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Five Brands Strive Greatly – January 2013

Brands are engaging fully Jan 2013

Tagging reveals a powerful story of brand engagement to kick off 1Q 2013.

Brands are striving greatly — that is at all costs — to engage consumers. If you’re not feeling it from your own brands, you’re probably hearing about it from someone else. In today’s financially strapped but digitally savvy culture, pricing and shopping prove a natural complement (see slides). Online is officially the new Main Street.
Here’s a tag-cloud essay of the forces at work this January. Click through to review the full discussion.

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My January 2013 on

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This tag cloud essay — curated with delicious (follow me) — ranks the most common methods and motivators at work. Of the 50+ articles curated with, five selected brands drive the conversation: J.C. PenneyMcDonald’s, Coca-ColaAflac, and Target.

Please read along to the essay (above) to see how the story emerges. To read the actual story, click through the brand name after each star-bullet (below) . Thanks to the featured journalists and publications for their fine reporting on Web 2.0 media and marketing.

  • J.C. Penney’s 2012 no sales, just value program, misunderstood the thrill of shopping. The retailer retrenched and sales are back at the mall. “J.C. Penney should have listened to James Cash Penney” gives you a side view on why it failed.
  • McDonald’s, for example, seeks to engage aspirations, adding value to their classic meal. Their Happy Readers program in the UK distributes books and happiness where children need it most.
  • Coca-Cola also tries to do something about its core issue — obesity — through an empowerment program. Unfortunately, without reformulating their product, they appeared simply to sugarcoat the problem.
  • Aflac, never a shy brand, engages its powerful tribe in another roller coaster experience: sending customized Facebook get-wells to the sick duck.
  • Target seemed to strive and win by turning a 2012 holiday price matching campaign into a year-round policy. “Make common sense of Target’s new price matching policy” gives you a side view of what makes it work.

What are your thoughts on brand engagement 1Q 2013?

Does engagement at all costs work and should every brand strive so hard to gain their customers’ share of attention, mind, and wallet. Will this January’s strategies play out as the new year moves on.  Come back in February and March for a quick snapshot of trends. The next full tag-cloud essay will publish April.

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