Tag Archives: Emerging Media

Xcel Brands Featured In Forbes – “Xcel Brands, Isaac Mizrahi and QVC: Partners For Success”

By: Paula Rosenblum

Xcel Brands is the parent company for the Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka and Liz Claiborne New York brands. I had the opportunity to chat with Xcel Brands’ Chairman of the Board and CEO Robert D’Loren last week and learned a lot about the company and its partnership with QVC. We spent most of our time focusing specifically on the Isaac Mizrahi brand, which Xcel has owned for the past two years.

Most people I know think of Isaac Mizrahi as a clothing designer and judge on TV’s Project Runway All-stars. My own first memory of him was as one of the original “cheap chic” designers that helped drive Target TGT +0.83%’s glory days of fashion in the early 2000’s. Prior, he was a high-end fashion designer. Once he moved away from high end fashion, circumstance and fortune put him in the position to bring a design ethos to the masses.

Mr. D’Loren described Mr. Mizrahi’s legacy well: he is the designer that oversaw the democratization of style. Certainly with his role on Project Runway All-Stars and appearances on QVC he continues that legacy. Since selling his business to Xcel Brands, Mr. Mizrahi has been able to spend more time curating the product assortment and less time actually designing it himself. More and more he is the face and the ethos of the brand while Xcel manages both day-to-day operations and finding the right vendors to make the Mizrahi product.

Xcel Brands itself is a hidden dynamo. The company strongly positions itself as an “omni-channel” leader – meaning it reaches customers across any media they choose to interact with: TV, stores, online, social media…wherever the customer goes, Xcel Brands is ready to meet them. Certainly the data is compelling:

  • Isaac Mizrahi Live on QVC reaches 99 Million households in the US and 14 Million in Canada
  • Isaac recently launched an e-commerce site, announced it to the world on QVC, and within moments, over 1,000 new visitors came to the site
  • Since partnering with Xcel Brands, Isaac’s QVC score has gone from a 2.5 to a 4.5 out of 5

How has it moved so quickly and done so much? According to Mr. D’Loren, it’s much more about product than it is about math. The analytics support the art form, rather than driving the entire business. This is something I have generally been paying close attention to. While my background is solidly in technology, I’ve also seen what happens when a company forgets about the intangible art of designing and selecting the right product. It breaks an unspoken promise to the consumer: the Brand promise.

Mr. D’Loren has been a brand manager for a long time. He has owned thirty-two brands, of which seven were retailers. He has produced everything from home furnishings to couture. His President and Chief Operating Officer, Joe Falco is the “product guy” or as he would be called in the industry, the head merchant. They work in the same office, face-to-face doing complimentary work. Mr. D’Loren is responsible for the overall look. His philosophy is simple” “Shopping should be joyful.” And too often, it just isn’t.

With every brand it takes on, Xcel asks itself “What is the brand’s ideal? What is its highest purpose?” That’s how they came to recognize Mr. Mizrahi as the ‘style democratization’ guy. He was the first designer to say you could wear a $1,500 jacket with $50 pants. The key is apparently in matching up high and low end merchandise to their best effect.

The earliest public example of this mixed-metaphor ethos was Sharon Stone at the 1996 Oscars. She wore a Gap GPS +0.99% turtleneck over an Armani velvet coat and Valentino slacks. Designer dresses come and go, yet a quick search on “Sharon Stone gap turtleneck Oscars” will reveal many web sites citing the look as one of the top-ten of all time. She did it again in 1998, wearing her husband’s white shirt with a long skirt designed by Vera Wang. Mr. Mizrahi did not oversee those looks, but he certainly spotted the trend and popularized it.

Once the brand ideal is established, everything is built around it: from messaging and collateral to stores to web sites, to the clothes themselves. Mr. D’Loren believes it’s critical to embed honesty, transparency and into the corporate culture. The way messaging and collateral is delivered depends on the target customer base. As Mr. D’Loren explained, Millennials want to ‘get behind the ropes’. They’re not so much fans of traditional marketing. Rather, they prefer streaming media. This extends beyond just the QVC TV show itself, but to supporting messaging as well.

Traditional marketing still plays a role, mostly with the brand’s older demographic groups. This appears to be a coming trend. In fact, my own company, RSR Research, has found in our research that while traditional mass marketing still dominates, retailers are starting to move away from it, towards more personalized approaches. This likely is a function of Baby Boomers moving out of their prime discretional spending years and Millennials rising up to become the next mammoth market.

