Bug-Eye Camera, Fly Robot and other Bio-Inspired Tech

first_imgIncredible advancements in technology are coming from the imitation of nature, but engineers cannot yet attain animal performance.Look like a bug:  “New Camera Inspired by Insect Eyes,” announced Science Now.  If you thought insects with their compound eyes had inferior vision to ours, think that no more:An insect’s compound eye is an engineering marvel: high resolution, wide field of view, and incredible sensitivity to motion, all in a compact package. Now, a new digital camera provides the best-ever imitation of a bug’s vision, using new optical materials and techniques. This technology could someday give patrolling surveillance drones the same exquisite vision as a dragonfly on the hunt.In the Illustra film Metamorphosis, Dr. Thomas Emmel notes that butterflies have better color vision than humans.  They can see from infrared to ultraviolet.  And in the Illustra film Darwin’s Dilemma, we see that compound eyes existed in the Cambrian multicellular animals, including trilobites and anomalocaridids.According to PhysOrg, the new camera has an “unmatched field of view.”  Part of the challenge for engineers at the University of Illinois was to develop flexible electronics and optics that could accommodate curved surfaces.  Even so, their “low-end insect eye” mimic does not reach the performance of the design that inspired it:Eyes in arthropods use compound designs, in which arrays of smaller eyes act together to provide image perception. Each small eye, known as an ommatidium, consists of a corneal lens, a crystalline cone and a light-sensitive organ at the base. The entire system is configured to provide exceptional properties in imaging, many of which lie beyond the reach of existing man-made cameras.It would appear difficult to rephrase that paragraph in Darwinian terms, since it depends on the use of concepts like design, configuration, and exceptional properties.  The project caught the attention of Nature, and Science Daily twice.  The engineer’s paper was published in Nature, which noted that arthropods differ in the number of facets or ommatidia.  Some ants have about 100 facets; praying mantises have about 15,000, while some dragonflies have up to 28,000.  They ended by saying, “Biologically inspired schemes for adapting to different light levels are also of interest.”Fly like a fly:  A biomimetic robot that flies like a fly was reported in Science this week.  It caught the attention of Nature and Science Daily.  “RoboBee” doesn’t look anywhere near as sophisticated as an actual fly (and lacks digestive, neural, and reproductive systems), but Nature called it a “manufacturing marvel.”  One of its designers said, “This is a major engineering breakthrough, 15 years in the making.”  The little robot, weighing only 80 milligrams, has thin membranes for wings that it can flap 120 times a second, similar to a fly’s flapping rate (the engineers admitted it is only “modeled loosely on the morphology of flies”). Building a lightweight battery was one of the biggest challenges, so they had to tether it to a power source and computer with thin wire.  Still, it’s “pretty fantastically cool,” an observer said for Science Now.The engineering team faced many challenges.  For instance, if the wings weren’t exactly symmetrical, it failed to fly.  It “took many rounds of tweaking the design before it finally worked,” but when the team had their “Kitty Hawk moment,” they were really proud.  RoboBee can only fly for 20 seconds, and wears out after 15 minutes of use.  But it’s “the smallest flapping wing aircraft that has ever been built and made fully functional,” they said.  The goal is to get the power supply, flight control computer and everything else on board.  They envision making swarms of these robots for search and rescue.  “When you scale things down, smaller is better,” they said.  That speaks volumes about the actual living fly, which not only has everything on board, but also contains digestive, neural, and reproductive systems.  A fly or bee is comparatively large for insects, too (consider gnats and mosquitoes, for instance).  Recently, a microscopic fairyfly dubbed Tinkerbella nana was discovered with a body length of 155 micrometers (see Science Daily for picture).  That’s packing a lot of systems into a very tiny space.Sea horse armor:  In other biomimetics news, scientists at UC San Diego have their eyes on seahorses for ideas.  According to Science Daily, “Sea horses get their exceptional flexibility from the structure of their bony plates, which form its armor.”  The plates slide past each other.  The plates can be compressed to half their size without damage.   The principle behind the UCSD project is broader than one particular animal:“The study of natural materials can lead to the creation of new and unique materials and structures inspired by nature that are stronger, tougher, lighter and more flexible,” said [Joanna] McKittrick, a professor of materials science at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.McKittrick and Meyers had sought bioinsipiration [sic] by examining the armor of many other animals, including armadillo, alligators and the scales of various fish. This time, they were specifically looking for an animal that was flexible enough to develop a design for a robotic arm.Mr. Clean cicada:  The 17-year locusts are emerging from hibernation in some parts of the south this year.  