Nissan sells more than 20,000 Leafs in first year; Fiat, Not So Much


Excerpt: Only a few months after announcing that it sold 10,000 all-electric Leaf cars in international markets, Nissan stated at the Tokyo Motor Show today that the company has sold over 20,000 Leafs since the car went on sale in December of 2010. The company also added that it expects to sell more than 10,000 Leafs in the U.S. by the end of 2011.

SOURCE: This contrasts with Fiat, which went to great expense to make branding commercials with JLo which stirred more “huh’s?” from audiences than sales. One  former auto-marketing exec Peter DeLorenzo called “quite possibly the worst automotive spot of the last decade, hands down.” No official sales numbers were mentioned, probably because it was too embarrassingly low to mention.

Who are they advertising here… the car or JLo? fiat fiasco - fiat 500 ad with jlo   fugly white fiat 500     SOURCE: Widely denounced, shameless and strange product placement and promo during JLo’s performance at the American Music Awards.

Watch the whole bizarre performance here (The Fiat stuff starts around 1:15):

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 Branding No Comments

Switching to Private Label Products is Accelerating and Irreversible

See the charts below from comScore, Nielsen and Symphony/IRI.  The percent buying branded products of past has dropped to 43%.  The percentage switching (2nd graph) is most in OTC drugs and apparel. And even if the economy improves, consumers would continue to buy private label. Whole Foods has been offering their 365 “house brand” for many years and Trader Joe’s also has great private label products that are often equal to or arguably higher quality than branded alternatives.

Brand Loyalty is Declining








willingness to switch to generic or private label versus branded product





consumers will continue buying private label even when economy improves




Related Article:  Spend Polarization – consumers save money in the down economy by buying more from Costco, Sam’s Wholesale, and BJ’s but when they splurge, they buy ultra-high-end.


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Monday, November 28th, 2011 Branding No Comments

Pre-Emptive Defensive SEO

Before a person, company or brand has a reputation crisis, both offline and online, there are specific content assets that can be put in place in anticipation of “worst case” scenarios and pre-emptively own those search results so that the right content comes up.  This comes from laying the proper groundwork ahead of time and for specific terms.

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Monday, April 4th, 2011 Branding No Comments

Google Blimp Ads! Awesome!!! Google Adwords On A Giant Screen

launches in May!!  gotta get some before they are gone – click here to sign up

talk about awesome branding opportunity

google blimpads - 2011 April Fools

large advertising for small text ads

blimpAds by google

It is April 1, 2011, folks

Google is also hiring autocompleters – sign up right away
google autocompleters april fools #aprilfools

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Friday, April 1st, 2011 Branding, digital, integrated marketing No Comments

Digital Footprint Score ™

UPDATED:  March 5, 2013

luxury hotels Digital Footprint Score March 2013


Digital Footprint Score 13.3  (2013, March)

Site: 1) visits per person, 2) pages per visit, 3) Hubspot Marketing Grade

Search: 1) domains linking in, 2) keywords driving traffic, 3) # pages cached

Social: 1) Klout Score, 2) Kred Score, 3) bitly clicks


UPDATED:  April 5, 2012

Digital Footprint Score - 2012 April Luxury Hotels

UPDATED: March 16, 2012

The version of the score below is 12.3 (which means year 2012, month 3).

Digital Footprint Score 12.3



– Hubspot overall marketing grade, indexed against others in the industry/sector
– pages per visit
– visits per unique user



– keywords driving traffic
– sites referring traffic (inbound links)
– # of pages cached by Google



– Kred Influence score, indexed against others in the industry/sector
– Kred Outreach score, indexed against others in the industry/sector
– Facebok Fans



– unique mobile content or mobile version




UPDATED:  April 5, 2011.

The Digital Footprint Score(tm) is a metric that will be published quarterly by the Digital Strategy Institute.

The parameters that go into it are the following – under 4 vectors, 1) site, 2) search, 3) social, and 4) mobile.

The version of the score below is 11.4 (which means year 2011, month 4).

Digital Footprint Score 11.5

– pages per visit
– visits per unique user
– keywords driving traffic
– sites referring traffic (inbound links)

– # of pages cached by Google

– twitter followers
– unique retweeters
– unique mentions of handle

– unique mobile content
– mobile app?  (1/0)

Meaningful comparisons are made among brands in the same industry/category, using the raw DFS score. the indexed DFS score can also give directional indication across industries (e.g. which industries as a whole are better in digital than others).

The parameters that go into the score were chosen mainly on the following criteria — that they are easy to obtain, easy to understand, AND straightforward to impact. For example if you have a low pages per visit parameter, then you impact that by adding more content pages to your site.

UPDATE:  March 25, 2011.

Digital Footprint Score 11.4

– pages per visit
– visits per unique user


– sites referring traffic (inbound links)
– keywords driving traffic

– twitter followers
– unique retweeters

– excluded in this version

DFS Score for fashion (highest)

Digital Footprint Score 11.4 - Fashion (Highest)

digital footprint score (lowest) fashion

DFS Score for Fashion Brands (lowest scores)

Original Post

The Digital Footprint Score(tm) is a new multi-metric index that helps brand marketers assess their digital marketing activities and compare it in apples-to-apples fashion to other brands in similar categories.

It takes parameters from the following 4 key areas: 1) site, 2) search, 3) social, and 4) mobile. It can be used to inform digital strategy and digital marketing tactics — those tactics will impact these parameters and improve the brand’s digital footprint score.