Retailers and brand managers might take a strong lesson from the parting comments Mr. D’Loren made to me. When I asked him about branding he replied, “What does a brand really mean? It means Trust. Whatever your value proposition or promise is, you have to deliver.”

QVC has been a partner in fulfilling its own and Isaac Mizrahi’s brand promise. Their numbers speak for themselves. I received a long and impressive list from the company’s public relations firm, but the one that stuck with me was this one: of all QVC’s sales, 90% are from repeat customers. How many retailers can say the same?

As I look at a list of retailers who struggle today, I wish they could hang those words in the hallways of their home offices and back rooms of their stores. We’ve become very focused on branding in the retail industry. The explosion of information and selling channels allows a retailer to drive home a branding message daily. But stores, web sites and most importantly, product is where they are meant to fulfill that promise. Doing so is a prescription for success.

Not doing so…well, at best, it’s a bad idea. Over the long haul, it’s a prescription for failure.

Read Original Article on Forbes.com

Xcel Brands Selects Emerging Media as AOR for Corporate Communications

Xcel Brands, a leader in omnichannel retail sales, announced that it has selected Emerging Media as its Agency of Record for corporate communications. Xcel’s omnichannel approach to retail includes the licensing, distribution, marketing and sale of designer products across various distribution channels, including bricks & mortar, internet/digital and direct-response television. Emerging Media, a PR, marketing, branding and social media agency, will handle all strategic messaging, media and public relations efforts for the company. Brand level PR for Isaac Mizrahi and Judith Ripka will continue to be managed by Xcel’s internal PR team.

“Emerging Media truly understands the power of the Xcel Brands’ omnichannel strategy, and I am confident in this team’s ability to act as a strategic partner in proving and sharing that strategy with the market and the media,” said Xcel Brands CEO and Chairman, Robert D’Loren. “We recognized a shared passion in Emerging Media for telling a brand’s story in ways that create lasting and meaningful connections to loyal audiences. That’s what we’re all about.”

The agency will direct all of Xcel Brands’ PR and thought leadership efforts, as well as manage speaking opportunities, conferences and awards.

“Robert D’Loren has assembled an incredible team with an unparalleled vision for the future of retail brands,” said CEO and founder of Emerging Media, Susan Lindner. “We deeply identify with Xcel Brand’s core mission of connecting with brand followers on their terms, and look forward to sharing this mission with a nationwide audience.”

See Original Article in Bulldog Reporter.

Emerging Media – Top 10 PR Agencies for Mobile Apps

New Independent Research Site Launches with Comprehensive Agency Rankings

Top 10 PR Agencies

Emerging Media is ranked as one of the Top 10 PR Agencies for Mobile and Wireless applications! That was the surprise we received on Monday via an email notification from a new independent research site called Top PR Agencies. The newly newly launched TopPRAgencies.com (press release)  has done quite a bit of research to develop their rankings and have populated a very comprehensive database of Public Relations firms. In addition to the rankings, the site promises to provide a comprehensive directory of PR agencies, research tools, blogs, press releases and a knowledge center.

Emerging Media has been working with Mobile and Wireless space for several years now and is very proud of what we have achieved for our clients. Our clients have spanned mobile applications, mobile radio, advertising and even software infrastructure for the industry. Here are just a few:

StearClear, an app-based designated driver service that gets you and your car home safely
Echolocation, a new hyper-local, micro-blogging app that connects users to highly relevant content based upon their location
TargetSpot: the largest Internet and mobile radio advertising network
WebNMS: A leading provider of wireless and mobile infrastructure software

top 10 pr agencies“As technologies have changed, we’ve found creative ways to adapt our PR strategies with the times – from content creation to events to social media,” said Susan Lindner, President of Emerging Media. “We’re inspired by the businesses we work with, and how these technologies move all of us forward”

The Top PR Agencies site shows great promise. They have already put a ton of effort and work into creating a great database that will be a helpful resource to agencies and corporate PR departments alike. We will certainly keep an eye on the site and see if we can improve our rankings over time!

