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4 Social Media Branding Lessons by Studying Starbucks

Starbucks built its brand by delivering an experience not a cup of coffee.  SureFire Results examines a few take a ways on what makes Starbucks a social media powerhouse.  Starbucks’ approach to social engagement catapults them to the front of the class in delivering engagement.  These four lessons, identified below, will get you started in developing brand excitement.

Make Everyone Excited About Your Brand

Brand AmbassadorWhen a brand gets its customers excited about its products and services it becomes easy to create brand ambassadors.  Brand ambassadors are individuals that sing the praises of the brand either directly or indirectly.  How do you convert customers into brand ambassadors? The answer is quite simple; give them something to talk about.  Starbucks creates a cool ambiance, that makes their demographic happy to report a check-in.  Coffee is coffee, or is it? Similar to the late great Steve Jobs, Starbucks cares about presentation and design.  Again, give people something to talk about.  The lesson here is to make everyone excited about your brand.


Images Tell a Better Story

Starbucks BrandingI know this is a no brainer, but believe it or not, most people miss it.  Images are apart of the DNA of a successful social media marketing strategy.  There are more pictures posted of a Starbucks drink on Instagram than of people actually visiting the store.  Test my results, of the 7.5 million public photos with a #starbucks tag, about 7 of 10 photos are of a product.  These aren’t professional pictures; these are consumer photos, excited about a brand.  How can I do that for my business?  The first step is to create a photo opportunity.  The results start with the level of details.


Understand Each Social Network is Different

Starbucks create unique content everywhere.  There is no such thing as one size fits all.  The best thing about this strategy is it gives every customer a reason to follow them again and again.  Also most importantly, someone who is on LinkedIn will learn something about Starbucks that works for that demographic versus the person on Google+ who is engaging with Starbucks in a social forum.  Unique content also feeds the Starbucks junky making them more desirable.


It’s Never about a Like

Let be clear, Starbucks is not interested in a like or a follow.  There are interested in a good return on investment.  Social is social, the more brand ambassadors that are created the more likely Starbucks will remain relevant.  The more images that are posted, the more people feel there is some excitement going on right now.  The more people feel something is going on right now; the more customers will flood the store.  A business can miss this point if they fail to plan their social media strategies.  Do not get caught in the social media hype of who has more likes or followers.

Quick Notes:

  1. Create excite through design and promotions. Then convert the customers into brand ambassadors.
  2. Give your customers a photo opportunity.
  3. Create fresh content everywhere.
  4. Convert the social hangouts to social customers.  Likes are cool but buys are better.

SureFire Results, LLC is a Princeton, NJ marketing agency specializing in connecting people with the brands they love. Your Brand! Learn more at www.surefireresults.com  or on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn. Ignite Your Brand!

Integrated Marketing Strategy – 5 Reasons Why You Need It

Integrated MarketingThanks to the internet customers can find out about you before trying some of your products or services. There is a competitive advantage given to businesses that effectively deliver their brands to the worldwide web.  The power is switching to consumers right now, but an integrated marketing strategy can give you the power.  Your play – to feed your target where they are engaged.

Way back when before electricity, people would gather at the town hall to get information from someone with a bullhorn.  To make your business successful you must use different media channels and sources to reach people in this fragmented society.  It may sounds odd but take my point of view, I am a working parent and I get news differently than my parents. To get my attention you will need to access the channels I am on (none of those channels involve paper).  Consumers have different behaviors that are all over the virtual map.  You can’t rely on just one form of advertising/marketing to attract a particular market.

Integrated Marketing Strategy

The point we are making is you can’t rely on the old forms of marketing, inbound marketing makes use of the internet to increase your value to new customers by making you relevant to the people who want your products or services. Inbound drives brand awareness, increases your credibility thereby making you a subject matter expertise, provided you position your brand correctly.

Sending out messages on the right channels where your customers are located is essential to your success. Being integrated is essential and simple; here are five reasons why you need to be integrated with your marketing:

  1. This is the 21st Century; you cannot reach 100% of your customers with just one form of communication.
  2. Customer service is paramount to success. Turning first time brand visitors into brand advocates can only happen with a great customer service experience. Be excellent to everyone!
  3. Consistency is king. Don’t change the brand, your brand is you!
  4. Choose wisely because there are a lot of moving parts: blogs, podcast, video, eBooks, e-newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing plus traditional forms of direct mailing, paper, mailings, cold calling, over various media forms are all possibilities.
  5. Do not be afraid test your marketing strategies.  Direct mail still works as an avenue to introduce your brand, but used in conjunction with a proper online strategy you can nail your market.

