Archive for the ‘Personal Brand’ Category

Generation Z: Forget Everything You’ve Learned About Millennials

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Amanda Kemsley, Account Manager 

 

Move over Millennials, we have a new target market in town: Generation Z (A.K.A Gen Z). The marketing stream has been hyper-focused on millennials for awhile, but now enters the next generation to be in the spotlight, and not one to be ignored. Born in the mid-nineties, Gen Z has grown up in the digital age, with ubiquitous internet access and bred to navigate the world with ease. Making up approximately 17 per cent of Canada’s population, it is a generation worth watching and brands are noticing.

For many, especially marketers, it seems obvious that digital would be the only channel worth connecting with this generation. But, do we have it all wrong? If you were to guess the generation that prefers print books over digital ones, enjoys shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and as few as 14 per cent own a smartwatch, you probably wouldn’t associate this with Gen Z. But those are Gen Z preferences, including characteristics of being more inclusive, accepting and risk-adverse.

There’s a fine balance with this generation between digital and traditional. Even though their lives revolve around a digital sphere, they tend to ignore the constant stream of ads and messaging and turn away from the digital noise. Information consumption for Gen Z is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Engaging with them digitally isn’t enough. To help accurately market to Gen Z, it is important to differentiate this generation from others. Here are a few things we know that sets them apart from their millennial predecessors:

 

They are digital AND non-digital.  

They haven’t forgotten traditional mediums such as TV and paperback books and they easily straddle between digital and non-digital. While, Gen Z does receive most of its information from social media, it’s not solely digital for their means of information.

Key takeaway: e-commerce strategies are important for marketers, but don’t exclude in-store service – focus on the shopping experience.

 

 

Instant gratification is everything.

Thanks to social media and technology, the retrieval of information can happen whenever and wherever, making immediate gratification a must. Convenience is important here, more than any generation before. With same-day shipping, Google at your fingertips and apps to keep you from having to stand in line, patience is not a virtue.

Key take-away: this is not to be mistaken as laziness, but rather efficiency and simplicity – there’s no need to overcomplicate a message or product.

 

 

Gen Z is realistic and cautious about finances.

They grew up alongside the recession and were taught to be mindful with their money, even more so than millennials. Being internet-savvy, this generation knows how to find a great deal and get the most out of their money. They can find hundreds of similar products, so what makes yours stand out?

Key takeaway: it’s not enough to be price conscious, this generation is also looking for the value add.

 

 

Gen Z is not just an exaggerated version of millennials. They are unique, open-minded, money-conscious and resourceful. It is an important group of potential customers, clients, employees and employers who can help influence the future. As a brand or company, understanding these characteristics will help to accurately deliver products, services and experiences to this up-and-coming generation.  Welcome Gen Z, we’re glad you’re here!

 

Amanda is an Account Manger at Brookline Public Relations. She has an insatiable appetite for exploring – ironically since she doesn’t like getting lost. She flourishes on bringing broad-minded, creative ideas to the table and trying things outside of the norm – perhaps these are millennial traits?

 

Clearly, I’ve drank the Kool-Aid

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Sophie Pilon, Account Supervisor

This past week, I celebrated my 6-year anniversary at Brookline! Booyah! One of my colleagues asked me what my highlight was over the years. Maybe it was the overwhelming shower of love from my colleagues or maybe I was distracted by the cake adorning my giant face in front of me, but I couldn’t come up with a highlight. Seriously, how does one summarize six years in one highlight? Now that the fog has lifted, I’ve had some time to think about it. What is keeping me motivated and passionate about Brookline?

The reason is simple; the projects I have had the opportunity to work on are second to none. I have met so many interesting people; I have grown so much professionally and personally; I have learned so much and continue to learn; I get pushed out of my comfort zone daily and most importantly I work with a group of vivacious, fierce and badass women every day.

