Month: May 2014

From ING Direct to Tangerine – Still the Same Colour Orange

For weeks now, I have been driving by the same Tangerine billboard advertising their interesting-earning chequing accounts.  The billboard very simply asks “Do you want to earn interest on your chequing? a) Yes  b) No”.  The copy is so simple and yet, so effective in conveying the message.

You might have seen these ads too – on billboards, buses, TV commercials and at the movie theatre.  Tangerine was officially launched in April of this year; but it is not another foreign bank entering the Canadian market.  Formerly known as ING Direct, the bank was rebranded as part of the acquisition by the Bank of Nova Scotia. Imagine having to rebrand a financial institution, especially one with a brand that was well-liked and well-respected!

ING Direct was an innovator in the banking industry. From the first ‘Save Your Money’ commercials to their no fee, no minimum accounts, they are no strangers to introducing new banking practices to Canadians.  And now, with their much younger, much funner branding, Tangerine is continuing to do what they do best – bring innovation and fresh ideas to an otherwise conservative industry.

tangerine bank rebrand

We had a discussion on this rebrand a few weeks ago at my office and the general consensus was that it was a puzzling move.  How do you go from the ING Direct brand with its traditional serif font and lion to a fun, whimsical brand with an orange coffee mug?  I was puzzled at first.  Banks have always been so corporate to me and so official – and it only made sense that the marketing would be a reflection of that. After all, banks are about money and from my past experience working in banks, I know that people get very serious when it comes to their money!  It puzzled me that the Tangerine brand seemed so young and fun, and so far from what anyone would expect from a bank.

Fast forward a few weeks – maybe it’s the marketer in me, but I am always on the lookout for inspirations.  Clarity finally came to me and of all places, while I was on vacation in Barbados!  We drove by a construction site on Bay Street in Barbados and the exterior wall/fence had been painted orange (yes, the Tangerine orange) with a very simple message in white – “Think outside of the bank”.  Not sure which bank it was for but seeing that did inspire a new thought.

Tangerine has always been a “think outside of the box” kind of bank.  It has never been stuffy – their messaging has always been witty with a bit of humour.  And the font? Well, the tagline “Forward Banking” has always been San Serif!  A big part of the Tangerine rebrand has been about reassuring clients and the general public that while the name has changed, everything else has stayed the same.  And I think its true.

The most important part of ING Direct still remains and that is their commitment to innovation and bringing simplicity to banking.   With this new branding, Tangerine continues to push the envelop and challenge the way Canadians approach banking.

As with all innovators in their field, they will be met with push back but the more I think about this transition, the more it makes sense!   Do you think Tangerine made the right move?   And years from now, do you think Tangerine will be known for its part in changing how Canadians see banking or will it be known for making a silly move?

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A Video That Sells: Samsung Galaxy S5

Talk about a video that sells!  This ad is from Samsung.  Titled “Everything’s Better”, it is a 1 minute spot that promotes the new Galaxy S 5.  In the short 60 seconds, the ad manages to talk about all the newest and most desirable features in the S5, all while framing it in a way that is relatable, fun and on trend.  The focus remains on the product and why it is a superior product in every way.

See… product videos can still work!  This ad has peaked my interest and curiosity…


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A Few Interesting Facts on Social Media in 2014

Social Media Stats 2014

A few interesting social media stats I found, courtesy of Our Social Times (article here). This just goes to show how connected we all are – spanning social media networks.  Users are more engaged than ever.  Of these facts, the most interesting to me is the fact that the average age of Facebook users has gone up.  There is an increasing number of seniors using the Internet and Facebook regularly.

(As a sidenote, this ‘infographic’ if you can call it that, was created in Canva.  I talked about this free online graphics design tool in a past post.  I’ve already used it for a few design projects including a client PowerPoint presentation that was uploaded to SlideShare also.  What a useful and versatile tool!  The more I use it, the more I love it.  My only negative comment is that it can be slow and non-responsive at times. Read more on Canva)


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From Twitter to Purchase – Amazon’s New #AmazonCart

Amazon CartI recently read that Amazon has launched a new social shopping feature – one that allows shoppers to add products to their shopping carts while they are still on Twitter!  Currently only available in the US and UK, users can add the products they like to their carts just by tweeting the product link along with the #AmazonCart hashtag.  It’s not quite one step-shopping though – users will need to connect their Twitter and Amazon accounts beforehand and log in after the tweet to complete the purchase.