Contact SureFire Results to learn more about developing an integrated marketing strategy.

SureFire Results, LLC is a Princeton, NJ marketing agency specializing in connecting people with the brands they love. Your Brand! Learn more at www.surefireresults.com  or on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn. Ignite Your Brand!

Entrepreneurs Need This To Grow

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you wish you could buy today?  Is it stocks with a high probability of growth? Is it a customer list with a hungry need for your business?  Is it a marketing analysis that will pinpoint the next growth sector?  Is it Time? Not the magazine Time, but the most intangible commodity known to man.SureFire Results Marketing Agency

Successful business owners are known for leveraging money to make money, some use the stock market, some buy other businesses and some invest in research and development.  In addition to leveraging capital, many business owners understand the need to draw in their target markets through effective inbound marketing strategies.  Unfortunately, the same effort that is needed to evaluate an investment is missing in their marketing strategies.  The reason, albeit simple, is Time.  There is never enough time to effectively manage every aspect of their business.

Now entering the room, Time from Princeton, NJ

Similar to an investor who purchases stocks on margin to invest in additional stocks, business owners should leverage an inbound marketing firm who yields the results of a positive return on investment and time.  Some strategies employed by inbound marketing are constant dialog with the target market through various channels and good public relations.  When you consider the consistent dialog needed to build a viral marketing campaign and the fact that it is outsourced discretely, you have effectively leveraged you time.  Your brand is still building while you work on other in demand projects.  You have just ignited your brand the SureFire Results way.

Leveraging time and resources is the business of SureFire Results.  This Princeton NJ marketing agency brings your message to your market by employing simple strategies built for high impact results.  Learn more about SureFire Results at www.SureFireResults.com.

SureFire Results, LLC is a Princeton, NJ marketing agency specializing in connecting people with the brands they love. Your Brand! Learn more at www.surefireresults.com  or on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn. Ignite Your Brand!

3 Steps to New Customers

SureFire Result InboundIn life, businesses experience various challenges; finding new customers/clients should not be one them. In most cases, customers have a problem, that why they are coming to see you.  It is your job to know how to solve your customer’s problem; how to reach them.

There are three key steps to successful messaging:




Customers want insight; it is the number one attribute to drive results before you provide a service. Your most powerful insight (different than your competitor) will be the insights that benefit the customer.

Example: A customer wants to purchase dog food for a new puppy.  The local pet shop that can provide guidance for the specific breed and age of a dog will beat out the competitor who does not, regardless of whether the competitor is a well-established national chain.


Impact – Teach customers what they do not know. It will drive the impact of your message.

Example:  The same local pet store that provided insight on dog food selection, can go a step further and offer an in store class, a pamphlet or web training on their site.


You sell the solution to the customer. Once they are aware of your solution, customers impacted by your insight will come for your solution.

Example:  The customer who visited the store or website, will leave with the dog food that YOU recommended.

The key here is to deliver value to your customers at every opportunity.  It is never about dog food, it about solving problems over and over again.

SureFire Results, LLC is a full-service marketing firm specializing in connecting people with the brands they love. Your Brand! Learn more at www.surefireresults.com  or on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn. Ignite Your Brand!

Your Company Needs a Google+ Company Page

Local MarketingBill Gates said in a speech that your business needs to be online.  Today we are saying your business needs to be on Google.  Google is the number one search engine in the world.  Google+ Pages integrates well with any social media campaigns and most importantly, it is optimized for Google’s search engine.  Now companies, brands, organizations, and art & entertainment groups can finally build a social media page using commercial names.  Google+ basically gives companies and organizations another median to reach their fan bases and potential customers.  Another significant benefit Google+ brings to the table is the ability to help you reach out to local markets.

So How Do I Build a Google+ Page?

If you already are a Google+ user, it is not very difficult to create a page.  Do not have a general Google account; you have to sign up for one.  Once you are inside your Google+, under the “Home” tab, scroll down to the “Pages” button, then look for the “Create a Page” button located near the top right corner.