To illustrate why I’ve clearly drank the Brookline Kool-Aid, I’ve decided to put a list together of some of the projects that have made a great impact on my career:

 

  • One of Brookline’s largest projects is managing the public relations for Edmonton’s ICE District. Throughout the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on so many interesting projects but one that sticks out is certainly helping with media relations for the opening of Roger’s Place.
  • I’ve lost count the number of times I have worn construction gear. I have an irrational fear of elevators and several of our projects with ICE District have been in buildings under construction where you have to take a hoist – translation: tuna can on the side of a building. If you are unaware of what a hoist is, it is essentially a cage used for lifting or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or a chain wraps, which means they scare me. Yet facing my fears is something I take great pride in, so yes… having to use hoists are a highlight for me.
  • Have you ever ridden a golf cart on an airport runway? I have! Brookline worked with the Calgary Airport Authority to help open the longest runway in Canada. The two-day event included an 8 km run event, managing up to 7000 visitors and coordinating the landing of more than 40 planes.
  • The Calgary Stampede season is always busy for us with events. One year, my colleague and I had the pleasure of coordinating interviews and managing THE Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller, Jeff Arnett.
  • One time, Paul Brandt serenaded me and 70 of my closest friends at a Canada Beef rebrand event. NBD!
  • Since I’m speaking of Paul Brandt, I also witnessed a marriage proposal at one if his UFA Small Town Heroes Appreciation concert in Ponoka, Alberta. Paul Brandt was made aware of the declaration and called the couple to the stage to sing them his infamous song – “I Do”.
  • I’ve had the pleasure of leading one of Brookline’s biggest client, Ford and travelled across Southern Alberta to visit with dealers, launched different vehicles and supported important issues such as impaired driving.
  • I’ve had the chance to work with several celebrity chefs to launch different ventures, including Chef Roger Mooking for the opening of Social Eatery by Roger Mooking at TELUS Spark.
  • I’ve also met Yvan Cournoyer at a Gordie Howe PRO AM Hockey Tournament event and number 99, Wayne Gretzky, at an Edmonton ICE District event. Do I need to say more?
  • Last but not least, I’ve created great friendships and bonds with my colleagues, but I have also created amazing ties with clients, media and partners these past six years.

 

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, agency life is demanding and requires perseverance, adaptability and passion, and I’m proud to embody those qualities and inspire the team to live by those words as well.

 

As part of the senior team, Sophie’s strategic thinking and calculated public relations insight have helped effectively guide large brands to reach their goals and objectives. Sophie’s strengths lie in creating innovative and tailored strategic communications and media relations plans tailored for each client and their needs. Her creativity, coupled with a wealth of experience in sports, lifestyle, corporate, not-for-profit industries, has led to exceptional results and brand-elevating coverage.

When Your Employees Go Rogue – How employees can do more damage than your competition

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Lisa Libin, Vice President

An employee can be a company’s strongest asset.  However, when an employee goes “rogue” – going against company policies and values, a PR crisis can ensue, reflecting and ultimately damaging a company’s brand.

From Starbucks employees choosing to have some loitering customers arrested to Tim Horton’s franchisees publicly lashing out over cuts to their benefits – although these issues are caused by rogue employees – it is still the responsibility of the brand to respond and clean up the mess.

What can a brand or company do when its reputation is tarnished by others? Below are some response recommendations for brands to follow when handling a PR issue not of their doing:

 

  1. Move quickly

With the power of social media, an incident is likely to go public, and potentially viral, like rapid fire. Gone are the days of having the luxury of sitting around a boardroom table for days to discuss a response – companies need to respond now. And fast. However, before distributing a response, ensure you are also following recommendation #2:

 

  1. Don’t be generic

Too often, companies are quick to respond with a generic statement – which can often cause additional frustration among consumers and the public who are looking for a more specific response or a call to action. Create a response that speaks to the problem – something as simple as “this isn’t acceptable, we are looking into it” can at least show the public you are taking the issue seriously.

 

  1. Tailor your reaction to the incident

There is no formulaic approach to a PR incident. Each crisis requires its own tailored response and outside counsel can often assist with creating a crisis communications path specific to the incident at hand.

 

  1. Go above and beyond when you can

This lesson can go all the way back to the Tylenol incident of the 1980’s where Johnson & Johnson recalled all of its products from the shelves, not just Tylenol products. An expensive business decision? Absolutely. But what it showed consumers is that Johnson & Johnson was willing to put customer safety ahead of profit margins to ensure all products were safe. When a brand goes beyond the simple response to an issue, it shows its audience that it truly cares and values their business.

 

While a number of recent incidents in the media have involved only one or two employees who made questionable or downright wrong decisions, it is always important to remember that all employees are representatives of the brand and it is important for the organization to act swiftly but act smartly.

 

 

Lisa Libin is Vice President at Brookline Public Relations. Lisa loves a good crisis (as long as it’s not a personal one!) and has vast experience in issues management and brand reputation issues, working with local and global communications teams to handle ongoing and current industry issues.