Tag Archives: mobile apps

Don’t Be Cliche on Valentine’s Day!

Written by Guest Blogger: Amanda Burrill, Travel Channel host, chef, athlete and freelance writer and copyeditor.

Five near-NYC weekend ideas, and a pet care solution that will change your life.

Flowers, chocolate and a dinner reservation on Valentine’s Day? Yawn. You’re better than that! This year Cupid’s bow strikes on a Saturday; the perfect opportunity to indulge in an entire weekend of kissy-face with your significant other. Before you start making excuses, I’ve dug up five great options that still have vacancy.

1. Rustic Getaway

Just 75 miles from NYC, the Malibu Dude Ranch in the Pocono Mountains has been a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner three years running; a perfect getaway from the city grind with scenic horse-riding trails over 800 acres. There are dozens of (complimentary) activities to keep you busy and cozy options like board games, stargazing and nuzzling by the fireplace.

The main lodge features western decor and houses the dining hall, indoor heated swimming pool, game room, gift shop and saloon with entertainment each weekend. Guess rooms are on the second floor, or opt for a private cabin among the trees or boat house on the lake.

The Valentine’s Day Romantic Escape package is Friday, February 13th through Sunday, February 15th and costs $325 per person. Another perk: kids stay free! Malibu Dude Ranch has a no-pet policy (with the exception of service pets) but no worries, because below, as promised, I discuss your pet care savior.
http://www.malibududeranch.com/winter-specials.html, reservations: (570) 296-7281

2. Sporty Getaway

Nestled in the northern Catskills is Windham Mountain Resort, which just underwent $11million in capital improvements. Just two hours away from NYC you’ll find the resort’s 1600 vertical feet of skiing, served by twelve lifts, including two high speed detachable quads. The central base lodge offers nourishing fare between slope runs. A spa and three restaurants will keep you busy when you’ve hung up your skis for the day.

You can book a room at the Winwood Inn and ski/ride Friday – Sunday starting at $120 per night, per person. The same deal at the Winwood Condos starts at $148 per night, per person and includes lift ticket, lodging, complimentary breakfast and free shuttles to and from the mountain. http://www.windhammountain.com/destination-guide/ski-stay-packages/

3. Romantic Getaway

Gideon Putnam Resort, just over three hours north of Manhattan, offers a secluded getaway in the foothills of the Adirondacks. The resort, situated on 2,200 acres among the pines and oaks of Saratoga Spa State Park, boasts historic charm and elegant features.

Book services at the legendary Roosevelt Baths, cross-country ski or snowshoe the trails (snowshoes are complimentary) or check out the local cuisine and micro-brews of Saratoga Springs.

Ask for the Romantic Weekend Package or Valentine’s Day Getaway Package.
http://www.gideonputnam.com/Valentines.aspx, reservations: (866) 890-1171

4. NYC Luxury Stay-cation

Both Manhattan Gansevoort locations are synonymous with urban oasis. A place to see and be seen that caters to your every luxurious need.

The Park Avenue property is home to Ristorante Asellina, a 10,000-sq-ft traditional-meets-modern Italian trattoria. The trendy Gansevoort Park Rooftop offers six venues with unparalleled views of the Empire State Building.

The Meatpacking location offers downtown bustle but the feel of uptown luxury. A great launching pad for club hopping, this hotel is the hub of the NYC nightlife scene. Catch a beautiful Hudson River sunset from your room, grab a bite at inspired American eatery The Chester, and then hit the dance floor.

Both NYC Gansevoort locations offer the “Get Intimate” package which includes, champagne, roses, and much more. http://www.gansevoorthotelgroup.com/offers/get-intimate

5. NYC Budget Stay-cation

The Pod Hotel, with two budget-friendly Manhattan locations, offers minimalist comfort starting at $89 per night. The rooms are bright, modern and completely connected. Shack up, stream some movies and then explore the neighborhood, all without breaking the bank. http://www.thepodhotel.com/

So what do I do with my dog?

Pets; we love them, but they can really get in the way of romance. Pet care logistics and costs are one of the primary reasons couples forego weekend getaways. I have the perfect solution for Fido.

New app DoggyBnB  allows you to utilize your social network, i.e. people you actually know, to find reliable pet care. Build a network by adding and organizing the people you would turn to naturally, your friends. Send pet care requests to your entire network in a matter of seconds and contacts can choose to “fetch” your request. No more leaving your best friend with someone you don’t know or even worse, in a kennel. This is the future of pet care! http://doggybnb.com/

With five varied choices and a doggie plan you now have zero excuses. Have a private, worry-free weekend with your special someone.

