we’ve joined the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon and T-mobile, to name a few, all of whom are doing their part to help a teenager achieve his dream.

Who is the teenager? Well, his name is Carter. What’s his dream? A whole lot of free chicken nuggets.

Hey, some of us dream simpler than others.

Last week, Carter tweeted at his favorite nugget vendor:

 

 

 

 

Surely, a joke from a high school kid who just loves his chicken nuggets. However, we would call the sequence of events that followed serendipitous to say the least.

Event #1: the fast food chain does the math, discovers they would have to give out around 7000 nuggs to a hungry high schooler, and replies in kind, setting the bar nearly 6 times higher than the all-time retweet record.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event #2: Carter bravely accepts the challenge.

 

 

Event #3: the #nuggsforcarter campaign is born. Within the first five days, it receives 2.6 million retweets from some fairly recognizable names.

Event #4: #nuggsforcarter is still trending, and Wendy’s is getting anxious.

 

 

 

 

This all begs the question: how did chicken nuggets ignite what could tun into the biggest twitter reaction ever? What compelled some of the world’s biggest corporations (not to mention, as of April 10th, 2.27 million others) to retweet and even offer incentives to a random teenager with an insatiability for fast food? Welcome to the mystery of the internet, everybody. One thing we know for sure, though, is that phenomenons like this are uniquely possible through the power of social media. Something about this young man’s desire for Wendy’s chicken nuggets, his brazen approach, and Wendy’s surely insurmountable challenge, inspired a virtual uprising – and the retweets keep rolling in.

Whether Carter gets to 18 million retweets or not, this is just another example of how far your message can spread if you strike that perfect nerve on the Web. Don’t neglect your organization’s social media presence, and you’ll be sure to reap the rewards.

Great Brand Champions Know the True Meaning of Good Old Fashioned Holiday Spirit

Best Buy etches its spot on Santa’s “Nice” list with a generous dose of holiday giving.

The season of giving is back. For proof, look no further than a Best Buy store in Long Island, NY. Employees of the big box retailer noticed that a local teen had come into the store every day for a month to play the new Nintendo Wii U display. Warm with holiday cheer, they all decided to pitch in and purchase the $300 console for the teen and present it to him next time he came in to play.

The teen, confused and speechless, humbly accepted the gift and shook the hand of a Santa mysteriously dressed in Best Buy blue.

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If this was just an example of community giving and selflessness during the holiday season, or even customer service well beyond the norm, that would be more than enough to warm our hearts. But the actions of these Best Buy employees highlighted something else, something people like us here at Brand Iron know as being great Brand Champions. The unsolicited actions of a few people at this one location speaks volumes for Best Buy as a whole and a corporate culture that truly puts their customer first.

A jolly shout out to goodness from us here at Brand Iron. Look around for your chance to pass along the holiday spirit, and we’ll be here as always to help you Achieve your Anything.

Have a great holiday season and a happy New Year from all of us here at Brand Iron!

 

Remarks on MasterCard’s New Logo by Caleb Hall, Senior Graphic Designer at Brand Iron

 

At Brand Iron, we focus on rebranding and strategizing companies’ positions in a modern and constantly changing world. Just last week, the global enterprise MasterCard Worldwide underwent such a change. With the help of design firm Pentagram and MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar, they rolled out a new logo and brand identity with a newly positioned campaign.  Despite receiving an update, the new logo may already be familiar to some.

 

We are all accustomed to the brand’s famous interlocking circles, but in a “throwback” to the 1970s, MasterCard has reintroduced the idea of the multiplied overlapping circles. With MasterCard rolling out some mocked-up collateral, it looks as though the iconic circles will become even more integrated into their overall campaign and messaging.

 

“Evolving our brand as we thrive in the digital age” is currently the header in the first slider on mastercard.us, showing us that this is more than just a new logo. Rajamannar was quoted by Forbes saying, “One of the subtle changes was to lowercase the “C” in card, as a visual cue to de-emphasize how we are not just a card or a piece of plastic in your wallet.” I think this is the most interesting point in the redesign. So many times companies and consumers alike want to see the new, shiny logo in all of its glory. But in most cases, the measure of success behind a rebranded identity is positioning, messaging, and adaptability. MasterCard did not decide to just create a new logo, they decided that after 20 years, spending money has totally changed. They want their new position to reflect that fact.

 

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Like all major rebrands, reactions seemed to be mixed. However, I believe that this rollout will ultimately be a success. To me, it seems as though MasterCard has somehow found a way to make the logo we know, more iconic. By being more modern, clean, and losing that drop shadow, it fits well in 2016. 

As a member of the Brand Iron team, our job can be tough at times when clients fail to see the merit of modern design and brand layout, which can be key to helping companies communicate with their customers in the most effective way. MasterCard is a prime example of how updating a brand still has concrete benefits, despite iconic logo recognition and awareness.

