Using Your Head

ellenCRUNCHY NUGGET: Well hello there, it’s a been a while, right?!  I’ve recently had a lil’ time off and one of my favorite shows to catch during the day is “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” This past Thursday, she introduced an app available for sale (99 cents) on iTunes called “Heads Up!” It replicates a game similar to “Celebrity” that she plays with guests.  One person holds a card above his or her forehead, and the other person gives clues to help the card-holder guess what-who is written on the card.  The app version let’s players choose from themes such as movies, animals, music, accents, etc. Players are up against a timer.  And the motion of moving the apple device up or down lets players pass and move on (tilt up), or acknowledge that the answer is correct (tilt down).  Fun, right?  What makes this app/idea so crunchy are a few things:  Yes…it went directly to #1 on iTunes, so mass awareness from Ellen was a big plus.  Absolutely…at 99 cents a sale, Warner Brothers and Ellen and the dev folks will make a nice lil’ profit.  Terrific…it’s fun and engaging and brings the spirit of Ellen and her show into real people’s homes.  And what I think is the most crunchy bit:  CONTENT!  Get this…the app uses the camera on the iPhone (or iPad) to record the game play.  App users can opt to save the video and share this content on Facebook or with the Ellen Show.  What an excellent means of spreading the word and getting real-life user examples for on-air content.  And again…very much in the fun, lighthearted spirit of the show.  Ah, content, love that!  (So much so I had to put it in bold!)

Admittedly, I have downloaded the app and am looking forward to giving it a try.  Gotta love a crunchy nugget found during a day off on an enjoyable TV program!  #goodidea #socialmediamarketing #appideas #contentmarketing

C’mon Work Happy 2

TEDCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Seriously, I didn’t mean to prolong this topic, but I couldn’t help it.  I am a big fan of TED talks. If you haven’t yet explored the world of TED talks you should, they cover a ton of interesting topics delivered by world experts, all in nice, bite-sized videos that are well under 15-minutes each (if not much less).  Anyway…so the newest talk to bubble-up when I went to their site was given by Dan Ariely: “What makes us feel good about work?”  Honestly, I didn’t mean to continue the conversation about happiness…but like I said, I love these talks and so I decided to watch it to get another POV on human behavior and what motivates us.  According to Mr. Arierly and his research, it’s a few common elements:

Purpose & acknowledgement & meaning: He shared tales of experiments that required participants to build things, make things for pay and for some sort of feedback.  And then had the outcomes (the rewards, if you will) of the building/making different.  Specifically: participants built Legos and had these pieces either set aside and told that they’d be re-used – or – taken apart in front of them.  There were also participants who completed word puzzles and had these puzzles either acknowledged very simply (just a “hmm…” FYI) and put aside – or – simply put aside (nothing said) – or – shredded in front of them.  And in every case, the participants who were torn-down or shredded before their eyes were less happy, less productive despite the income earned.  What I thought was most interesting was the same feelings were shared by were the participants who were not acknowledged – they felt just as badly for not having their work noticed.  There was also a difference in people who liked doing the work – they liked Legos already, e.g.  They, too, did and felt better.  As well as a difference in people who felt value out of what they were doing: these people were proud of what they did and saw value and meaning in it.

OK…so what now?  What do I do with this, nugget girl?  you’re asking, I’m sure.  Thanks for asking, I do appreciate the participation!  My take is less of a marketing nugget and more of a life-behavior-motivation nugget.  It’s that acknowledgement is an important means of driving productivity.  And not big grandiose stuff, just make your team feel like they’re part of a journey and an effort –versus working to no-end. If you want your teams to do more-do better, you need to let them know how they’re doing, and make them feel that there is meaning and value in what they’re delivering. 

I’m pretty certain I’m done with this topic now. Again I swear I didn’t purposely seek it out.  I was just a girl in search of a good TED talk.  Find them here starting with the one I watched for this post: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_what_makes_us_feel_good_about_our_work.html

What do you think?  What motivates YOU?  Perhaps the thought of a good weekend?  Enjoy it!  #humanbehavior #deliveringhappiness #insights #motivation

C’mon Work Happy!

smileycookieCRUNCHY NUGGETS: Are you a happy person?  Are you happy at work?  And do you think your happiness impacts your productivity at work?  Oh, I’m sorry…I typically don’t come at you with lots of questions.  But I’ve recently read two articles about how people behave and what motivates them — specifically, at work.  Two different, interesting points of view.  No need to get stuck on the questions I’ve asked, keep moving with me, come along…