Live Science reported on work to understand how the bugs can stay so clean.  They don’t need to stand in the rain; the structure of their exoskeleton allows the bugs to be self-cleaning, researchers at Duke University have found.  “Apparently, grime can simply leap right off them, given dew.”  When dewdrops merge together, they literally leap off the bugs, carrying grime with them.  This also happens on lotus leaves and other “super-hydrophobic” surfaces.These findings not only can help explain the mystery of how cicada wings keep clean, but could also lead to improved artificial self-cleaning materials. Jumping droplets could also help remove heat from power plants, Chen said.Protein origami:  Science Magazine published a paper about the use of proteins for self-assembling materials.  A “Perspective” piece in the same issue about the project said that synthetic biology “aims to push natural biological systems in novel directions or to generate biomimetic systems with new properties.”  The team from University of Bristol learned how to control the self-assembly of proteins to generate simple “cages” and patterns out of coiled-coil elements of proteins.  “The assembly properties of the peptides are governed by how their folding results in the projection of chemical functional groups into space.”Short bows:  Nature mentioned the “worm-inspired adhesive” that came from following how a spiny-headed worm embeds itself in the tissues of its host.  A bandage built on the principle is “more than three times as adhesive as surgical staples for affixing skin grafts.”  Live Science posted “Seven Clever Technologies Inspired by Animals.”  Entrants include butterflies, sharks, worms, cockleburs, beetles, geckos, and spiders.As usual, evolution was useless in all these stories.  It was only mentioned occasionally as an ideologically-driven afterthought, such as “Nature has developed and refined these concepts over the course of billions of years of evolution” (PhysOrg).  Nature is not a developer!  Nature is not a refiner.  Nature knows nothing of concepts.  Those are terms from intelligent design.  The Nature paper on the compound eye begins, “In arthropods, evolution has created a remarkably sophisticated class of imaging systems, with a wide-angle field of view, low aberrations, high acuity to motion and an infinite depth of field,” but then says nothing further about evolution.  Evolution is not a creator!  Evolution does not design sophisticated imaging systems with desirable properties!  Tanya Lewis at Live Science dreamed, “Over time, evolution has led to some incredible developments, from the photosynthetic machinery in plants to the human eye.”  She needs to awake from her dogmatic Darwinian slumbers.The lingo that predominates in biomimetics is design, inspiration, exceptional performance.  Darwinians, pack up your snake oil wagons and get out of the way of this new, popular I.D. parade.(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa launches Dube Trade Port

first_img8 March 2012 South Africa has officially launched a state-of-the-art, multi-billion rand cargo terminal, trade zone and agrizone – located between the two largest sea ports in the southern hemisphere – at the Dube Trade Port in La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal. The port, in which the King Shaka International Airport is located, has been operational for 22 months and the first phase has been completed. This includes a cargo terminal, trade zone, agrizone and IT and telecommunications platform. In the long term, the plan is to establish an “aerotropolis” to the north of Durban, stretching from Umhlanga to Ballito, to further boost economic development and job creation in the province.Between the South’s two largest sea ports Located between the two largest sea ports in the southern hemisphere – Durban and Richards Bay – the Dube Trade Port has huge potential to boost economic growth and job creation in the province. In 2003, South Africa decided to relocate the old Durban International Airport to La Mercy and to establish the Dube Trade Port, incorporating the new King Shaka International Airport. The airport was completed ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Officially launching the Dube Trade Port on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma said he was impressed by the development at the massive facility. “The focus on agriculture and food security in this airport city is a very progressive step,” Zuma said. “The advantage of the agrizone is the use of limited growing space for the production of high volumes of high quality produce. “As this project demonstrates, there is real scope for growth and finding new markets for the produce, including exports. Other than improving food security, agriculture is an important source of exports,” Zuma added. The Dube Trade Port Corporation – a state-owned enterprise – is now in a strong position to boost economic development and job creation in the province and the country. The construction phase alone has generated close to 20 000 jobs in each of the past two years.Gateway to Africa The government looks at its strategic airports to help promote its African agenda by opening up new routes or expanding existing ones on the continent. Zuma, therefore, welcomed SA Express’s decision to make Durban its base for growing its footprint into the southern African region. SA Express