This Week in Business and Brands: Whimpering Tweets, Making McMoments, and More

twitter billboard lit up at night

Big Story of the Week: Tweeting Out on a Limb

The bell’s been tolling, and everyone knows for whom: it looks like this could be the end for Jack Dorsey and Twitter, as projected returns plunge deeper while R&D spend keeps rising.  Perhaps 140 characters simply is no longer enough for the ever-elusive target user.  So what do you do with a staggering tech behemoth on its last legs?  While Dorsey wants to dig in its heels and further invest in streaming video, others on the board are hoping to cut bait and get bought out.  But here’s the real catch – what happens if no one even casts a line for the big fish?  Only time will tell what’s in store for the once-dominant platform, but it already serves as a cautionary tale for other brands failing to maintain that all-important consumer connection.

Getting it Right: Golden Ties for Golden Arches

Shield, Advertising Sign, Neon Sign, AdvertisingOn that note, this week showed us one big brand whose game is still strong on the customer-centricity front, as McDonald’s pushes to make the most of every moment with its digital-savvy consumers.  CMO Deborah Wahl knows what her various audiences are thinking: “It’s really not about my device.  It’s about what I need, at that moment.  It’s not about my screen.  It’s about my context.”  Talk about hitting the target right in the bulls-eye – by “putting human beings at the center” of their marketing, the fast-food giant has plenty of wins to show for it, like the 10 million downloads of their app that only launched last year.  Looks like the secret sauce for success might not be so secret after all…

Talking Tactics, Tête–à–Tête: Denim Demand and Driving Devotion

This week also gave us plenty of food for thought from these insightful interviews with the chief marketing strategists of big-name brands:

From Levi’s CMO, Jen Sey: “The brand is bigger than the product.  The product fits and it lasts and it’s high quality, but the brands that have the most intimate connection with customers stand for more than what they make.”

In the words of Hyundai’s CMO/EVP, Wonhong Cho: “I believe the only true metric for growth is how much customers love your brand.  As people constantly seek new services and mobility solutions, the business model has to evolve.  This shift will bring new opportunities – but brands that fail to seize them may not survive the transition.”

(Well Worth) The Long-Read: No Mere Monkey Business

For your long weekend reading, you’ll definitely want to peruse the illuminating history of MailChimp, a tech company that seems anything but: based not in San Francisco nor Silicon Valley (but Atlanta, no less); grown from organic revenue, not venture capital; and never spending more than it earns.  The 16-year-old email marketing company is now primed to move into social media channels, hoping to serve as a “one-stop shop for the entirety of a small business’s marketing needs.”  Not too shabby for the service that continues to turn down the pivot towards enterprise, showing instead just how big the opportunities of small business can be.

Video Victory: Suds and Satire

That’s all for this week!  We’ll leave you with this look at Dollar Shave Club’s hilarious and irreverent jabs at rival men’s care lines, showing once again how a clean consumer connection can give the brand a (razor’s) edge over the competition.