 

NBA Jerseys Brought to You by Brands

For the 2017-2018 NBA season, fans will see corporate logos go where they’ve never gone before: players’ jerseys. According to NPR, the basketball league approved the addition of sponsorship patches to 30 teams in the NBA. Joining the Nike logo that was also approved this year, sponsorship logos will be seen on the front left shoulder of players’ uniforms. The advertising deal will bring in yet another revenue stream for the basketball league and let sponsors deeply embed themselves within the branded partnerships they create around their chosen teams.

With bombardment from multimedia advertising awaiting audiences at every turn, it is a shame to see one of the final sacred things fall to more advertising dollars.

With bombardment from multimedia advertising awaiting audiences at every turn, it is a shame to see one of the final sacred things fall to more advertising dollars. In truth, not much could have been done to spare the jersey. With ads on TV, radio, billboards and plastered all over stadiums, players’ jerseys were the forbidden fruit that was dying to be picked. With other examples successfully utilizing jersey sponsors like Euroleague basketball and Premier league soccer, it’s been proven time and time again that fans will keep calm and carry on, looking past the sponsors and focusing on what really matters: the game itself.

Though there will undoubtedly be some diehard conservatives who continue to point out how brand sponsors look just plain wrong (which they do) and cheapen the NBA brand as a whole (which it does), there are other issues facing the league that will force more defining decisions for the game of basketball as a whole. My advice to the organization is to focus on more important issues, such as the controversial decision to give Charlotte, NC the 2017 All-Star game amid the state’s controversial passing of LGBT laws. The NBA should work on strengthening the brand and what it stands for by addressing the things that matter, leaving uniform disparities behind in a wake of ruffled feathers.

AMC Theatres’ Texting Trip Up

Last week, movie theatre chain AMC created silver screen shockwaves, hoping to appeal to younger audiences. By considering the idea of text-friendly screenings, the cinema chain was trying to stay up-to-date with youth culture and capitalize on less rigid theatre regulations. In a collective foul swoop of disdain, movie-lovers and theatergoers took to the Internet to voice their discord regarding the theatre’s soft stance on mobile interference. In a complete 180˚ turn of events, AMC swiftly parted ways with their idea, stating they would not permit the use of mobile phones in their auditoriums. Reaching out to their followers with a press release and posts on various forms of social media, AMC announced that their brilliant marketing idea was now relegated to the “cutting room floor.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 3.26.12 PMMarketers can learn two lessons from AMC, the first being the most obvious: listen to your loyal customers and respond quickly. Even the most beloved brand experience can turn toxic, given the right circumstances. AMC did a good job of responding quickly when they realized their marketing efforts were causing their consumers to turn against them. There’s a reason why people love your product or service. Do you really want to mess with that? The answer is no.

The second thing to learn from AMC’s situation deals with brand evolution. Companies have to simultaneously evolve and interact with a culture that constantly changes. To do that, businesses have to take various risks to ramp up everything from their digital experience to social media presence. When AMC observed how dependent our society is becoming on mobile technology , they reacted and took a risk, hoping to be rewarded with closer, more understanding consumer relationships. What the theatre conglomerate didn’t realize was that their theatres act as an important technology-free zone, and one of the only places left where people can unplug themselves and go off the grid. Wise companies can learn from AMC, noting the importance of staying relevant, while also understanding your customers’ needs.

Damn, Daniel, Back at It with Branding

Today, branding lives in a place where conversation and culture collide. Take for instance the newest tagline of the Internet, “Damn, Daniel!”, sourced from the viral video below that features several shots of a particular young man rocking his signature style and kickin’ choice of footwear. With each exclamation of the instantly quotable catchphrase, Daniel not only becomes increasingly Internet famous, but beckons the Vans brand back into popular culture with each video replay.

 

Sensing a new piece of culture to consume, brands have started getting in on the conversation surrounding viral videos, relishing a platform where client interaction really picks up. Surprisingly, Vans was not the first company to see the potential opportunity in the Damn, Daniel video. Both Clorox and Axe swooped in with ads featuring references to the video, each tailoring Internet culture around their own company’s’ story and messaging. Vans, though slow on the draw, did attempt to capitalize on this perfectly packaged user-created content with several branded tweets.

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As Damn, Daniel loses relevance and passes on to viral video heaven, companies can take note of a few things. First, timing is everything. Companies that respond first give consumers the impression of being genuine and creative, while brands that arrive late in the game look like copy-cats and bandwagoners. Second, opportunity can come from anywhere. With companies constantly battling to stay ahead of the international date line of culture relevancy, traditional outlets and marketing strategy are failing to capture the attention of new audiences. If one reference goes over your head, your brand could end up looking out of date, out of fashion, and out of business. Brands today are looking at social media, pop culture, and society in general with a fine-tooth comb, hoping to swoop in on the next big thing and transform it into the next big branding effort.