Give to Get: The New York Times Sunday Magazine recently featured an article about author and professor Adam Grant.  He has studied workplace dynamics for years and has found that the secret to productivity at work is giving.  Grant has found that traditionally the thinking at work has been that employers should deliver incentives based on self-interest: financial incentives, ensuring that the work that is interesting, or offering the possibility for career advancement.  But what his studies have uncovered is that the most compelling source of motivation is in a sense of service for others.  In other words, the more you feel like you’re helping others, the more you’ll want to work.  This certainly makes sense as its been noted that feeling a sense of purpose is a big factor in longevity.  But what if you’re in a thankless position?  What if you don’t get any sort of positive feedback?  Well thank you for asking because that leads me to my second article…

Gratitude, Nurturing, Making it Unique: Fast Company also shared an article about how happiness can be learned, and the difference it makes toward creating a productive work environment.  Feeling grateful yourself and gratitude for your own life is a good place to start.  It helps you better deal with stress, overall.  And then sharing the love by nurturing others and figuring out what makes them happy at a very personal level is important (i.e., one size doesn’t fit all in morale as one person’s day off is another person’s access to a company iPhone, and not just hosting a happy hour-have a drink you’re happy this hour, right?!).  Making an effort to ensure your employees’ happiness leads to: 37% more sales, 31% increase in productivity, and accuracy on tasks rises by 19%!  That’s pretty powerful stuff, particularly as there are courses that can help and give employees a sense of empowerment, self-growth, and motivation.  In other words, you don’t have to do it all and teach happiness to others — there are resources who can help.

So why share these insights?  Because they show human behavior — what motivates people — and how a smile means so much in getting what you want from others.  Here are the articles if you wish to check them out: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/magazine/is-giving-the-secret-to-getting-ahead.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.fastcocreate.com/1682068/how-one-company-taught-its-employees-how-to-be-happier-and-what-happened-next

And be happy!  #consumerinsights #consumerbehavior #deliveringhappingess #behappy

Friday & Fall Fashion Flavor

Screen shot 2013-02-08 at 1.13.49 PMCRUNCHY NUGGETS: It’s Friday…so how are ‘ya feeling?  Good? Happy the week is over?  Of course you are. Which quickly segues into the first nugget of the day…

TGIF for Real Estate — I just read in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that the very best day to list a house for sale is Friday.  Why?  Oh, thanks for asking, you’re the best.  Because people feel most energized and happiest at the end of a work week.  So much so that houses sell faster and for a significantly greater amount (up to 99.1% of the asking price as per the average in 2012) when they are listed and debut on a Friday.  Tuesday is the second most advantageous day, as that’s when people start making most plans.  Interesting, right?!   Still feeling good?  Great!  Let’s move on way into this coming Fall…

Fall Fashion Colors — With Fashion Week for Fall underway, Pantone has shared their palette of colors to look for this coming Fall.  Of course, this year’s color of the year — Emerald — is the lead.  And other shades to look for include: Mykonos Blue, Linden Green, Acai, Samba, Koi, Deep Lichen Green, Vivacious, Turbulence, and Carafe.  Now I apologize as just naming them isn’t quite clear (what, you don’t know what “vivacious” looks like?!”), so you should check them out here: http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr.aspx?pg=21057&ca=4&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb20130207  Why you need to care — other than for the fashionistas and the trendy — is because it’s Pantone.  They set the mood and influence more than just fashion.  So expect to see these very rich and organic tones in other things like home decor and automotive and retail and other design driven things.

We’re in the midst of quite a big snow storm.  Hope all is well by you and your weekend is like Pantone Koi: rich and vibrant. #marketingtrends #trends #pantone #fallfashion #consumerinsights #consumerbehavior

Fast Photos

130102040713-snapchat-story-topCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  What if you could snap a photo on your cell phone, send it to  friend, and then have it disappear in seconds — on purpose?  That’s what mobile app Snapchat enables.  As of January 1st this year, 50 million photos were being sent like this every day through Snapchat, with over one billion sent in total.  Snapchat lets you take a photo or video, add in a caption, and then choose how long you wish for the viewer to be able to see this photo or vid, up to 10 seconds, before it self destructs. The recipient can certainly take a screen shot of what they received — so keeping true to the internet, nothing sent is completely private nor deleted, necessarily.  Which leads to certainly the words “sexting” and “risque” and “parental concerns” come up when you read about Snapchat.  But this post isn’t about that…rather, it’s about how marketers are seeing interesting executions with this app. Quick!  Read on as this blog post will self destruct in 10-9-8-just kidding.

