Marketing for the People by the People

August 30, 2013

Doritos Locos Tacos has been a popular Taco Bell selection among those within the U.S., but why has it taken so long to reach the Canadian audience? Impatient Canadians incessantly tweeted Taco Bell complaints and they responded right back.

With the ability to voice your opinion over a vast network through social media, you can be heard. Taco Bell used this to their advantage to both release the Doritos Los Tacos in Canada and to respond the impatient Canadians as well. They did so by burning their tweets directly onto the first batch of Doritos Los Tacos released in Canada. Through this, Taco Bell is basically making customers “eat their own words” by taking their tweets and having them shove it down their throats themselves.

Yes, this tactic of marketing does go in the infamous route but it also instigates controversy as well. Controversial publicity is usually spread much quicker than news that everyone is content with. Through this, Doritos Los Tacos went viral through social media and not just in Canada. Although the famous Doritos Los Tacos is already very popular in the U.S., the message about our neighboring country spread here and hyped up the Taco Bell selection as well.

The viral Doritos Los Tacos controversy in Canada aided the campaign for the new Fiery Doritos Los Tacos in the U.S. as news of the popular tacos was all over social media. Taco Bell gets an A for the combined efforts of marketing in both locations. The usage of one campaign to lead the other was genius as Doritos Los Tacos are now trending all through social media. By advertising these tacos on the web through social media, Taco Bell has taken e-commerce to a new level.

Samsung Galaxy Camera’s Successful E-Commerce Campaign

August 26, 2013

Samsung recently had a “Life’s a Photo: Take It” campaign to advertise for their new Samsung Galaxy Camera. Yes, trying to sell a $450 camera while there are free photo apps on a Samsung Galaxy phone including the ever-so-popular Instagram but Samsung was able to make it work.

With a 2-month long contest featuring 32 of the most popular Instagrammers from 8 international markets, Samsung was able to successfully increase sales for the Samsung Galaxy Camera. These popular Instagrammers were told to capture the most photogenic sites of their cities using the Samsung Galaxy Camera instead of using their favorite smartphone app. These photos were added to a Tumblr dedicated for the “Life’s a Photo: Take It” campaign and showcased all the different modes available using the Samsung Galaxy Camera.

Through this, audiences could see results before they even purchase the camera. By seeing the capabilities and beautiful photos that can be captured, people are more inclined to purchase said camera. By using popular Instagrammers, a social aspect is also involved as well for brand awareness and a set prospective audience. Audiences are also asked to vote for the best city based on the images, giving people the chance to engage with the brand even more.

“We have long been a proponent of leveraging influencers—whether in technology or endemic to a particular category or content,” marketing manager for Samsung’s Mobile Launching Group KK Kee explains. “They come with a built-in audience of tuned-in fans. And they provide Samsung greater credibility in messaging, strengthening our ability to connect with an audience.”

The number of Samsung Galaxy Cameras increased by 115 percent and the brand awareness for the camera went up 58 percent, making this campaign a success. Samsung did a great job using the web to their advantage by using influencers through image-based social media outlets like Instagram and Tumblr for brand awareness. This is a marketing strategy to leads to e-commerce. From the information that audiences could get online, Samsung linked users straight to their website to purchase the camera after they saw what great photos could be taken from a real camera rather than a smartphone app with some filters.

“We needed to prove to young adults—who are obsessed with posting photos online—that the pictures they are taking with their phone cameras aren’t just good enough,” he says. “We had to show them that the Galaxy has the picture as well as the features they are used to. Instagram, which is mobile and social, is the perfect environment and audience for us to meet those goals.”

Birchbox: A Discovery E-Commerce Platform

August 23, 2013

Beauty products are a hassle because products work differently on each individual person. People have different skin and hair types, tones, etc. Birchbox gives you the chance to get samples of new beauty products through e-commerce so that you can test them out and see if they are good for you. If you like how the product works, you can then purchase the regular-sized version of the product and if you don’t, well at least your tried it so now you know.

Birchbox is a great way to discover exactly what beauty products you want. Beauty is a field of commerce that is difficult to sell online but through this method of shipping samples to subscribers, they are able to reel in some money and give people the opportunity to find makeup that works well for them. The ability to fill out your beauty profile on also allows Birchbox to send you the products that cater to you.

This service of discoverability and experiementation has also helped beauty product brands as well, giving them feedback on their products. The brands are able to use the feedback to improve their products before they release their full-sized products out to the public. It also gives people the brand awareness opportunities as they try products they have never heard of before.

“Working with Birchbox has given us the opportunity to receive tangible feedback on our products and increase brand awareness by reaching new customers,” said Megan Mildrew, business development director, Stila. “Retailing our full-size products on their e-commerce site has provided us with insight on customers’ purchasing habits and intent to buy after sampling.”