EMERGING MEDIA JOINS THE GLOBAL PR NETWORK

25 Top-tier Firms Form Global Alliance

Global PR NetworkEmerging Media has broadened its international reach by becoming a founding member of the Global PR Network. The organization is comprised of some of the leading full-service public relations agencies that deliver global, regional and multi-country PR campaigns for a wide range of technology companies. The network’s objective is to support business growth strategies across the globe by creating compelling content to build and execute integrated public relations campaigns and social media strategies. The Global PR Network is comprised of 25 full service PR, marketing, branding and social media firms across North America, EMEA, South America and Asia and can provide services through a single point of contact or on a country-by-country basis.

The Global PR Network offers the following services for B2B, consumer electronics and technology companies:

  • Corporate public relations
  • Digital marketing services
  • Article writing services
  • Communication management
  • Social media campaigns
  • Social media management
  • Media training
  • SEO services
  • Business communication
  • Public opinion shaping
  • White papers
  • Press release distribution
  • Integrated marketing communications

 

For more than 10 years, Emerging Media has specialized in working with international technology companies looking make a mark in the U.S. market. We have successfully worked with more than 25 international companies, ranging from start-ups to market leaders, helping them differentiate themselves and thrive in a highly competitive and crowded marketplace. We have partnered with many international agencies and have managed global campaigns for some of the largest companies in their industries.

“Our goal in founding the Global PR Network was to connect exceptional independent firms around the globe so that we can leverage our experience to further the goals of our clients,” said Susan Lindner, President of Emerging Media. “All the firms share the same dedication to excellence and customers service which makes us effective partners when working with a client.”

If you want to learn more or need an international team for your PR and marketing initiatives, check out the Global PR Network.

October Starts Out Right

We are thrilled to announce that Emerging Media has been selected as the Winner of the 2012 Golden Bridge Awards for the Consumer Launch Campaign of the Year.  The Emerging Media campaign called “Dirty, Sexy, Gadgets!” launched the tech accessories company, Toddy Gear. Emerging Media’s integrated communications efforts in branding, public relations, and social media catapulted Toddy Gear’s brand and product lines to sales success and media acclaim.

In addition to the international recognition of the Golden Bridge Award,Emerging Media was selected as a Finalist in the Digital PR Awards. The award is among the industry’s top honor in the PR/communications digital space, recognizing outstanding digital initiatives among organizations that took chances, and understand the power of digital communications in public relations.

Emerging Media has recently been chosen to participate in Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program. The program is providing $500 million in investments to help small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital, and business support services.

We are so proud of our recent accomplishments for our clients, and these awards validate our work in the PR industry and ability to execute integrated public relations, social media and marketing programs that have an actual impact on our client’ businesses. After 10 years of business, we are continuing the commitment to our clients: deploying smart, creative teams worldwide using cutting edge communications strategies, to achieve our clients’ most critical business objectives.

 

We are proud to be recognized for our recent efforts and enthusiastic to maintain our expert-only approach in our upcoming ventures. We look forward to the next 10 years of providing high ROI expert-only public relations and marketing to our clients.

Emerging Media Named Golden Bridge Awards Finalist

Today the Fourth Annual 2012 Golden Bridge Awards announced this year’s Finalists. We are proud to say that Emerging Media has been selected for PR and Marketing Campaigns: Consumer Launch Campaign of the Year. Organizations from all over the world are eligible to submit nominations, and we are one of four selected to represent the category.

We submitted our bold work with Toddy Gear,  a start-up tech-accessory company, and how our integrated PR, marketing, branding and social media programs successfully launched the company and its flagship product, the Toddy Smart Cloth. We developed the unique messaging and voice for Toddy Gear, and executed an aggressive public relations and social media campaign to drive consumer sales and distribution opportunities. By casting a wide PR net during the six month launch period, Emerging Media placed more than 50 articles about Toddy Gear with highlights that included Mac/Life choosing The Toddy as one of their “Favorite Things” of 2011, and two USA Today features yielding $14,000 in direct sales in 3 days. The top 15 articles generated more than 35 million impressions and returned an Earned Media Value of $616,895.

See how we did it and check out the full Case Study here!

The Golden Bridge Awards are a premier awards honor for organizations of all types and sizes from all over the world including people behind them, the products, performance, innovations, public relations and marketing. Winners for this year will be honored in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 during the 4th annual awards dinner and presentations. We will be sure to keep you updated on the results!