Snap, share & save — Earlier this year, frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles used Snapchat to deliver a surprise offer.  It worked like this: snap a shot using Snapchat of you and your friends enjoying 16 Handles fro yo.  Send your shot to 16 Handles’ Snapchat account.  In exchange, receive a surprise discount from 16 to 100% off of your next purchase at 16 Handles.  The recipient had 10 seconds to let the cashier scan the photo/offer before it destructed.  Now, my inner pragmatic promotions person says “Eek!  What if the cashier doesn’t know what to do…what if it disappears too quickly…” etc. etc.  But, I will say that this was a small scale program, testing out the waters of an app used by the brand’s target audience.  So good for 16 Handles.  Now, keeping that open mind, there are other ideas for using Snapchat among brands.

clickZ  — Just last week, clickZ ran an article by Andrew Solmssen. It shared his ideas on how brands can use Snapchat.  Everything from scavenger hunts to events to insider access to contests.  Now…again,..I have to let my “yes but…” execution voice hush and let this man speak.  At the very least, it shows that the platform has interesting extensions and can be a good brainstorm idea piece for your future thoughts.  Again, I think it would work best if the redemption and participation parameters were kept nice and tight and controlled.  Here is the article: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2240363/marketing-with-snapchat-its-not-just-for-the-kids?wt.mc_ev=click&WT.tsrc=Email&utm_term=&utm_content=Marketing%20With%20Snapchat%3A%20It%27s%20Not%20Just%20for%20the%20Kids&utm_campaign=01%2F31%2F13%20-%20Mobile&utm_source=ClickZ%20Media&utm_medium=Email

One last note about this app is it just goes to show how immediate today’s audiences are about their content and its consumption.  What’s new now, can be gone in 10 seconds.  Oh and as always, I think the best way to really see what something is all about is to try it.  So do go ahead and download the app, find a friend, snap away, and then look quickly!  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Here and Now #snapchat #marketingideas #photos #mobile

Quickie Nuggets

Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 9.43.44 AMCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Well hello there!  Today’s post is intended to share interesting, quick tid bits, yes.  But it’s also one of those: “I need to hold onto that…” notes to self.  Yes, I do refer back to my own blog every now and again to find a stat or a fact or a source.  All of that said, get your stop watch ready and see how quickly you can process these little nibbly bites…GO!

Instagram Latest & Greatest — Instagram just shared that it has 90 million users, wow, uploading 40 million photos per day!  So if you’re thinking: “well I don’t use it, so I don’t see a point to it” in your marketing mix,  think again if you’re thinking social and visual and photo (Source, USA Today, January 18, 2013). May I remind you that photo posts typically receive the most engagement of all brand posts on Facebook, and you can find those numbers in a neat little chart here: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/direct/on-facebook-photos-represent-89-of-brands-most-engaging-posts-25330/

“Digital Natives” — eMarketer just shared a really good report about Kids and their online behaviors.  Did you know that by this year…45% of Kids 0-11 (yes, I said zero as in wee tiny babies!) will be internet users; and if they’re between 12 and 17, a full 97% will be online.  This study uses a very appropriate term for kids today, calling them “digital natives.”  Indeed!   And last but not least…

Dreaming in colors — To close up the nuggets, I’m heading in a completely different direction, more design-oriented then stat-focused…As I’m sure you know (nod your head in agreement, oh you’re the best!), the 2013 Pantone color of the year is EMERALD GREEN.  But of course, just when you think “Wizard of Oz oh my,” it doesn’t end here.  They also have posted their spring 2013 color array, so expect to see: African Violet (a light purple) and Nectarine (a soft orange) and Tender Shoots (a lime green) and others.  There are ten colors noted in all — go take a quick peek when you’re done here, they’ll  cheer you up dreaming about spring:  http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr.aspx?pg=21005&ca=4&from=hpfeatures

OK, stop!  *Phew!*  Did you keep up?!  I’m sure you did.  Hope you have a weekend that doesn’t feel super quick, for sure!  TASTY TREND & HASHTAGS: #kids #digital #colormyworld #photosharing #instagram #social stats

Snack Time

Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 4.21.41 PMCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Hello and Happy New Year to you!  You know me, right?  Of course you do. I love a good infographic.  I love talking about snacks.  And today’s post is two-two of these loves in one!  (I’m channeling Reese’s PB Cup ads long gone.) I spotted this snacking-goodness from the research team of The Hartman Group.  What I found particularly interesting and nuggety:

All day, all night (almost, gotta sleep some time) — People snack around the clock.  Now, this isn’t new news and snack food and fast food companies know this.  But the stats are interesting.  Particularly as it justifies my own late afternoon cravings!

At home, not on the go — Another interesting finding was that consumers are snacking mostly in the comforts of their own homes.  And so few at work, so few on the go.  Where are all these snackers?!

Healthy is a want, and Mindless and indulgent are the realities — Such a hodge podge of reasons to snack, none of which include “because I was hungry.”  And no wonder brands are trying to show the healthier options as consumers are drawn to them — whether or not they choose them is another story, clearly with chips and soda winning out.

What about you?  How do your own habits compare?  Again, thanks to The Hartman Group for nuggety brain snacks.  TASTY TREND: Here and Now; Food and Flavor Fun