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Make mine a Pinot Grigio! October 1, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Pre-event.
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Image by Paul Aloe

Image by Paul Aloe

Thank you to all the wonderful folk who have signed up to this month’s BrandNew. With a week to go we’re near to full capacity with a guest list peppered with interesting and well-known brands from fashion, media, IT, travel and food.

We’ve got some fantastic sponsors on board with Taylor Wessing providing space, hot drinks and snacks and Media 140 giving BrandNew attendees free tickets to their exclusive Brand pre-event party.

Now we’re looking for someone kind enough to get the drinks in! If you are interested please email joanna.geary[at]thetimes.co.uk.



BrandNew 2: October 8th, with special guest Michael Wolff September 30, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Uncategorized.
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Michael Wolff

This month’s event will be held at the offices of Taylor Wessing.

Michael Wolff, co-founder of design and brand agency Wolff Olins, will be present to talk about his experience of brand design and to help kick-start some conversations about brand identity online.

Amongst many other achievements Michael created the Labour Party rose in the 1990s and  developed the strategic creation of the Citi identity for Citigroup.

This one will be an invitation-only event as places are limited. So, I’m afraid you will need to register to reserve your place by emailing me at joanna.geary[at]thetimes.co.uk .

Those who receive invites will also get  free entry afterwards to the Media140 Brand party, sponsored by Sun Microsystems.

Habitat is back on Twitter September 16, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Discussion Points.
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If ever a brand learnt the rules of social media engagement the hard way, it was Habitat.

Their misuse of hastags such as #iraqwar and #iranelection to promote their products involved a serious error of judgement.

Now they are back on the social network with a different tone and approach. I like the quote from a Habitat spokesman in a story by New Media Age:

“Since reactivating the account, there’s been a really positive response from the Twitter community, so we’ve learnt that it’s clear consumers genuinely want to hear from brands they’re interested in, as long as the information is relevant. It’s also clear that you have to engage with a community on their own terms.”

Good luck to them!

Plotting for BrandNew 2.0 September 16, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Post-event.
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I would like to give a big thank you to those who turned up to the launch of BrandNew last week.

In the mix we had people representing brands as diverse as Coca-Cola, the UN, Carphone Warehouse, Grant Thornton, The Labour Party, Reuters, PayPal, Barclays Wealth and, of course, The Times!

The feedback I had from evenyone was also excellent. It appears I am not alone in questioning how brands can, through their employees and agencies, develop a genuinely social and interactive presence online.

As Adam Tinworth, head of blogs for Reed Business Information, put it in his lovely write-up about BrandNew:

If I had any doubt that companies were about to go through a profound cultural shift as they adapt to this new communications infrastructure, the quality of the questions being asked put that to rest.

I’m hoping BrandNew will continue to spark those converations and help support that shift. The second meet is planned for either the 7th or 8th October. I will confirm as soon as the venue is sorted.

I am also talking to some very exicitng figures in the branding world about how BrandNew can be best used to help brands exploring this change in communications.

Ideas include making the events invitation only, with recommendations from other invitees being the way you get on the list. This is not to make the events exlcusive, but more to provide a safe space for people to talk about some of the difficulties they face.

I am also looking at bringing in a monthly “mentor” – someone from a brand who is suceeding in social media who will lead a Q&A discussion session.

Let me know what you think of these, if you have anyone you would like as a mentor, or if you have any other ideas you wish to add!

Many thanks!

More launch tickets available due to popular demand September 10, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Pre-event.
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Due to the number of requests for tickets I’ve had over the last 24 hours, we’ve reserved a bigger space at Ember bar for the BrandNew launch.

This means there are a few extra tickets available for the event, which had sold out this morning.

Get your tickets on our BrandNew Eventbrite page.

BrandNew launch: the drinks are on MessageSpace September 8, 2009

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When the idea for BrandNew was conceived, I could not have anticipated the fantastic support it would receive.

But with just 48 hours before our launch we now have over 40 attendees representing a wide range of well-known brands from sectors as diverse as finance, telecommunications, media, energy and politics.

More great news is that political advertising consultancy MessageSpace have kindly put some money behind the bar for Thursday’s launch.

Big thanks goes to Jag Singh, MessageSpace’s founder and CIO, for offering his support.

Jag will be there on Thursday to explain more about his business, which offers campaign consultancy services to charities and interest groups (clients include HSBC, Microsoft and Save the Children) and coordinates advertising across Britain’s biggest blog-ad network, featuring blogs such as Guido Fawkes, Boris-Johnson.com, Labourlist and LibDemVoice.

Also, if you haven’t signed up to the BrandNew launch, there are just a few (5 at the time of writing) tickets left! You can reserve one by visiting our Eventbrite page.

See you on Thursday!

Launch tickets available now! September 7, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Pre-event.
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Tickets for this Thursday’s launch of the BrandNew meetup are now on Eventbrite.

They are going quickly, so if you’re interested in coming along I’d sign up now! 🙂

Corporate blogging nears maturity August 14, 2009

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If you’re interested in the adoption of new technology, then it’s worth checking our Gartner’s annual Hype Cycle report.

Here is the graph for 2009:

More on the report can be found on Gartner’s website, but I think it’s interesting that whilst microblogging (such as Twitter) is on the descent to the “trough of disillusionment”, corporate blogging is looking near to mainstream.

E-Commerce Community: If You Build a Branded Online Community, Will Customers Come? August 7, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Discussion Points.
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An interesting article from E-Commerce Community  identifying a trend amongst brands to adopt community elements on their websites.

That a growing number of consumer brands are transforming their existing static Web sites into interactive online communities is a trend that is not only recent, but also rapidly accelerating.

It also has some great, solid case studies from Motorola, Sage and Kodak.

**Found via e-mint. If you are a manager of an online community it really is worth checking out their fantastic mailing list.

NMK – Measuring Social Media: Exclusive Interview with Omniture July 30, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Discussion Points.
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New Media Knowledge have published a great interview on online brand management with Neil Morgan from web analytics firm Omniture.

Some choice quotes:

“Whilst creatively you may want to get external agencies in to share their expertise for social media marketing we think it’s essential to keep the measurement and optimisation in-house… This way you will track the impact of social media campaigns the same way you do for other marketing, making it directly comparable.”


“If there’s one person on Twitter sounding off and they have just ten followers, it’s safe to assume that will simply be lost in the inconsequential noise of social media. If it’s Stephen Fry complaining to 660,000 followers, you might like to take it a little more seriously. Much of that kind of judgement call has been commonplace among brand managers for years. All that has changed is the scale, reach and media.”

Worth a read.