Fun Friday! Good Writing Edition

From press releases and case studies to byline and white papers, we at Emerging Media are constantly turning our gchats to “Do Not Disturb” and getting down to the serious business of excellent writing. Thanks to our friends at THEY’RE going THERE with THEIR friends. It’s called grammar, use it for bringing us a chuckle this week, and sharing some great (and memorable) tips for good writing!

Emerging Media Earns WBENC Certification as Woman-Owned Business

NEW YORK, NY, June 26 - Emerging Media, an award-winning firm specializing in developing revenue-generating public relations, social media and marketing programs for its clients, received national certification as a woman-owned business by the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO), a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). In addition, Emerging Media Founder and CEO Susan Lindner was granted a seat on the WBENC Certification Committee to help certify and re-certify women business owners throughout New York.

“With our WBENC certification, not only will we broaden our field of opportunity, we will be able to reach even more forward-thinking businesses that value diversity as much as we do,” said Emerging Media founder and CEO Susan Lindner. “I look forward to expanding relationships with other WBEs while helping other women business owners to obtain their certification as well.”

As of 2011, it is estimated that there are over 8.1 million women owned businesses in America, generating $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing nearly 7.7 million people nationwide. Today, Emerging Media joins the elite ranks of only 23 WBENC certified PR firms in New York City.

WBENC’s national standard of certification is implemented by the WPEO, an organization dedicated to increasing access to business opportunities for women-owned businesses through advocacy, networking and education for over 13 years. Certification is granted after submitting to a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.

By including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations, and government, agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs.

About Emerging Media
Emerging Media is an award-winning full service PR, branding and social media agency, helping B2B and B2C companies make their mark in the ever-changing media landscape. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, Emerging Media creates innovative and revenue-generating strategies for clients across a wide spectrum of industries, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. By matching senior level, industry-specific support to each client, Emerging Media removes the learning curve investment typical in most agencies and ensures faster time to results. We deploy smart, creative teams worldwide using cutting edge communication strategies, to achieve our clients’ most critical business objectives. Visit www.emergingmediapr.com.

About WBENC
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC is a resource for the more than 1000 US companies and government agencies that rely on WBENC’s certification as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs.

STOPPING SOPA: An Online Protest

The internet went dark last Wednesday in a successful online protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) that were being ramrodded through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. These bills were intended to provide more protections to copyright and IP owners against foreign sites associated with piracy. BUT in reality they would have allowed for the complete shut-down of US websites that contain possible copyright-infringing content or are involved in digital file sharing (think Google, YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, WordPress…)  – without a  trial or hearing.

Image curtesy of www.SopaStrike.com

The scope of the protest was unprecedented and according to www.SopaStrike.com more than 115 thousand sites (including Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, and Yahoo to name a few) participated, 10 millon signatures were collected and more than 3 million emails sent to members of congress. See the infographic on the side.

Why did so many take action against these bills? Perhaps the Wikkimedia Foundation said it best:

We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States, don’t advance the interests of the general public.

The protest was the culmination of several months of effort by hundreds of companies and organizations who came together to stop the legislation. It was evident that the letters, calls and petitions were getting through and on Saturday, Jan 14th, the White House issued a statement saying the President would “not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” This was a step in the right direction but the statement still left the door open for revised versions of the bills to be passed.

The response was overwhelming and by Friday Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tx), the bill’s chief sponsor, was forced to pull SOPA “until there is wider agreement on a solution.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also postponed its Senate counterpart, PIPA, “in light of recent events.” Perhaps they both have a much better understanding of how powerful the Internet could be and just how protective of our freedom and free-speech rights a motivated American voting public can be.

This could hardly be considered a victory of regular citizens against big corporate interests (Its reported that the likes of News Corp, the NFL, Disney, Time Warner, Viacom and Sony spent close to $91million on lobbying efforts for both bills while big companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook etc. protested against it). But It does show that average citizens can make an impact and stop damaging legislation that seeks to benefit corporate special interests.

Congratulations America there is hope for us yet!

Other SOPA Blackout News:

  • Gawker has a hilarious article on the possibilities presented by a Wikkipedia blackout. Think, homework that forces students to consult real sources and lies, lots and lots of lies…
  • Daily Tech shares the scoop on SOPA author, Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who himself infringed on the bill’s proposed legislation.
  • Gizmodo runs down the unfortunate twitter trail left by high school students who had homework due.

Did you take action against SOPA and PIPA? You we’re in good company if you did and we want to hear your story.  Check out the pics below  to see some examples of the protest.