Keep up with Amanda’s culinary and fitness adventures at http://apronsandsneakers.com/ and follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/Amanda_Burrill

EDITORIAL AND PRESS RELEASE – P.R. influence through $$

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PRESS RELEASES BY PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEES lead to content that functions like press releases but are paid-for in so-called NATIVE ADVERTISING. Here are some vital questions to consider:
Is a brand’s PR’s use of mobile media a sign of authenticity?
Will media have explicit editorial surveillance for a press release content that is paid for?
Will editorial content now be dominated by press releases in omni-media and omnicon?

Also, if Native Advertising consists of paid-for deals made between PR committees and a variety of media, how will reward advertising affect authenticity? Will the significant audience care – as long as they are rewarded? (see our July 2013 blog on Native Advertising.) (reward-based advertising rewards consumers for interacting with branded-content in their favorite mobile apps.)

Considering these new forms of PR content, what will editorial content become? Will it lead to an erosion of inconvenient factual positioning found in Brand Marketing Communications?
Will the PR factions of Brand Management actually create “contracts” between Brands and Media? Will the media be receptive to this idea as it changes the role of gatekeeper — to what exactly?

drawing by Art Winters
drawing by Art Winters

Now that we have omni-tweets and facebook updates and e-mail blasts, what will the consumer believe is the real story of the brand’s positioning, its image and meaning? A significant answer to this question is in the changes in marketing communications. We now have so many more methods of messaging and outlets for those messages: e-books, infographics; blogs, social media, email newsletters, webinars, … , not to mention, the traditional media that still exist.

These can be effective especially when they are a creative part of a brand’s PR and marketing campaign strategy. News outlets still need connections with the people and stories behind the brand.

The press release that was, is still useful. However, it is so much changed. What is needed now is relevant content that truly involves the receiver. The receivers of press releases used to be the media gatekeepers – reporters and editors… but this has changed due to the advent of social and mobile media, company websites and blogs. And a serious reality in this new age of PR is that the receivers of press releases are now almost any audience … and the harsh reality that content providers must face is that their press release content might never be read!

The evolution in information exchanges now requires a whole new
Brand Think!!

What do you think???

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Brand MarkETing… No More Brand Marking!

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Brand MarkETing
Are we seeing Trans-Planetary Brand MarkETing in our digitized mobile economy? Drawing by Arthur Winters

So what is the difference between brand marking and markETing?

In the past, branding was initially a way of marking or identifying a brand as in marking a rancher’s cattle with a branding iron. As time went on, logos were developed to mark and establish an identity for companies, products and services. More recently in our digitized world, brand managers must bring an ET — Extra-Terrestrial or more likely, an Essential Technology element to their branding. Bringing a more advanced brand marking to their brand markETing.

In the past few years, many customers have felt more of a divide between what they want and what brands offer. Brands that have a vision of what the customer really wants make the most of what their customers value and enjoy. In addition, the customer is increasingly aware of their involvement in product development in their role as “prosumer.”  We see an increase in the desire for personalization from and customization of products, services and experiences.

To satisfy their new brand expectations, customers are moving rapidly to shopping with online retailers. Retailer brands will have to explore more UC, Unified Communications, that include retail pop-up stores and departments similar to Amazon.com and kiosks for brand offers similar to Groupon.com. UC strategies will be created that involve real voice (as opposed to electronic menus) responses to customers’ demands for personal attention and customization.

Strong brands that fulfilled customer expectations in the past may diminish, as many consumers are no longer loyal to brands they perceive as category leaders. As always, Brand Managers have to create strategies that convert consumers into customers. The hard work is now in creating an innovative presentation of relevant and much desired brand attributes for the most effective brand positioning. Some brands are creating differences that are being told through their brand story. A compelling brand story and the brand’s history can be delivered to better sell the brand’s positioning assets, differences, and superiority.

So we find content and technology merging in new ways. Consumers may now depend on apps that provide applications to personally bring to mind brand differences and values. These can be inspired by knowledge of their singular profiles and their current desires. And right up there in ET brand positioning is the brand manager’s awareness of their customers who are not really engaged. Previous paradigms for customer-engagement may no longer be effective and customer experiences, CX, that are no longer current in today’s retail marketing, will need to adjust and innovate like never before!

Next, brands will rely more and more on VOC (Voice of customer), innovative interactions with customers and encourage buying recommended by their friends via social media. Successful brands will acquire more knowledge about operations involved in a consumer-run world. As we have mentioned previously, PDA’s/mobiles employed by consumers will dramatically increase. Consumers will be scanning their own screens to connect with a brand, and perhaps, influence their buying. A brand will need to unify all of its messaging and specifically its advertising that is designed for the mobile customer. This may include new screen-oriented techniques for these new retail venues. Google made over $20 billion in ad revenues this year, more than all U.S. print media combined!

We suggest the oft-quoted phrase: “The Future is NOW” — might apply.
What do you think?

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.