Amazon has been very straight-forward with their mission in becoming an industry-leader and innovator in the realm of online shopping.  With this new feature, Amazon is aiming to cut the time between the initial desire and purchase while also satisfying the buyers’ needs for instant gratification.  What’s more – those who will use this feature will likely be heavy Twitter users – tech savvy, on trend and early adopters.

Even though this initiative is probably not possible for most of us in small business, there are some interesting lessons to be learned here. Plain and simple, users are looking convenience.  They want to shop the way they want, from whichever site they are on.  They crave instant gratification and simple processes.  For small businesses that are selling online – it is time to rethink the purchasing process on your site.  Some questions to consider:

  • Is it user friendly? Does it appeal to different types of shoppers?
    Just like Amazon is making it easier for their Twitter-using shoppers to shop, how can you improve your site for different types of users?
  • Is the purchasing process simple and convenient? How many steps are in your purchase cycle? Which steps can be eliminated?
    By letting users add products to their shopping carts right from Twitter, Amazon is able to reduce unnecessary steps in their purchase cycle giving users a more seamless and convenient experience.
  • Do you let your shoppers sign in with their Facebook or Google accounts to simplify the sign up process?
    How can you simplify your sign up process so that it is convenient and quick for your shoppers?

This seems like a great first step to creating a social shopping experience.  I look forward to seeing Amazon expand their reach via Twitter…

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Turning 1


Today marks the one year anniversary of my blog!  It feels just like yesterday that I was working on my very first blog post, painstakingly considering every sentence and day dreaming about all the possibilities with every word that I put down.  Now, taking a moment to reflect – I can honestly say, it’s been such a wonderful and fulfilling journey.

This blog has brought me a lot of clarity on my work as a Marketing Strategist.  It has kept me curious; always with my eyes wide opened for signs of creativity, inspirations and blog topic ideas.  Formulating a blog post requires thinking a thought through and doing the background research in order to deliver accurate information.  I’ve learned and gained so much going through this process.

This blog has also allowed me to document some of the wonderful experiences I’ve had along the way – from attending MozCon in Seattle, being inspired by the Brit’s cheeky sense of humour to all the amazing campaigns I see around me everyday, this blog has been my sounding board and my inspiration board all in one.

So…365 days and 78 blogs later, I celebrate an important milestone.  I’m so excited for Year 2!

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Gem of a Find: Canva (a Free Graphic Design Tool)

I made a pretty amazing find the other day – I discovered Canva.

Canva is an online graphics design platform that makes is easy for you to create beautiful graphics for your blog, website or social networks. You can start from scratch or pick from a large collection of pre-made customizable templates that you can play around with to make the picture your own.  For those like me who like to look at ‘pretty’ pictures but have no clue how to put one together (matching fonts is really hard!) – this tool has been such a saving grace, not to mention lots of fun to play with.

How it Works

First you start by selecting a type of design.  Choose from Pinterest, Social Media, Presentation, Poster, Facebook Cover, Blog Graphic or Document.

Canva Dashboard

Once you have selected a design type, you will have access to many pre-made designs to customize. The elements are all editable – you can change the colour, font, size and shape to your liking.   If you are feeling extra creative, you can start from scratch by specifying your file size.  Canva boasts over 1,000,000 graphics in its database.  Don’t worry – the free selection will be more than sufficient.

Canva Dashboard

If you have a specific image in mind that you would like to use, you can do that too by uploading the picture as the background or use as part of an element. You have the option to purchase stock images right from within the program.

I would like to add that if you decide to create your own image from scratch – this can be quite a timely process.  To sift through all the options and available fonts, colours, icons and design elements can take quite a lot of time if you don’t already have a clear idea of what you want to create.  If you are looking to design something quickly, it is best to just use one of the ready-made templates!

Once you’re done creating your graphic, you have the option to save the image as a PNG or a PDF.

Canva LogoI love Canva – because it is so obviously created by people who are creative and love design.  Not only do you see this in the graphics they have created – it is evident in the UX design of their website.  Canva is entirely intuitive with drag and drop functionality.  There are orientation guides to help you align your elements and a robust search function to help you sift through their collection of icons, banners and images.

Canva is an amazing tool for beginners and professionals alike.  Now I can’t wait to write blogs, just so I have a reason to use Canva!

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