Another way Birchbox paved its road to success through e-commerce was by making it exclusive. Anyone can potentially sign up to receive a beauty box for $10 a month but the wait time after you sign up is about 4 weeks to start the process. The subscriptions come on a first-come first-serve basis and therefore, only a certain amount of people are able to receive the products at a time. The exclusivity inclines more people to subscribe as they now send over 5 million boxes to over 400,000 subscribers. On top of that, nonsubscribers, including those waiting in line to subscribe, are also purchasing the beauty products directly from the Birchbox e-commerce site itself.

Facebook M-Commerce

August 22, 2013

Since almost everyone has a Facebook and many websites already ask to log in by connecting to it, why not add storing payment information in there as well? Facebook is currently testing a feature for their mobile app that allows users to store their payment data into their Facebook account for faster m-commerce.

The payment data stored into Facebook would allow users to checkout from partner mobile apps easily. They are currently testing it with a men’s retailer JackThreads. Facebook will pull information from users that entered their credit card information from past Facebook purchases like Facebook gifts or Facebook game features. This will save people the time of the tedious typing on a mobile device when trying to purchase something online while on the go.

Many people are skeptical about storing their payment information onto a social network but Facebook reassures people that they are not actually releasing the payments from Facebook itself but from other third-party sources such as PayPal, Stripe or Braintree. Those payment methods on the web are already popular and widely-used. Facebook is only going through testing as of now but by integrating payment information with the Facebook login, purchasing things mobility should be much easier in the future.

Your E-Commerce Through Cafepress

August 21, 2013

It all started with an idea back in 1999 when Cafepress brought customizable retail e-commerce to life to millions of people.  The website allows people to create their own designs and place them on pretty much anything from shirts, sweaters, posters, cups, keychains, etc. This strictly e-commerce company gives everyday people and startup companies the chance to brand anything from pop culture to favorite interests to market themselves.

Click here to watch the Cafepress 2.0 video!

With over 2 million shops, over 11 million visitors and over 6 million shipments annually, they decided to advance their website potential to better service the people. Cafepress 2.0 makes the whole process simpler for people with its easy online design tools. You can upload whatever image you’d like right onto the site and preview what it looks like on any product that is offered through Cafepress. If you don’t like how it looks, you can just change the image until you are pleased with your final design. This capability of previewing how your design is on each product saves you time and money without having a trial and error process.

What is also included in this upgraded Cafepress website is the new menu that includes a dashboard. With the dashboard, you are able to track and analyze your sales over time so you have your analytics as a record online for you within your account. You can also follow other designers and have them follow you so your marketing strategy is expanded. Social media is also included as people can broadcast their purchases from you through Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. Once they purchase an item, a pop up will appear that allows them to share the purchase and your social marketing will grow.

Fashion Magazines Refining E-Commerce

August 20, 2013

With the falling ad sales, fashion magazines have steered towards new revenue opportunities through e-commerce. Lucky Magazine recently launched, allowing visitors to shop from various large retailers including Saks and Sephora. This jump into e-commerce gives the magazine a cut of the sales ranging from 3%-15%.

Fashion magazines have noticed an increase in traffic through their websites. This is due to the fact that it’s free compared to the $4 you would normally spend on the physical magazine. Blogs are also a big reason for this turn as people feel more connected to advice from the streets and everyday people that steer closer to home. The daily newsletters e-mailed to subscribers also keep the traffic as viewers continue to come back once they see something they’d like to know more about. This increase makes the perfect opportunity for Lucky to dive into the e-commerce market. allows viewers to easily see the products that relate to the articles and link them to exactly where they can purchase them. As of now, shoppers are redirected to participating websites but eventually, shoppers will be able to complete transactions without leaving

Although shoppers would have to complete transactions on a third-party site, Lucky allows users to add products to their cart with a single click. This saves time and also keeps them attached to the Lucky website rather than just sending them away to a store’s website. With this cart on their website, Lucky also alerts shoppers if something in their cart goes on sale on the third-party website it’s sold. This cart allows for people to shop from various third-party websites within one shopping cart, making it easier for shoppers.

Stay Tuned: 72 Poplar St.

August 19, 2013

Van West Media recently branded 72 Poplar St., a beautiful 14 condominium residence located in the Brooklyn Heights. The newly-renovated residence’s estimated opening is currently Fall 2013 and we are in the process of designing and developing the new website for the opening.

With its beautiful brick facade and historical surroundings, 72 Poplar St. represents the turn-of-the-century vision that captures the historical aspects of Brooklyn Heights and combines it with modern, geometric design. With this in mind, Van West Media created a logo that includes a block-lettered serif font and a font with an elegant script-like nature. The combination of these opposing yet complementary typefaces allows for people to see how combining two things of opposite natures can create something beautiful. This relates to the historical surroundings of 72 Poplar in relation to the modern interior of the new condominiums.

