Wednesday’s Winner (Best in Branding)

Tequila Avion

Imagine tequila so smooth that a tequila face will no longer follow a shot. Now close your eyes and imagine your girlfriend, wife or fantasy blindfolding you, whip in hand holding that same tequila under your nose as the sexy aroma fills your nostrils. You are probably waiting for the part where I tell you to stop dreaming. However, Tequila Avion has made this a reality.

This brand is a great example of how to effectively disrupt the market. Recently, Tequila Avion took home five awards including the prestigious title of “World’s Best Tequila” from the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Furthermore, their product was featured as the first and only tequila brand on Entourage. And their new racy ad campaign is heating things up in the alcohol industry.

Best-in-Class Infographics

“Bacon Based Tourism”

The title is wrapped in bacon so that the viewer immediately knows what the infographic is attempting to communicate. The map consists of continents that are creatively made out of bacon and reinforces the information being delivered. The continents also have pinned flags sticking out of them so that the viewer immediately knows which countries are being discussed.

Bacon pieces are scattered across page to drive home the overall theme. A brief description of the native meats of each country are listed beneath each place and scattered around the map in a way that uses the space well and provides a good written example. The pig graphic in the bottom right-hand corner divides different parts of the pig for meat consumption into sections through “Top 10 Pork Producing Countries.” It is a creative and an appealing way to do this. The “Bacon in Many Languages” section features a giant plate that is encompassed by bacon expressions in different languages, distinctly divided by different colored boxes. It is a great way to combine colors, graphics and words.

Overall, the entire page is used in an orderly way so that all of the information does not run together. This infographic is an excellent example of consistency.

 

“Stack Infographic” by Sparxoo

On the first page, the “Total Audience” section is a great representation of Stack’s audience. The total number of people are differentiated by color. The dark colored ones clearly highlight print audience and the red ones visualize digital. This intro page effectively communicates Stack’s multi-platform approach.

The second page displays different colored basketballs that successfully represent the target audience of Stack. It also shows a ranking of influence in the community, spending power and percentage of footwear purchasing. They are represented with cute, little graphics of bills, footwear and a #1 fan finger. Furthermore, there  is an “Audience Index” section. It includes a bar graph representing 12-24 year old males that shows how Stack is more influential than ESPN and Fox Sports and Yahoo Sports combine. It is clean, simple and easy to read.

The third page contains a “Differentiated Audience” section. This stresses that Stack reaches active sports participants and not just the average sports fan. By increasing the font size as the actual numbers increase, it makes the message visually sound. Below that information, five images are pictured. They “pop” out at the viewer and demand attention. These images include Stack’s clients such as Tim Tebow, Dwight Howard and DeSean Jackson. Further down a small questionnaire appears and the answer looks like it is circled in red pen, which makes it stand out. The last bit of information uses graphics well by displaying Stack’s logo as well as the other brands that use the brand: Adidas, Nike, Under Armor, Gatorade.

Overall, it is extremely clean. The text is used well through large, easy to read fonts and minimal copy. It only features a few pictures, but this makes them stand out when presented. The black, red and white theme colors are used consistently, which creates cohesiveness and uniformity. Also, a great mixture of graphics, pictures, graphs and stats are used throughout.

“The Hall of Mascots”

The title in the top left-hand corner contains a brief synopsis and is a great way to introduce information. The “Mammals, Humans, Birds, Dinosaurs, Fish, Insects, Mollusks and Mythological” sections are symbolized by icons that represent the four professional sports: baseball, basketball, football and hockey.  Each section clearly identifies each sport mascot and the corresponding animal. Also, the coloring used to differentiate each branch makes the data easy to decipher. Furthermore, it features a section in the lower right-hand corner for teams without mascots, which is good information to include for sports fanatics wondering about the remaining teams.

Overall, this infographic presents a lot of information in an artsy, easy to quantify presentation. It uses color sparingly, which makes the important dividing sections stand out against the black and white background.

Entrepreneurship 101 with Evan Britton

Evan Britton, founder of www.famousbirthdays.com, is no stranger to the hectic environment of entrepreneurship. During the early stages of his startup, he discovered that the market was changing and something needed to be done if he wanted to succeed. He says, “The market is always changing, it can be stressful. For a lot of people now there is a movement away from web designing to mobile designing. For me, it was evolving from a web marketer to a social marketer.” Although adaption is important for upstart business owners, it’s not everything. Britton adds, “Don’t give up on the things you are doing well because times are changing. Just be creative.”