has concluded an agreement with the Dube Trade Port Corporation, which will see a connection being established between King Shaka International and the region, especially to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique. There are also plans for SA Express to expand into countries such as Namibia, Malawi, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “There can only be positive results from this strategic move,” Zuma said. “You will recall … that there is a major African Union move to develop a continental free trade zone. “Three regions alone – SADC, the East African Community and Comesa – bring together about 600-million people. Added to this, Africa provides a market of one-billion people. The focus on our continent is therefore a step in the right direction in terms of the country’s strategic goals,” Zuma said.Southern Africa’s ‘premier logistics platform’ “The Trade Port is also set to be southern Africa’s premier logistics platform, given that the Port of Durban provides connectivity to 53 international destinations and access to local distribution networks.” The President said King Shaka International had to market itself aggressively as a key entry point for international routes by attracting international carriers to Durban via bilateral air service agreements. Passenger traffic at the airport has been steadily growing since its move from the old Durban International Airport. “It is anticipated that the airport’s passenger traffic for the 2012 financial year will surpass the five-million mark,” Zuma noted. KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize, also speaking at the launch, said the Dube Trade Port would greatly expand the province’s import and export capacity.Durban-Free State-Gauteng corridor “The principal component of the Dube Trade Port is a new international passenger and cargo airport, but it is the new facility’s proximity to the harbours of Durban and Richards Bay that give it the edge as a transport and logistics hub,” Mkhize said. The Dube Trade Port will form an important part of the government’s new pipeline of major infrastructure development projects, one of which is the improvement of the movement of goods and economic integration through a Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor. “This project is intended to connect the major economic centres of Gauteng and Durban/Pinetown, and at the same time, link these centres with an improved export capacity through our sea ports and improved railway lines,” Zuma said. “We expect this corridor to also stimulate growth in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, a major agricultural and industrial region through which this route will pass.” After the launch, Zuma joined the Dube family to unveil a statue of the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) founding president, John Langalibalele Dube, at the Dube Trade Port offices. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Classic Microsoft: We’re Dumping Windows Phone 8 In 16 Months

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Microsoft#Windows Phone 8 The end of life for Windows Phone 8 is on the horizon. While this doesn’t mean the end of Windows on mobile, it is classic Microsoft operating procedure — i.e., one carried out without too much attention to the impact it will have on users. Microsoft will presumably have unveiled at least one newer version of its mobile OS by the time Windows Phone 8 sunsets, although of course it hasn’t yet announced any such plans.On its product lifecyle page, Microsoft says that it will cease support for Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows 8 within the next 18 months. Both forks of the operating system will cease to be supported by Microsoft in 2014. Windows Phone 7.8 support will end on Sept. 9, 2014 while Windows Phone 8 support will come July 8, 2014. According to Microsoft’s support page:Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System on your phone, including security updates, for a period of 18 months after the lifecycle start date. Distribution of the updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities.Windows Phone 7.8 is the final version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system before it forked for Windows Phone 8. The 18-month support window these versions is fairly standard for a company like Microsoft that produces new iterations of its mobile operating systems every year or so.By the time support for Windows 7.8/8 ceases, Microsoft will likely have issued one or two updates to the Windows Phone OS to replace the older versions. Although it’s also not clear whether Windows Phone 8 users will be able to upgrade to such as-yet-hypothetical future Windows Phone versions. Microsoft did, after all, pull the rug out from under Windows Phone 7 users in exactly this way.Contrary to some reactions to this news, the end-of-life for 7.8/8 is not the death knell for Windows Phone. All it will mean will be the end of mainstream support for those operating system versions including security and user interface and experience features. Apple and Google operate in similar functions as older versions of iOS and Android (like Android 2.1 Éclair or 2.2 Froyo or iOS 4.0) tend not to see any critical updates after a year-and-a-half or so. End-of-life cycle for these versions of Windows Phone will only affect a small percentage of global smartphone users. Microsoft’s mobile operating system has struggled for mainstream acceptance and remains far behind Apple and Google in adoption. According to research analytics firm comScore, Microsoft had 3.1% of total U.S. smartphone subscribers as of Jan. 2013. Top photo: Nokia Lumia 920 by Dan Rowinski Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts center_img dan rowinski Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Mysterious plane damage while in flight rattles Oklahoma Thunder