Similar to the logo design, the website itself is also based on that same thought process where historical meets modern. By using modern and geometric details in the wireframe design, viewers can see how the historical images of the building’s exterior as it stands in relation to its modern interior. The condominiums themselves have a more geometric and futuristic feel while the exterior of the building remains the same with its brick facade and large windows. The wireframe details and design clearly reflect the building itself and represents what the renovation of 72 Poplar St. is all about.

As Fall 2013 approaches, 72 Poplar St. will be open to the public as 14 newly-renovated condominiums. We are excited to see the completion of the interior and hope the public will be thrilled with the outcome as well. This new condominium residence is sure to be something worth seeing as the exploration of new and old design are combined in this beautiful architecture.

Make Small Spaces Big 360 with IKEA

August 16, 2013

IKEA presented the “Make Small Spaces Big 360” video to give you the tips and ideas to make your home, regardless of space. It allows you to personalize and create your home to its fullest potential with the use of IKEA products and furniture through e-commerce.

Small spaces is a common problem for many, especially for those who reside in the city or some other urban area. By incorporating their own products into these ideas, people are more likely to purchase them and recreate their homes in the same manner. Through their website, you can watch the video with tutorials, search the different rooms and directly find each piece of furniture or product with their prices.

IKEA products are also known for their personalization capabilities from color, finish, shelving units, hooks, lights, drawers, handles, etc. This aspect helps people decide to purchase the products as well so that they can have the convenience of each product yet still have them personalized for themselves. When you are on a product page, there are also several options directly on the page that tell you what you can personalize so that you don’t have to wonder what you can actually change. Relative items that go well with the product and those that are also in the same collection are also displayed on each page as well. This way of convincing consumers to purchase several things to have a unified home is very successful for IKEA.

What’s also included on the website is social media, which adds on to this concept more. By incorporating Twitter and Facebook to the page, IKEA encourages people to spread their ideas on the website as well. This gives community involvement and more insight on what you can do with the products at IKEA. It also gives incentives to show that these products have multiple capabilites and are successful in this manner through reviews from others. You aren’t the tester because many have already tried these products and incorporated them into their own homes previously. This encourages you to trust IKEA products and purchase them whether you are online or in the store.

By giving the people everything they need from the ideas and tips to complementary furniture directly on their website, IKEA really paves the road for the customer when they have to decorate a home. People don’t have to go into heavy research online through other websites and can easily find everything they need on the IKEA website itself. This allows for the likelihood that people will buy all of their home goods at IKEA because of the lack of a third-party site to steer them away from the idea of purchasing products there.

Expanding E-Commerce Through Facebook

August 15, 2013

It’s difficult to advertise for a restaurant as most places within a type of cuisine have similar dishes on their menus. Pictures of decor, ambience and the dishes themselves are all over every restaurant’s website and ads. What can make them stand out more? By actually reaching out to their audience through social e-commerce and giving them another method to engage with the restaurant themselves.

OpenTable, an app for restaurant reservation service, is very popular as people can use it on almost any device, especially mobile ones. Last minute reservations for that special occasion or just a hangout with your friends is easy when you can make them in the palm of your hand. However, people also depend on reviews to see what places have the best dining experience. Who can give you the best advice that can cater to your needs? Your friends. Social media networks like Facebook allow you to check in to places, comment, like and discuss your experiences, making them very critical for e-commerce.

These discussions on social media are what makes the networks so viable to our everyday lives and dining is an essential part of that. You can see what your friend’s eat, what their opinion is on each dish and their overall experience right through Facebook. By adding OpenTable to the Facebook network, you can now click on each restaurant’s Facebook page from your friend’s status and directly make a reservation for that restaurant.

By having this new connection through social media, restaurants are now more directly connected to their prospective customers. People won’t have to put more effort into looking up the restaurant on a separate app or call to make a reservation. Placing all of these aspects into one location makes things easier for people, giving the restaurant more of a chance to gain reservations. This is one of the most direct e-commerce methods and makes all the difference.

Warby Parker: Home Try-on Program

August 13, 2013

Warby Parker markets through e-commerce in the most efficient way possible. By incorporating social media and client fun, they have maximized their potential. With their “Home Try-on Program,” customers are able to try on 5 different pairs of glasses for 5 days 100% free. This sounds like an incredible deal but it is 100% true with no hidden fees.

By giving customers the opportunity to try their products, people are able to test them out and show them off to their friends. This allows for word-of-mouth branding and actually presenting the glasses to others. Warby Parker encourages people to take pictures with each of the glasses they choose and to ask them to ask friends to vote for which one they like best. Shipping both ways is free and once you pick your favorite frame, they will ship you a new one right over.

This marketing technique spreads the word of the brand itself and also makes customers happy as well. Warby Parker has been seen all over social media through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The encouragement of sharing the product to get opinions through likes and comments raises brand awareness in the best possible way. E-commerce is very popular and this is a great way to stand out among the rest. With the customer in mind, Warby Parker has come a long way through this marketing process.