Britton did just that by using a social strategy that does not cannibalize the non-social user experience. Famous Birthday’s allows users to interact socially by ranking celebrities popularity based on Facebook “likes.” These rankings show a range of different criteria such as birthday, birth year, profession and birth sign. Furthermore, users benefit from the interface because they can boost their favorite celebs statuses based on their participation. It is now one of the top 10,000 most visited US sites and one of the most popular entertainment pages. However, Britton’s interface and social marketing didn’t always run this smoothly. He says, “It was difficult to incorporate both social and non-social on the same site. After a long process of trial-and-error, it was worth it. Now, you don’t have to be on Facebook to enjoy the site, but the rankings still collaborate with Facebook input.”

It is never an easy road for entrepreneurs, but Britton preaches on lesson to all up-and-comers. He explains, “You don’t always have to be a part of the next big thing. People take time to adapt. Don’t completely abandon what you do well to catch up with the times.” The conclusion, one should slowly integrate his or her fundamental strengths with future trends.

Wednesday’s Winner (Best in Branding)

As other heavyweights watch profits dwindle for the seventh straight year, Fanta continues to grow as one of the top soft drink brands during the soda drought. Consumers continue to seek healthy alternatives and Fanta’s consumer perception differentiates it as a “fun” alternative to other bland brands. The reason for the company’s success lies in their target market. Fanta has found a way to cater to its biggest customers in a huge way.

Teenagers are the driving force behind the evolution because they are less health conscious and are continuously looking for ways to have more fun. Fanta recognized the best way to reach teens and put together an exceptional campaign that integrated mobile and social media marketing. The company recently announced a partnership with Jenga on a new mobile gaming application that sends a “less serious” message to players. Furthermore, the chill folks at Fanta maintain an active Facebook and Twitter presence and use comical advertising that features cartoon characters.

Wednesday’s Winner (Best in Branding)

Sixty-six years after being founded, Estee Lauder continues to excel as one of the premier beauty brands and its recent success is a direct result from digital intelligence. According to L2, authors of the 2011 Digital IQ Index for Beauty, the emerging technological powerhouse scored an average digital IQ of 122 across its eight brands: MAC, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, La Mer, Aveda and Origins. What does this mean? Well, Estee Lauder scored 18 points higher than any other multi-brand organization and increased its score by nine percent from last year.

Although MAC and Clinique achieved genius status after scoring 142 and 141, Estee Lauder’s most valuable emerging asset is Smashbox. The acquisition of Smashbox in 2010 has boosted Estee Lauder’s appeal to the digitally savvy, younger crowd through its digital and social media presence. The Hollywood heartthrob has always been on top of the trends and was among the first to post instructional “how to achieve different makeup looks” videos on their home site before it became popular. Estee Lauder Group President John Demsey says, “Smashbox fits perfectly within our DNA.”

Wednesday’s Winner (Best in Branding)

Warby Parker

This Wednesday’s winner goes to Warby Parker. The stylish eye wear brand makes shopping for glasses socially rewarding by utilizing social media to engage their consumers. Their crowdsourcing approach stems from timely solutions developed for customers who struggle with decision making when it comes to fashion. They offer two options: a facial recognition technology on their website that allows shoppers to try on glasses virtually and customers can also sign up for the home try-on program. This program provides excellent feedback because it makes good use of Warby Parker’s social strategy. The company’s Facebook community allows users to comment and offer advice about which pair looks best and the brand itself gives further guidance by adding additional encouragement. Co-CEO Niel Blumenthal sums up Warby’s brand message, “We’re all about putting the decision making and the fun in the hands of the consumer.”

However, that’s not even the best social aspect of the company. Every time a consumer buys a pair of glasses, the eye fashionistas give away a pair for free! It is part of the “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program that helps someone in need through non-profit organizations like VisionSpring. This community-minded attitude resonates with consumers. Executive Director of the Center for Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Deborah Mitchell says, “Consumers like knowing that in some way their purchase is making the world a better place.”