A Little Friday Fun

From one of my favorite marketing campaigns.

It’s amazing how much you can differentiate yourself in an undistinguished business with a little humor.

Go to their site and you’ll see what I mean…

Have a great weekend!

Latest Posts from Small Business Branding blog

I’ve been contributing to the Small Business Branding blog for – I guess – almost 2 months now. The site has a growing lineup of marketing bloggers, and the content keeps getting better and better.

Some of my more recent posts:

Re-branding Chrysler: How would you re-brand this “in transition” company if you had the chance?

How to be Unremarkable: Five ways NOT to stand out from the crowd (wherein you’ll see my more cynical side in full bloom!)

Are you Telling your Brand Story?: The power of storytelling in promoting your brand.

Other active contributors to the blog include:

Drew McLellan

Krishna De

Yaro Starek

Danielle Rodgers

Kevin Levi

Ed Roach

Nick Rice

Robert Kingston

Andy LaPointe

Brad Williamson

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News and Improved

The Marketing Bloggers portal now has a new tab, with feeds from various marketing News outlets (not necessarily bloggers).

Just go to the site, and scroll on over to the right, just before the “About” page.

Did you know that the portal now has over 110 feeds? For folks involved in Branding, Marketing, Advertising, Social Media, PR, and related fields, it’s the place to go for up-to-the-minute info!

Names: Bad, Bad, Bad

From the fine folks over at NameWire, a great post on bad brand names (The Bad Hair Days of Product Naming).

Building a “LifeNet”

Very interesting article from Success magazine, by a hard-driving entrepreneur who came to recognize the incredible value of a personal/professional network in building success. Highly recommended read!

9,496 Days and Counting

That includes six February 29ths (leap years). 1,352 Monday mornings. 227,904 hourly trips out of the cuckoo clock.

Today, my bride and I have been married for exactly 26 years. This July will be my first blogging anniversary – a wonderful milestone! But it pales in comparison to knowing and loving my best friend for over a quarter century.

Sandy has put up with an awful lot, at times wondering whether the clock or something else was cuckoo! The jury’s still out, but my guess is both…

So, what’s the “secret” to a long-lasting marriage? Well, there isn’t just one. However, Drew McLellan’s post on Be a Drip certainly taps into one main theme. Businesses, and marriages, grow by the slow and steady drip of regular, consistent communication. Most nights (now that the weather is good!), we still take a walk, hold hands, and talk. Marital blog posting and comments, if you will…

I hope to write/blog/communicate/promote for the rest of my life. And if I’m able to pull that off, one major reason is a wonderful woman who sticks by me. For the rest of our lives.

(image credit: Flickr)

Pharma Web Branding, Part 2 – GlaxoSmithKline

In my continuing series on how pharmaceutical companies engage the public with their brand on their website homepages, this week we’ll take a look at http://www.gsk.com (last week was Pfizer’s turn!)

gsk-logo.jpgGlaxo became a Top-5 pharma company through a merger strategy. SmithKline Beecham joined Glaxo Wellcome to create…well, you know the tale. Merger mouthful. Most people now find it easier to refer to the company as “Glaxo” or as “GSK” – my bias is well-known about munging together a bunch of legacy names to come up with a run-on-sentence for a name.

And, I will admit, that when the merger occurred and the new GSK logo was unveiled, I found it to be an underwhelming moment in marketing. My first impression: an orange guitar pick. And to this day, that is all I see.

Turning to the public website, in the browser title bar we see this tagline: “Improving health and quality of life.” As with so many pharma companies, absolutely bland, obvious, and non-distinguishing. That phrase could be used about bottled water, vitamins, exercise machines, and a book on therapeutic massage. Sigh.

Nonetheless, the website itself has some reasonably engaging design features. Unlike Pfizer’s, panned last week for trying to say too much, the current GSK site presents a compelling “story” front-and-center: The Menace of Malaria. The two brief blurbs, with accompanying graphics (the mosquito is very effective), draw the reader in to explore further. By focusing on ONE thing that GSK is actively working on, the site makes it easier to dig in.

Of necessity, for a major pharmaceutical company, there are many links and potential destinations, and this site does a pretty good job using smaller navigational areas to direct the users to various areas of interest. The drop-down boxes toward the bottom right are a particularly effective way to give choices without an overwhelming, in-your-face list. Since there are so many choices, it might be a good idea to use simple rollover technology to provide brief snippets of information when people mouse-over the menu items (for instance, why would I want to take the survey?)

Below the graphic shown here are some other helpful links, including recent news releases, Quick Links, up-to-the-minute stock prices, and an RSS feed for newsreaders (every company should be doing this nowadays).

Yes, the site is a bit busy, and the type quite small in many places, but for a company this size, it’s difficult to know what to leave out on the home page. GSK has done an admirable job making a large amount of information accessible without it being overwhelming.

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