When you are at Google+ Page, you can pick a category among the five give choices:

  • Local Business or Place
  • Product or Brand
  • Company, Institution or Organization
  • Arts, Entertainment, or Sports
  • Other

Choose the best category for your company or group.  As for SureFire Results, LLC, we selected “Company, Institution or Organization”.  If you wish to target your local market, selecting Local Business will be the best option.

Add your primary phone number.  Google will search for your business.

If you selected Company, you will be prompted to add a category and demographic.

  • Any Google+ user
  • Users 18 and older
  • Users 21 and older
  • Alcohol related

You can also use the Tagline to add your keywords (just like when you create your own website) and as well as add your own Profile Photo.

Once you are done creating your Google+ page, you are now ready to share your Google+ profile link and connect to those who are in Google+. You can also add a Google+ badge or a code snippet to your site so your visitors will be able to connect to you via Google+.

Facebook has a “What’s on your mind?” wall, and Google+ Page has “Share what’s new…”. You can add a photo, a video, a link, and as well as your current location.

Other special features of Google+ pages that you can use are Hangouts and Circles.  Google Hangouts, is similar to an announcement or invitation you make with your friends to spend some time to hangout virtually.  You can use hangouts like Skype, it can be a private video hangout with a vendor or a QA session with your customers.

Google+ Circles is another feature where you can categorize your contacts to:

  • Friends  – Real friends belong to this group.
  • Family – Close and extended family can be added into this group.
  • Acquaintances – This is a place where you can put those people that you’ve met but are not really close to.
  • Following – These are people you do not know personally but you find their posts quite interesting.

Some Key Benefits of Creating a Google+ Page for your Company

Google+ Page is one of the newest and most organized social media platforms that can be built for your company.  Google+ Pages adds value to your business with its ability to tap Local Searches.

Google Places – This feature is now imbedded within Google+ Pages.  So it is like adding your business to the yellow pages directory for free.  The best part is it optimizes your company website and your social platforms.  You can add your physical store address, contact number, add coupons (and update them), announce discounts, and the ability to get found by your customers (locally).

You can make multiple pages – Google+ gives you the ability to make multiple, different pages through one Google account which means that you are not required to manage multiple accounts for your other businesses.

Through Google Plus Hangouts, you will be able to connect with your customers right away, by text or scheduling a Hangout.  This interactive tool can increase your leads as your customers will feel comfortable.  Engagement builds loyalty and encourages repeat business.

If you have questions about Google Plus also known as Google+, feel free to post a comment below.  Also, swing by our G+ Page and follow us.  If you wish to talk to our expert on Social Media Branding, visit us at SureFire Results®.

SureFire Results, LLC is a full-service marketing firm specializing in connecting people with the brands they love. Your Brand! Learn more at www.surefireresults.com  or on Facebook. Ignite Your Brand!

Move Toward an Inbound Marketing Strategy Now!

Lets face it, in today’s high tech gadget dominated world an inbound marketing strategy is not only important, it’s critical to your business’ success.  Inbound marketing offers a low barrier to enter and long term positive effect on your bottom line.  Inbound marketing also creates so many ways to get your brand in front of your target market.

5 Quick Points to Move Toward an Inbound Marketing Strategy

  1. Many decisions makers don’t have time to research new service providers. However, the people recommending services to the decision makers have time to run an internet search.  Are those recommendations finding their way to your business? SEO.
  2. Lower the cost to acquire one new customer.  Your internet marketing program should seek new customers and retain current customer. The challenge is staying engaged to your current customers while the customer life cycle requires you to constantly seek new customers.  Customer Engagement.
  3. A business’ health comes down to dollars and cents.  Inbound marketing offers a low barrier to enter.  It’s low cost, safe and secure. The return on investment outweighs most other programs. ROI.
  4. What are they saying about you or your brands. Inbound marketing is your opportunity to allow your brand to speak for itself.  You can use the internet space to show off your company’s IQ and grow a following with a group of people that may use and sell your services for you.  We at SureFire Results refer to this as – “Brand Building”.
  5. Google said it best – relationships are like circles.  Inbound marketing allows you to reach people outside of your circle and grow your own reputation. These new faces have a different set of needs. Circles.

SureFire Results, LLC is a Princeton, NJ marketing agency specializing in connecting people with the brands they love. Your Brand! Learn more at www.surefireresults.com  or on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn. Ignite Your Brand!