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES “What possibly could we have hit in the SKY at this time of night? Everyone is safe, though,” Anthony wrote.The Thunder were travelling to Chicago to face the Bulls later Saturday following a 119-116 loss to Minnesota on Friday. /cbb John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Several players demanded an explanation for the damage.“We had a rough flight to say the least,” New Zealand star Steven Adams said in a Tweet addressed to NASA, prominent astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson and scientist Bill Nye.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“30,000 feet in the air. Flying to Chicago. What caused this?” Adams wrote above an image of the damaged plane.Carmelo Anthony was similarly concerned, posting the same image of the plane’s badly dented nose. Oklahoma Thunder Steven Adams is boggled about what caused this huge dent on the nose of the jet they traveled on from Minnesota to Chicago. STEVEN ADAMS TWITTER PAGECHICAGO, United States — Spooked Oklahoma City Thunder players took to Twitter on Saturday after a plane carrying them to Chicago suffered mysterious damage mid-flight.Dramatic images posted by Thunder players on social media showed the nose of their jet travelling from Minnesota caved in.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohortcenter_img Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 MOST READ View comments Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Here comes the reign again Read Next Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasalast_img read more

Answers to 31 Social Media Questions You’re Too Shy to Ask

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media moves at the speed of light, so if you’re just getting started now, there are conceivably tons of nuances you may have missed. Many people seek out sketchy or outdated Google results instead of asking someone, because they feel these are things they should already know the answer to. Well we think that’s just not the best approach, so we compiled a list of those simple social media questions that people seem pretty timid to ask and are providing you the answers so you never again have to perform a panicked Google search or blindly nod your head in agreement during a marketing meeting.Answers to Your Google+ Questions1.) Where do I go to create a Google+ business page?Visit http://plus.google.com/pages/create to get started, and remember that you need a Google account to set up a page. Find more detailed instructions here.2.) What is the difference between a Google+ Page and a Google+ Profile?A Google+ Profile is for people, while a Google+ Page is for an entity (like your business!).3.) Can I add multiple page administrators?At this time, no. Until this functionality is added, a workaround is creating a team Gmail email address like yourcompanymarketingteam@gmail.com and using this to create your Google+ page. That way, multiple people on your team have access and management of your page is not limited to one person.4.) What is Direct Connect?Direct Connect allows searchers to immediately find a Google+ Page in Google search and add it to their Google+ Circles by searching +brandname. Right now, not all Google+ Pages that apply for Direct Connect functionality are given it, but everyone can and should make their page eligible so they are ready when functionality rolls out to everyone.5.) How do I become eligible for Direct Connect?The easiest way is to add your website link to your Google+ Page and add a snippet of code to your site, explained in more detail on Google’s support site.6.) Can my Google+ Page add people to Circles or +1 content?It depends. If someone mentions you or adds you to their Circles first, then your Google+ Page can Circle them. Otherwise, you cannot add people to your Google+ Page Circles. As for +1’ing content, no, you cannot +1 content as a Google+ Page.7.) Can I add someone to more than once Circle?You sure can!8.) What’s an Extended Circle?Extended Circles refer to your Circles’ Circles, so content a Google+ user shares with their extended circles will also appear in the incoming stream of people from whom they are one degree removed. Only Profiles can share via Extended Circles though — not Pages.9.) Can all business pages participate in a Google+ Hangout, and is there an attendee limit? Yes, all business pages can make use of the Google+ Hangout feature, but unfortunately the limit is 9 people for almost everyone. Google+ is experimenting with a feature called Hangouts on Air that will remedy this problem and allow people who aren’t participating to simply watch the Hangout, but it is not available yet.10.) Do Google+ Pages and posts appear in search results?Yes, both the pages and posts appear in search results, which is why integrating Google+ into your social media strategy can also help your SEO. Google continues to roll out more ways in