Charity Stebbins

About Charity Stebbins

Five ingenious marketing rebrands that changed society

In 2007 researchers conducted an experiment where subjects sipped the same wine from two different bottles.

The only variable was the price tag, the wine’s market value. Not only did the subjects say they enjoyed the wine from the more expensive bottle, their neural activity showed heightened pleasure associated with better flavor and taste. 

As Rory Sutherland said: 

How do you get adults to enjoy wine? Why, it’s simple. Pour it from an expensive bottle.

This is essentially the power of brand. Perceived value can potentially affect experience more than the actual quality of the product.

How to rank for images and video in universal search

You don’t have to go far to find digital marketers wringing their hands over the growing invasion of Google’s universal features into the SERPs.

And can you blame them? In the search results for the query “rainbow” (shown below), there is a single standard organic result above the fold.

Optimize your offline marketing online: lessons from Planet Fitness

“So, what do you do for a living?”

“I lift things up and put them down.”

If that exchange isn’t ringing a bell, perhaps Planet Fitness’s commercial catchphrases will: “Not his planet, yours.” “No Gymtimidation, no lunks.” “We’re not a gym, we’re planet fitness.” “Lunk alarm.”

These catchphrases are all part of a $10-12m offline marketing campaign by Planet Fitness, the fastest-growing gym in America. 

The TV ads are funny and focused, they have real viral star quality. They’re aimed at the pain points of inactive people, who tend to feel insecure or annoyed by showiness at the gym.

They’re aimed at people who have been uncomfortable at gyms and thought, “This just isn’t for me.”

So far so good on the marketing front. The ads are memorable, targeted and appealing. Unfortunately, when you follow the campaign online, the wheels start to come off.

Greeks in plaid: the art of digital marketing persuasion

The techniques of content or the bigger genre of online marketing are not new, they’re just digitized. If you start looking seriously for the origins of digital marketing, you’ll ultimately land in 300BCE.

At its heart, digital marketing is persuasion. And if we’re talking about the basics of how to persuade, we should start with Aristotle.

Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and father of rhetoric, set the gold standard for persuasion. All digital marketing is a shadowy form (Hahaha! Philosophy joke. Anybody?) of his original tenets.

You could say that the basic principles of digital marketing are just ancient Greek wisdom dressed up in plaid (that’s what we digital marketers stereotypically wear in the States, at least).

Google Trusted Stores: the good, the bad, the inevitable

Setting your brand apart from the rest is practically the definition of marketing. Given the strict parameters of advertising on Google, the gatekeeper of the vast digital market, it can be a struggle.

It’s no wonder, then, that on my last Econsultancy post discussing niche site strategy, a commenter wanted to know how to get that attractive, Google-branded check mark that distinguishes one PLA (Product Listing Ad) from the lineup. 

Five ways niche ecommerce sites can beat Amazon

Fans of feel-good 90s movies will recall Meg Ryan’s valiant but doomed struggle to save her corner bookstore from Tom Hanks’s big box rival.

Ecommerce niche sites have found themselves in a similar drama, battling to hold their place in the market and the SERPs against mammoth retailers like Amazon, Staples, and Walmart.

While these larger sites certainly have both marketing and SEO advantages: fast delivery, aggressive pricing, enormous SEO budgets, big brand preference from Google, an easier time adding or removing links,  it’s important for niche site marketers to recognize that, in certain aspects, they can have an edge.

Here’s how…

How B2B content can make you popular

Lately it seems like content marketing is all people are talking about. B2B marketers however, don’t always see themselves as getting a slice of that pie.

It’s true that B2B content marketing has unique challenges: it can be hard to get a conversation started (let alone shared) by business customers or to create viral appeal (usually pathos-driven human interest angles).

But just because you’re B2B doesn’t mean you can’t be one of the cool kids.