It is deliberately focused on measurable actions created by users NOT the size of the audience to which the ad was delivered, as in the case of the following 2 old metrics.


Gross Rating Point (GRP) is a term used in advertising to measure the size of an audience reached by a specific media vehicle or schedule. It is the product of the percentage of the target audience reached by an advertisement, times the frequency they see it in a given campaign. For example, a TV advertisement that is aired 5 times reaching 50% of the target audience, it would have 250 (GRP = 5 x 50% –) i.e., GRPs = frequency x % reach. To arrive at your total Gross Rating Points, add the individual ratings for each media vehicle you are using. You can also calculate GRP by dividing your gross Impressions by the population base and multiplying the answer by 100. GRPs are also used by broadcasters to sell their advertising space to potential customers.

A related metric is TRP, or Target Rating Point, a measure of the purchased targeted rating points representing an estimate of the component of the targeted audience being reached by an advertisement.

DFS score (digital footprint score)

Digital Footprint Score Trademark

See also – online reputation management

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Made-Up Word Advertising — “Retina Display” — is how Apple Launches New Products

A made-up word “retina display” had every major blog and news outlet scrambling to help explain what it was. Nearly 1.1 Million search results in 19 hours. It was covered on every evening news; look closely at the thousands of related news articles, etc.  And all the major, powerful sites like Gizmodo, MacRumors, Engadget, etc. covered the event.  Similarly 1.2 million search results on the “one more thing” feature — video calling on the iPhone called FaceTime. All entirely free primetime coverage — talk about the tens of millions of impressions achieved with NO media cost — they can definitely used the money saved to ensure Steve Job’s next keynote will have sufficient WiFi bandwidth for all those live blogging the event.

Look at the following graph of relative search volume. The spike in search volume for All-You-Can-Jet (in red) is about 4X higher than the orange line (Footlongs). And the blue line for “retina display”  is 8X. Consider the cost of the paid TV media campaign supporting Subway’s Footlongs compared to the cost savings of the social media launch of JetBlue’s All-You-Can-Jet Pass and the no cost media for Apple.

Of course, not all companies will achieve the same mass coverage, but the techniques for product launches can be the same. Footlongs is an expensive paid media campaign by Subway and note how low the orange line is compared to the TWO no-cost launches.

And one more graph that shows Drobo plus 2 social media success stories — Groupon and FourSquare that even blow away Apple’s retina display — all for FREE.

Other notable examples of using made-up word advertising include JetBlue’s All-you-Can-Jet Pass and Subway’s Footlongs. Further details about JetBlue’s launch of the All-You-Can-Jet Pass is here –

Earlier unfiltered results on Google within 10 hours of launch — there are 3.9 Million results which will be de-duped overnight.

Day 1 Stats – page 1 position 3 in 44.6 million results

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 Branding, integrated marketing 1 Comment

Why your brand MUST have a presence on social networks

At first glance, I said false when I read “Brand Presence on Social Networks Trusted Almost As Much As Peer Advice” — but when I looked more closely, it read “most credible source for information about a brand.”  This is significant because a “brand itself” SHOULD be the most credible source of accurate and up-to-date information. Even consumers are not always the best source or always have the latest information. And further notice that “a marketer” is next to the last on the bottom. Consumers want accurate and up to date info but they do not want to be sold to.

Consumers are good for “subjective” input on the quality and value of a brand’s products or services. A brand must be responsible for the accuracy of its own objective information. Formerly a brand’s own website was the best place to house objective information such as technical specs, nutrition information, etc. While third party sites like reviews sites are the best place to house subjective information like customer reviews, etc. Today, since most customers frequent social networks and seldom visit brand’s websites (they never did much anyway) the place to put objective information is on brand pages on social networks. Note that this does not mean a marketing page designed to “sell.” It means place “credible information about a brand.”

Brands Vie for Credibility on Social Networks

APRIL 2, 2010

Asked what source was most believable when it came to information found about brands on social networking sites, Internet users were most likely to favor their peers. But “the brand itself” came in a close second, far ahead of journalists, considered traditionally to be an objective source. Notably, users were much less trusting of marketers—a separate response from brands—and didn’t put much faith in a brand’s competitors either.


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Monday, April 5th, 2010 Branding, social networks 1 Comment

Evian baby viral video has much higher ROI than Etrade baby superbowl ad

The Evian baby viral ad (red spike) got almost as much search volume as eTrade’s Superbowl ad of 2009 (blue spike). But Evian paid millions less by skipping the expense of airing the video on traditional media; instead they just posted it to YouTube for free. But notice that in both cases the effect was ephemeral (not long lasting) — notice the narrowness of the spike. Interest in the viral video also subsided quickly. But at least Evian didn’t waste millions on producing and airing it — thus achieving a massively larger ROI than Etrade who paid to make the ads and then air it at great expense on the Superbowl for the last 3 years.


Etrade Baby Ad

Evian Baby Viral Video

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 analytics, Branding No Comments

Brand Gravity attracts new customers and keeps current ones in orbit

If you think of your brand as the accumulated reputation in the eyes of your customers then you understand that some brands (a very few) have brand gravity — gravitational pull that attracts new customers and keeps current customers in “orbit.” Other brands which resort to shouting messages at target consumers have no gravitational pull; instead they fling unwanted debris (ad messages) at planetary passers-by. But instead of being attracted to the brand, these passers-by do everything they can to avoid getting hit by the debris.

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Thursday, January 8th, 2009 Branding 2 Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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