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Managing Your Brand: Marketing Update 11/29/12


Episode #224 - November 29th, 2012

  • How to interact on Twtter: Include #MktgUp in your tweet!
  • On the show today is Karen Rubin (@karenrubin) and Mike Volpe (@mvolpe)
  • As always, all the old episodes are in iTunes. If you like the show, please leave a 5-star review!


Google Acquisition is a Hoax 
  • A spate of press reports on Monday heralded Google's latest takeover deal: An apparent $400 million purchase of ICOA, a Warwick, R.I., company that makes Wi-Fi hotspots for public areas like parks and airports.
  • Then the retractions began pouring in, as ICOA and people familiar with Google's operations began to deny the report.
  • "This was a hoax," George Strouthopoulos, CEO of ICOA, told CNNMoney in an e-mail. "This is NOT TRUE!! Never had any discussions with any potential acquirers!! This is absolutely false!"
  • ICOA's total market cap is less than $850,000, and its shares trade for under a penny.
  • Someone moved piles of ICOA's stock on Monday: Nearly 330 million shares changed hands, according to, compared with the stock's usual daily volume of around 2.6 million shares.
  • Marketing Takeaway: 

Smashing Your Brand

  • Brand guru Martin Lindstrom suggests the “smashing your brand” test to examine the quality of your branding by acknowledging the value that every single element at play in defining your brand's identity.
  • Starbucks collaborated with the designers at Rodarte—a fashion label, to create a fewlimited edition gifts during the 2012 holiday shopping season. They designed a tumbler, a tote bag, a reusable up sleeve, and a Starbucks card.
  • Rodarte’s Starbucks logo is highly pixelated. At first you might think your eyes are playing tricks on you—and they are. The pixelated logo still screams Starbucks with its familiar greens and grays, and the vague suggestion of the mermaid logo. It is all there—just not the way we are used to seeing it.
  • Marketing Takeaway: 

Virgin's #Nerdbird Cyber Monday Deal

  • Cyber Monday sales, Virgin America is offering the ultimate “geek-sweet ride” on the Nerdbird—a chance to charter the aircraft to next year's 2013 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas Jan. 8-11. The airline is teaming up with Gilt City to offer a "nerdbird for hire" charter flight.
  • The company gets inquiries every year from local tech companies and entrepreneurs asking to charter aircraft to head to CES, said Luanne Calvert, vice president of marketing at Virgin America.
  • “So we thought it would be fun to answer the call and work with Gilt City to create the ultimate geek gift," Calvert said in a release. "Plus, if being the first airline to offer fleetwide WiFi and having an entertainment platform that runs off LINUX isn't evidence enough, we're kind of geeks ourselves." 
  • The flight was already purchased for $49,000, but there is a waitlist.
  • Marketing Takeaway: 

Is Google Responsible for Search Results Contents

  • Do Google search results amount to content that the company “publishes” and is responsible for? One high court in Australia says yes — and the decision, if unchanged on appeal, could have far-reaching repercussions.
  • For starters, Google will be forced to pay $200,000 to music promoter Milorad Trkulja, the plaintiff in this case. Trkulja brought the suit in 2009 after Google refused to remove links to sites that claimed, incorrectly, that the promoter has connections to organized crime in Melbourne.
  • Google only got itself in ‘trouble’ after it did not follow through on a take down request. The courts didn’t feel that how Google put the results in the order that it did was wrong but they felt there was an issue when the complaint to take down the information was not granted.
  • Marketing Takeaway: 


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