Made in D.R.

Dominican Republic announces Young Marketers representatives for the 2014 Cannes Lions

 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity

The race to the 2014 Cannes Lions  has officially begun, and it seems like it was only yesterday when Yasser Mármol and I were getting ready for the opportunity of not only attending, but also representing the Dominican Republic in the Young Lions Marketers Competition.  Inspired by the experience we were about to live, a series under the name of  "Road to Cannes"  was published in order to capture the spirit of what could possibly be considered as the most exciting and mind-bloggling event in the life of an advertising or marketing executive.  

Twelve months and countless posts later, this girl is back and ready for more. As we approach the big day of the festival, the folks of Cannes Lions in Dominican Republic have already started the quest of finding this year's representatives for four of the Young Lions categories: Marketing, Film, Cyber and Design.  In the Young Marketers category, each team of two is asked to produce a brief for a charity or cause and create a product, service or movement based on the topic. The ideas are presented in front of a jury over the course of (and no more than) 5 minutes.

This year's winning duo is Jennifer Terrero and Victoria Feliz, who presented a campaign for the office of the First Lady of the Dominican Republic, under the name of "Programa 360." The proposal included a strategy and plan of action supporting the prevention of domestic violence in all sectors and levels of society. 

Up next is a video on what went down that day. Stay tuned for upcoming posts as the winners of the other categories are announced.


An anniversary in pictures

Banco Popular Dominicano

It's been 50 years since Banco Popular Dominicano opened its doors in the Dominican Republic. Today a leader within the industry, the brand has been keen on embracing new technologies in all parts of the spectrum - operations, products and communications. 

Hace 50 años abrió sus puertas el Banco Popular Dominicano en la República Dominicana. Hoy un líder en su categoría, siempre ha manifestado su interés en acoger e implementar las nuevas tecnologías en todos los aspectos - operacional, dentro de su cartera de productos y en sus comunicaciones. 

To celebrate its anniversary, the bank launched a national photo contest on Instagram and invited the nation to post pictures that reflect the transformation of the Dominican Republic during the last century - pictures that convey changes in infrastructure, urban planning, telecommunications, industrial development, scientific advancements, among other things.

Para celebrar su aniversario, acaba de lanzar un concurso nacional en la red social de Instagram, el cual consiste en motivar a los dominicanos a subir fotografías que reflejen la transformación de la República Dominicana durante el último siglo - fotografías que transmiten los cambios en infraestructura, urbanismo, telecomunicaciones, desarrollo industrial, avances científicos, entre otros.

Banco Popular Dominicano

 The mechanics of the contest are fairly simple: follow the brand on Instagram (@Popularenlinea), upload up to three pictures including the hashtags #RD21 and #Popular50años, assign a title and description for the image, and presto. The ten best photos will take home prizes such as iPads, laptops and photography courses from Chavón

La mecánica del concurso es sencilla: para concursar, la persona debe seguir la marca en Instagram (@Popularenlinea), subir hasta tres fotos con los hashtags #RD21 y #Popular50años, aplicar un título y descripción para la foto, y listo. Las diez mejores imágenes se llevarán premios tales como iPads, laptops y cursos de fotografía en Chavón.

Banco Popular Concurso

To this moment, hundreds of pictures have already been submitted to the contest, triggering a connection between the bank and the people through visual content and social media - proving that universal truth: "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Hasta el momento, cientos de fotos han sido subidas a la plataforma de Instagram para el  concurso, lo cual ha generado una dinámica interesante entre el banco y las personas mediante el contenido visual y las redes sociales - lo cual comprueba esa verdad universal: "Una imagen vale más que mil palabras."

For more information, check out: www.popularenlinea.com

Para más información, entra a: www.popularenlinea.com 

Images courtesy of / Imágenes cortesía de: Banco Popular Dominicano

The Spree of the Season: Black Friday 2013

 Santo Domingo

For this marketer, the chance to experience Black Friday in the flesh is always welcome. It's different, it's fun and it's a great way of witnessing how brands fight it out in the retail battlefield. I mean, what could be a more perfect preamble for the Christmas season?  So just like last year, equipped with my camera and my two cousins, we hit the streets of Miami for a reprise of an unforgettable - and crowded - shopping spree. 

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers spent approximately $59 billion during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2012, with an estimated 247 million people who visited stores and websites. As people flocked brick-and-mortar stores, the online platforms exploded. This year was no different.

