Social Media’s Growing Influence on Marketing and Branding – 3Q09

 With 43% of online users logging in to social networks (Consumer Internet Barometer), representing a 15% increase in the last year, the impact of these phenomena is undeniable. The rapid rise of Twitter has many marketers scrambling to synthesize messages to fit this microblogging platform into its tiny posts or “tweets.” While different companies and industries really need to examine what the effects of this type of messaging will have on their brand and with customer bases (both today and in the future), time will tell as to which media and industries prove most effective. Along with Facebook, these mediums have already had a powerful effect on how people consume media and need to be examined as part of a comprehensive branding environment. As millions are beginning to absorb and transmit messages in 140 characters or less, it is more important than ever to reach audiences quickly and effectively. With proper messaging, a social networking strategy has the potential to complement any well-established marketing plan. The right core messaging strategy directly identifies and communicates your firm’s strengths, using powerful language and tailored structures to attract and engage readers and can be distributed across many mediums.

News from Inside Articulation

Articulation recently partnered with an Emmy-award winning gaming and entertainment development firm to update their brand and company website. The project included custom web design and development, focusing on increased interactivity, embedded video, multimedia, SEO, and the launch of a news-based and RSS friendly blog. With the redesign, Articulation aimed to reposition the brand in order to showcase their diverse capabilities and achievements in creative and entertainment development. Despite beginnings in video games, the company has expanded to projects across media including board games, film, virtual reality, and console and web-based video games. The new site better displays this diversity and brings the work to the forefront of the user experience.

Inside the Industry

This quarter JPMorgan Chase completed their nationwide rebrand of recently acquired Washington Mutual, including remodeling nearly 200 locations. The undertaking represented a dramatic clash between the hip, unconventional banking style of WaMu and Chase’s conservative, tried-and-true image. Washington Mutual based their distinct, well-established brand identity on differentiating from more traditional banking competitors with branding strategies including bright primary posters, lively colors, sardonic ads, and casual branches modeled with their patented Occasio, retail-style design. As with any rebrand, Chase was challenged to retain customers with strong loyalty to the original brand, while leading the firm in a new direction. However, as victims of the largest banking failure in U.S. history, it is now more important than ever for WaMu customers to feel secure and protected, themes central to Chase’s longstanding reputation for dependability. The coming quarters will determine the true success of the merger rebrand as customers respond and business continues.

Current Projects

Nearly ten years after their initial brand development, Articulation revisited a boutique real estate-related firm to embark upon a comprehensive rebrand, updating their logo design, website, and corporate identity materials to better convey the growth and success they had experienced. The package included more modern and sophisticated web design, updated content, new logo and branded imagery, and streamlined core messaging. Acknowledging the importance of revisiting a company’s brand and adjusting the marketing strategy to better pinpoint changes in company values and growth, we emphasized the powerful reputation and experience that the firm has developed in the past ten years in the industry, as well as their widely expanded offerings and client base. The successfully articulated rebrand and new website launched during the third quarter.