Google

Wikkipedia

WordPress

MoveOn.org

Reddit

Huffingtonpost.tumblr

ICanHazCheesburger.com

Mozilla Firefox

Boing Boing

Twitpic

Gamer Theory

Emerging Media PR

Facebook Timeline: A Brainstorm For Brands

As you may have heard, Facebook recently launched their new Timeline feature (it’s opt-in for now, so don’t freak out). In short, the Timeline starts with today and goes back until the day of your birth. Imagine what this will look like for those precious babies whose parents set up their Facebook pages pre-birth (or is that too meta?)! There are all kinds of customizable features that allow you to highlight certain images, notes, life events, interests, friends and other updates that you posted to Facebook. All of this is in an effort for you to create a scrapbook of “the story of your life.”

So, while the Timeline is not YET available for Pages (and likely won’t be in the same form) we’re always thinking ahead and wanted to share our thoughts of how brands could use timeline features in the future.

As a business, a Timeline-type layout is a great opportunity to streamline information and show the online community what it important to you. It can be a really great tool for a company to tell their story beyond just their product offering and develop their online voice. Take this opportunity to go back into the company’s Facebook history and reflect on whether it is still true to the company today. In doing so, you may find that it’s a great exercise in really developing and refining the company’s branding (if you need help with that – give us a call).

It is incredibly important for EVERYTHING showcased on Timeline to reflect the company’s brand and voice in the marketplace. While this is absolutely the case with Facebook now, having information streamlined into a Timeline makes it more necessary to have a unified voice, because everything, past and present is visible. For business of all sizes this is a great opportunity to show the culture of a company and its roots. There may be more on your page that shows the company’s history and growth than you think, especially for new companies founded in the social media age.

Are you a cool, young tech start-up? The Facebook Timeline may be the place to show off the cool side of projects worked on or trips taken by employees, reflecting the kind of people that are in the company and the type of employees you want to attract. Importantly, it also shows the world that you are innovative, cutting-edge and adventurous – from the people that work at the company to the products themselves.

Are you an established financial services company? This may not be the place to share the account assistant’s weekend trip sky diving in Vegas, but it IS a great place to share awesome corporate events, brainstorming sessions or the CEO with spouse attending a non-profit fundraiser.

Here are some specifics:

Cover Photo – It is really important to choose the cover photo wisely. Unlike a page’s profile image, this image is a) physically HUGE and b) more prominently displayed on the page. Because there are profile images and cover photos, make sure the cover photo reflects who you are rather than the simple brand logo. You can change this at any time by hovering over the cover photo selected and using the Change Cover menu to update this photo.

Think about if this is an image you want to change periodically or something you would like to become permanent. Think about what this says about your brand, if you are an “old staple” you may not want to change your photo regularly. The tech start-up? Go crazy – change it each week as new events happen, or use this space to highlight the great new projects or people you are working with.

Featured Images – Star the pictures you want to feature first, which makes these pictures BIG and unmistakable. For Businesses, star images that portray corporate culture, your CEO and other executives. Be sure to feature things that show differentiation between your competitors: if you have a cool office space, or great interactive brainstorming sessions, or a great cubical design competition be sure to feature these as well.

Life Events – This feature allows you to highlight and tag moments that are important to your life, in this case the life of the company. For businesses, this may mean when it was founded, when you hired a new executive, awards won, new offices opened, corporate events and outings, products launched, tag line changed, important events or adventures in the life of the CEO (if they LIVE the company’s brand, for example, Richard Branson-style extreme living, which personifies the Virgin brand).

Be sure to edit, or at least be aware of the order in which the boxes appear on the timeline – friends, photos, likes, life events, notes, and subscriptions all have a place in your timeline. It’s up to you to determine the importance of each and make it easy for views to access the most important.

Extra Links:

Business Insiders’s Ellis Hamburger has some great tips for personal users: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-facebook-timeline-tips-2011-12

Here are some great sample cover photos:

http://inspirationfeed.com/inspiration/websites-inspiration/40-creative-examples-of-facebook-timeline-designs/
http://mashable.com/2011/12/08/facebook-timeline-ideas/#376019-Sune-Adler-Miltersen

Lastly, here’s a great article on how Timeline makes it more difficult to hide from an embarrassing past: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2011/12/19/facebooks-timeline-digs-up-your-history.htm