which Google+ is integrated into search results, with four new developments in just the past few weeks.Answers to Your Twitter Questions11.) Can I change my Twitter username?Yes, you can! Simply go to the ‘Account’ tab on Twitter, and you’ll see a field to change your username. Doing this will not wipe out your tweets or followers.12.) Should I follow back everyone who follows me? There is not an established industry best practice on this, but let’s throw down a definitive answer on whether you should follow someone on Twitter. No, you should not follow back everyone who follows you. However, if that person provides useful or interesting tweets, you should absolutely follow them. Also, keep in mind that being stingy with your follow-backs makes you look…well…stingy. And that’s not a good look on anyone.13.) What is a #hashtag, and how do I use it?A #hashtag is a way to organize topics and make them easier to filter in Twitter search results. For example, HubSpot uses the hashtag #HoHoHubspot in holiday tweets to indicate the tweet is holiday related, to make it easier for people to find our holiday content on Twitter, and so they can also tag inbound marketing related holiday content in tweets of their own. Using #hashtags is also a great idea for online and offline events, so people at the event and those not in attendance can follow the conversations happening around the event.14.) How do I use an @reply?An @reply is a public message sent from one Twitter user to another. You can do this by putting another user’s Twitter username after @ somewhere within the body of the tweet. A user’s @mentions will appear in the tab @username on that user’s homepage. Again, this is not private, so don’t say anything you’re not comfortable saying to the world!15.) How do I use a direct message (DM)?If you need to message another Twitter user in a more private way than the @reply allows, opt for a direct message. These can be sent by clicking the Message link, or typing D Username into the “What’s Happening” field. Think of this as Twitter email.16.) What is a TweetChat?Also known as a Twitter Chat, a TweetChat is a conversation that happens on Twitter during a pre-designated date and time, usually centered around an industry topic and aggregated through use of a #hashtag. For example, HubSpot hosts tweet chats around marketing topics like search engine optimization with the hashtag #InboundChat.17.) How do I personalize a retweet?You can quickly retweet (RT) someone else’s tweet by clicking the arrows on the bottom of that tweet, but unfortunately, this doesn’t let you personalize the tweet. Instead, perform a manual retweet in four steps by copying the tweet and username, replacing the username with an @reply, typing RT at the front, and adding in your commentary.18.) What are Twitter Lists, and how do I use them?Twitter Lists let you group together the tweet streams of people you’re most interested in. Create a new list, name it according to those you’ll add, and simply input their Twitter usernames to create a more targeted stream of content. These can be private or public, so others can also follow your lists.19.) How do I find people to follow?Your follow list will grow organically over time, but the ‘Who to Follow’ feature on Twitter is a great place to start if you need suggestions. Type in industry keywords and keywords related to topics that interest you. You can also search for the names of people in your industry that you know to see who they are following.20.) What are Favorites and how do I use them?Think of Favorites like Twitter bookmarking. When you hover your mouse over a tweet you want to Favorite, click the star so it becomes yellow. That tweet will appear in your Favorites tab on Twitter, and can be referred back to for useful links, kind comments about you or your company, or important pieces of data.Answers to Your Facebook Questions21.) What’s the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page?As with Google+, a Facebook Profile is for a person, while a Facebook Page is for an entity, like your company.22.) Oops, I set up a profile instead! Can I transfer it to a page?Yes, Facebook released a Profile to Business Page Migration Tool this year that lets you do this without losing followers or alerting them of the change. However, your page content and photos are not migrated over. If you have fewer than 100 friends, you also have the option to rename your business page.23.) When I set up my Facebook Page, can it have more than one administrator?Yes, as long as each administrator has their own Facebook account. Go to ‘Applications,’ then select ‘Page Manager’ to add someone else as a page administrator.24.) How do I claim my page’s vanity URL?First, you need to have at least 25 Likes (fans) for your page. Once you reach this milestone, go to http://facebook.com/username, click ‘Select a Username,’ enter your desired username, press ‘Check Availability,’ and confirm your username once you find the one you like.25.) What exactly does the ‘Talking About This’ number on my page measure?’Talking About This’ can be found under the number of Likes on your Facebook Page, and it measures user-initiated activity related to that page. This includes things like: posting to your wall, liking your content, commenting on your content, sharing your posts, sharing content on your page, sharing or mentioning your page, or checking in with you.26.) What’s