GreenRubino’s “Brandidextrous” Promise

GreenRubino is an integrated marketing and communications firm—offering a comprehensive range of in-house services. In case you’re wondering about the term, “brandidextrous,” let’s be clear that I am not savvy enough to have made it up for my humble blog entry. It comes from the About GreenRubino page on the firm’s website. If you’re a brand-essence minimalist, you should be brandtoxicated by the thought of capturing it in one word.

I talked to the firm’s president, John Rubino, to ask what makes them special. John explained, they’re the only firm around that is actually delivering on the integrated marketing promise with all competencies in-house. Over a decade ago, they made a deliberate move to become more integrated, and they have been organically growing the practice since then. John noted that it’s important to stay aware of what’s going on in the marketing industry and understand the landscape. Change is constant, and they are continuously adapting to deliver a comprehensive range of solutions to clients. When new channels and tools begin to show promise, in terms of added value for clients, they will look for opportunities to incorporate them into the business.

How does the marketer do marketing? GreenRubino has a solid reputation, which is one factor that drives new business. They actively use several channels to get the word out including social, print ads, sponsorships, and of course their website. Like many leading edge businesses, they’re striving to produce rich content that can be discovered. When talking about channels, John highlighted the Puget Sound Business Journal, noting that it has been a great resource for reaching business decision-makers. GreenRubino holds positions on a few categories in the PSBJ Book of Lists.

When I asked who is GreenRubino’s ideal client, John said they don’t try to focus on specific industries or segments, which he noted is a little unusual. Instead they look for a certain type of client who wants a partnership and wants to be challenged, rather than calling all of the shots. More fundamentally, the right client is someone who connects with GreenRubino’s work. Now I see a new angle on what it means when they say, “the work works.” An honest, authentic connection to the client is like a conduit for the brand message—at least that’s my take on it. I’m a believer: followers + 1.

These ads are following me

It wasn’t difficult to find a few content advertisements based on my browsing history. One of the ads following me lately is for SmartThings, a product that I discovered while doing research for class. It has been showing up regularly for two weeks. This instance appeared on the Puget Sound Business Journal. SmartThings Ad Another product that appeared today on Facebook is a Mitsubishi Ductless Heat Pump. A few days ago, I looked up Mitsubishi product specifications for one of my projects at work. Thanks for the reminder, Mitsubishi—I didn’t finish what I was working on. Mitsubishi DHP Ad Finally, here’s one more that is legitimately for a product that I shopped. This mod sofa looks cool, but the reviews for this brand were not convincing. It’s a no-go. LexMod Sofa Ad

Are the ads effective? It’s a mixed bag. We learn to ignore them because they often are irrelevant. I think more focused targeting and lower frequency could make many of them more effective.

Birdi: So Much More than a Smoke Detector

Birdi is a device that monitors the air in your home. “Better than a smoke detector” is the brand essence prominently featured on the product marketing. The company has established online channels through its website, Facebook, Twitter, and even Weibo for the Chinese market. (www.getbirdi.com, https://www.facebook.com/Birdi, https://twitter.com/birdi, http://weibo.com/birdi) By choosing smoke detectors as the marketing frame of reference, Birdi is positioned as a home safety device reimagined, with a range of features for monitoring indoor air quality. Not only can it warn you in the event of an emergency; it gives you everyday feedback about indoor pollutants and gives you options to reduce them. It goes without saying that Birdi is a connected device with mobile interface, API, and the ability to connect through something called a land-line. The logic of an all-encompassing home air sensor is clear. Why should anyone settle for several one-function devices to monitor different components of air quality? Why should a smoke detector be an ugly device with generally negative connotations all-around? Aha, there is the challenge Birdi faces. There is an established schema for smoke detectors and other home safety devices. They’re located somewhere near locksets and protective gear in the hardware store—not as interesting as the placement for other health oriented consumer electronics. Birdi is taking aim and trying to change the schema. The message linking everyday health with serious emergencies like house fires is difficult to craft clearly. The two topics are somewhat uncomfortably positioned together on the Birdi website. However, the company appears to be telling their story well through its social media channels. Birdi appears to be a serious participant in the connected home transformation.

Breaking the Commercial Real Estate Barrier for Small Businesses

OfficeSpace.com is number 199 on the GeekWire 200. The site is a destination for tenants in the market for office space and other types of commercial real estate. OfficeSpace.com aggregates listings from a variety of sources and presents them in a user-friendly search, much like Zillow and other sites do for homebuyers. What’s special about OfficeSpace.com? For starters, you can view the listings for free. Yes, that is special in the commercial real estate market. If you visit the leading providers CoStar and LoopNet, it quickly becomes apparent that simply searching for office listings is going to cost you. For those of us who own or manage small businesses, this can raise a frustrating barrier to the simple act of getting started. OfficeSpace.com recognized that small businesses were not well served in the commercial real estate market–and a majority of businesses are small. A 2012 report in GeekWire describes how the company re-focused after being purchased in 2010 by entrepreneurs with ties to WhitePages. With its eye on the market for smaller spaces, OfficeSpace.com offers a simple interface without the extensive research and analysis capabilities offered by those other providers that are geared especially for real estate pros. By giving small businesses easy access to listings, OfficeSpace.com provides a service to commercial brokers, presumably making it easier for them to work on transactions that would otherwise yield a lower return on their time invested. Simple economics would suggest that exposing all willing buyers to what you’re selling will promote a more efficient market. OfficeSpace.com may just be the catalyst for participants in the small office market.