In 2013, while in-store sales dropped by 2.7%, online sales increased by 15% and 21% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, respectively. This led many retailers to target mobile and tablets shoppers more than ever before. According to Ron Josey, "This is the first holiday season when mobile is having its mark on overall retail sales. The online frenzy has couriers with higher shipping volumes., with an expected 420 million packages, a 10% increase from last year." The age of online shopping is at an all-time high.

So how did brands compensate? Simple, they started with discounts a lot sooner. By sooner, I mean days -  even weeks - in advance. This substitution effect made us ask ourselves: "Why should I spend the day being shoved, when I can enjoy my discounts beforehand without the masses? Or better yet - in the comfort of my own home?" Is this all still worth the hassle? As Rafi Mohammed from the Harvard Business Reviews points out, retailers are stuck with the "discounting prisoner's dilemma." 

CNN conducted a survey in which they asked people if considered Black Friday to be  worth it, and the result was a resounding "No" by  54%, and comments such as "Online shopping is the way to go" by  37%. True, web deals were hard to beat, but isn't Black Friday supposed to be about the shopping experience? Could online platforms give us that same taste of the holiday season? Is this effort from our part as marketers, to be ahead of the game, to beat the time, eventually killing the purpose of it all in the first place?

On another note, according to the folks of Kenshoo, ad performance was in an all time high. Retailers generated up to 15 times more revenue from Facebook ads on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and saw a growth on its Return on Ad Spend by 93%. But what is really interesting is how Black Friday and Cyber Monday generated triple the average number of conversions with clients.

Will this be an interesting phenomenon to study through the course of the following years? You bet. As far as I can tell, Black Friday is a festivity unlike any other, whose dynamics are transforming before our very eyes. It will be intriguing to see what the next twelve months will bring.

 Check out my pictures from this year's Black Friday:

"Getting ready for the mayhem." Walmart, 4:00pm

Getting ready for the mayhem. - Walmart, 4:00pm

 

50% off

50% off - Michael Kors, 9:00pm

 

All together now

Electronics

 

Get in line

Getting in line at 11:00pm

 

9.99

$9.96 - Walmart

 

Apple

The Red Sea - Apple

 

The best buy?

Best Buy

Meanwhile, in Santo Domingo, my sister snapped this picture of one cute little shopper:

Early adopter

Ms. Panasonic

Source:

"How Thanksgiving lost its Mojo", Rafi Mohammed. Harvard Business Review.

"Cyber Monday Sales at Record as Amazon, eBay win Shoppers", Danielle Kucera. Bloomberg Technology.

"Poll: Do you think Black Friday is worth it?", CNN Money. 

"Infographic: How well did Facebook ads perform during Black Friday, Cyber Monday?", Justin Lafferty. Inside Facebook.

More Than Branding ranked #3 in BuyerZone’s “Best Business Branding Blogs of 2013″

 

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that More Than Branding has been rated as one of the best business branding blogs of 2013 in The Best of BuyerZone series, by BuyerZone, an online small business resource center.

"Maria delivers information on branding in a variety ways, via blog posts, videos, infographics and graphs," says Sylvia Rosen, Online Analyst and Writer for BuyerZone. "The number of content types she presents to her readers keeps them both informed and engrossed."

About the ranking

The ranking highlights blogs that provide tips and advice on an array of branding topics, including name selection, promotion tips, reputation management, networking and more.

Each blog was ranked on the following:

  • Content freshness
  • Blog age
  • Social media presence
  • Engagement with readers

To read more about the blog and the rest of the winners, check out the article: The Best Business Branding Blogs of 2013.

Thank you very much! I am truly humbled!

(SOURCE: BuyerZone)

3 years of brands and blogging…

 

It gives me such great pleasure to celebrate More Than Branding's 3rd anniversary and 200th post. It seems as though it was only yesterday when this crazy idea became a reality. 

As you may have noticed, this past year has been nothing short of hectic and amazing with what has been working, traveling, publications outside the blog, contests, so on and so forth.  Being able to share all that with you and seeing how supportive you've all been is extremely gratifying. 

Thank you for loving this industry as much as I do and inspiring me every day. Most especially thanks to Hugo U. Cobos, Patty Yunén and Danny González, the coolest collaborators More Than Branding could wish for.

Here's to the next three years (or more)!