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Valentine-Feature-ImageValentine’s day is notorious for polarizing feelings of both love and hate. Some plan for weeks for the perfect night while others try their hardest to pretend it doesn’t exist.

For advertisers though, the feelings of love are unanimous. And it’s no wonder, with the average celebrant spending $142.31 on the holiday, up from $133.91 in 2014 according to the National Retail Federation. Of that spending, which is expected to have reached $18.9 Billion, it’s projected that 53.2% people bought candy, 37.8% bought flowers, 21.1% bought jewelry, and 35.1% spent money on a special night out.

While it’s normal that brands in these categories would bump up their advertising for the special day, some unexpected brands are also joining in on the love fest. Here’s a look at four Valentine’s day campaigns that surprised me this year with their heart-warming messages and innovative social tactics.

What I love the most about these campaigns is that they are either enabling amazing experiences or empowering others to share theirs. And, as we all know, memorable experiences is a match that sparks the fire of brand advocacy and brand love. Continue Reading »

Holidays is the time of the year when we get an opportunity to show our love for our families, express our gratitude to our employees, and show our appreciation to our business partners. Most of the time we do so through gift-giving.

And who doesn’t love gifts, right?

Well, it turns out that when it comes to corporate gift-giving, not a lot of people are looking forward to getting surprises in the mail. This year especially I’ve seen a lot of frustrated tweets and Facebook posts flying around… from “Oh no! More holiday gifts that I don’t need” to “It’s that time of the season… time to haul out all the junk I got from other companies.”

It made me reflect on some of the best and worst gifts I have received in the past from the vendors and partners I have worked with throughout the years. And what I realized was that there were very few gifts or gestures that truly stuck with me. Most were not very well thought through, like the numerous bottles of wines I got… not a great gift for someone who doesn’t drink alcohol. Not that I wasn’t grateful for the gesture and the investment… it’s just that…

What hit me was the realization that the best gifts I have ever received were not gifts per se, but rather experiences these gifts have enabled!

Gifts or gestures that allow you to create memories that are special to you – that is ultimately the best thing you can ever get someone. And a lot of times it only requires a little bit of effort, a little thought put into it. There is really no better way to say “we appreciate you.”

Examples? I got a few. Continue Reading »

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Winter holiday spending is crucial for retailers, bringing in more than $600 billion in sales revenue in the 2013 season. In order to meet these numbers, retailers pull out all the stops when it comes to holiday marketing. Each brand pools their resources to create the most innovative, creative, and eye-catching campaigns designed to grab their share of the gift-giving market.

Here’s a look at five holiday campaigns that topped the “nice” list for us this year due to their creativity, as well as their imaginative integration of digital and social.

Kate Spade Gets Creative with Video

The fashion retailer appeals to its target audience of stylish and quirky women with a candid video starring actress Anna Kendrick locked out of her New York apartment. The two and a half minute video entitled “The Waiting Game” appears in both pre-roll and shoppable formats, as well as in 5-second clips to accommodate the short attention span of mobile viewers.

This has been the company’s highest performing piece of content over the past 30 days, garnering over 150K views on YouTube. Using Sprinklr’s Social Business Index, our team looked at the impact of this (and other) inspired holiday content on brand’s engagement and found that cumulatively it has helped increase the number of people participating in the discussion around the brand by 30% over the past month.

Best Buy Continues to Experiment with Vine Continue Reading »

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What do you do when your company grows at a rapid pace and it becomes harder to induct your employees into the fabric of your company that is your culture?

Well, you might consider assassinating them, for one.

No, not “for real life”, as my 5-year old daughter would say, but “for pretend.”

That’s what we at Sprinklr did. For a company that grew 300% YOY for the past three years, we realized the challenge of maintaining the culture that got us to where we are today. We truly believe that having camaraderie between all Sprinklrites establishes a healthy and productive work environment.  And since our motto is “don’t just do social, be social,” it stands reason that the creative ways we come up with to get to know each other are also… well … social.

Enter Sprinklr Assassin game, a creative way to mix it up and foster new relationships throughout the company. The game was created by our New York office employees and gave everyone the opportunity to meet new people while having a blast and tapping into their competitive side.

The premise of Sprinklr Assassins is this: everyone gets assigned another Sprinklrite as a target and you have to “murder” them before they get you.  If you have been murdered, you pass your target onto the person that got to you and the process keeps going until there is one last person standing.

Sprinklr Assassin Game Continue Reading »

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loreto villa del palmar resortRoger Staubach once said: “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”

It continues to amaze me that the sentiment still rings true in the consumer-empowered age.

Why is it that almost every time we hang up the phone with a customer service rep, we feel flat? Despite the profiling technologies, the predictive analytics technologies, the customer databases that companies have at their fingertips, it is still insanely hard for them to provide a breathtaking experience. Why?

I think it is because a lot of times companies are missing a key ingredient to business success – human passion.

Sadly, it not only isn’t built into companies’ culture and business mentality, it isn’t built into companies’ incentives and business objectives.

The only way your company will build lasting relationships with your customers is if you provide amazing experiences at every touchpoint with that customer. And the only way to ensure that is to employ people who are passionate about what they do and about serving their customers. Only passion will prompt them to go extra mile when the customer needs it most.

In this column I have already discussed the importance of employees as brand ambassadors and why a company is only as extraordinary as its people. I talked about the fact that for most customers it is about little things, about a human touch. It also only takes a small act of caring to turn a negative opinion around and create a brand advocate for life. And advocates are the ones that bring additional business revenue through word-of-mouth. The Retail Consumer Report, for example, states that 85% of consumers are willing to pay 5-25% over the standard price for the products from companies that deliver superior customer experience.

How do companies provide superior experiences? They give people an opportunity to engage with them. Sometimes it’s just as simple as asking a single question. One simple question can do amazing things for brand affinity.

That was the case for my family and I last week when we visited Villa del Palmar resort in Loreto, Mexico. Continue Reading »

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