the pricing structure for paid Facebook Ads?Facebook Ads run slightly different than Google’s PPC ads. Facebook will let you choose a CPM model, in which you pay per thousand ad impressions, or a CPC model, in which you pay for clicks. Click-through rate on Facebook ads is usually low, so a CPC model will likely be the least expensive.Answers to Your LinkedIn Questions 27.) Can I customize the anchor text in the ‘Websites’ section of my profile? How?Yes, and you should, because inbound links to your website with good anchor text drive more traffic. To do so, click ‘Edit’ next to the ‘Website’ field on your profile, and select ‘Other’ in the dropdown menu to customize the anchor text.28.) Can I message people on LinkedIn if we’re not connected?You can only message people if you have a first degree connection with them or you hold a Premium (paid) account. If you do have a Premium Account, you can do it using OpenLink if the user you’re attempting to message allows it.29.) How can I see who is viewing my profile?You can only see who is viewing your profile if you let them see when you view theirs. To allow this, click ‘Settings’ and select “See what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”30.) How do I activate status updates for my Company Page?From your Company Page, click ‘Edit’ under ‘Admin Tools.’ If checked, uncheck the box that says “All employees with a valid email registered to the company domain.” Then select the ‘Designated Users Only’ button, and designate who you would like to be an admin under ‘Manage Admins.’ Only the people you designate as admins will be able to administrate the status updates on your Company Page.31.) How do I pull in my blog’s RSS feed to my LinkedIn Company Page?Blog feeds can be added to Company Pages via an app called Blog Link. More LinkedIn apps are available in the LinkedIn Apps section of the Learning Center, including a tweet app, a poll app, and a SlideShare app, all of which are excellent additions to turn your LinkedIn company page into an inbound marketing machine.What simple social media questions have you always wanted an answer to? Share questions and answers to your burning questions in a judgment free zone!Image credit: Andréias, Bruce Clay, Inc, topgold, dearanxiety, ekelly89 Topics: Originally published Dec 7, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Social Medialast_img read more

When to Use Static vs. Dynamic Lists in Email Marketing

first_img Topics: Originally published Jun 13, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated August 29 2017 In email marketing, the success of your messages is largely dependent on the quality of your list. And although we’ve talked a bunch about list segmentation and list health on this blog (have you taken our email list sniff test yet?), there’s still more you should understand about lists. (Who knew the topic of email lists could be so darn extensive?)What we’re referring to in this post is the concept of static lists vs. dynamic lists . Do you understand the distinction? It might sound simple, but we’re surprised by how many marketers really don’t know the difference — and when to use one or the other, for that matter. We’ll keep this lesson to the point so you can once and for all understand what distinguishes one list from the other, and start applying the right uses of each to your email marketing programs. What Are Static Lists? Quite simply, static lists are, well … static. These lists consist only of contacts you’ve accumulated up until the point when you create the list, and they remain unchanged unless you manually add or remove contacts. Static lists can either be created using contacts that already exist in your database, or through a manual upload to your email tool. Typically, they’re created through the latter method, as oftentimes they consist of contacts that were gathered through offline methods or other online campaigns not connected to interactions on your website. HubSpot’s email tool , for example, allows users to create static lists in both of these ways, as you can see from the screenshots below. When to Use Static Lists in Email Marketing Of all the types of email a marketer can send , static lists are generally good for one-off email sends, email campaigns that you run infrequently, and for lists of contacts that don’t change often. Here are a few examples of when you’d want to use a static list in your email marketing: Event Registrants, Attendees, or No-Show Lists: No one can travel back in time to register for or attend your event in the past, right? That’s why event lists tend to be ones that remain static. You might use these lists to send follow-up information or content post-event, whether it’s an in-person event or an online one like a webinar. Staff Lists: Do you send a quarterly newsletter to your company’s board of directors? How about an internal one to your business’ employees? These are lists of people that don’t typically change often, and you’ll probably also have to manually update them anyway. Trade Show Lists: Did you snag some prospects’ contact information from your presence at a trade show or another industry conference/event? This is a great use case for a static list upload. What Are Dynamic Lists? Dynamic email lists, on the other hand, are lists that constantly evolve as certain criteria are met. This criteria could include a specific property (e.g. contacts from a specific state or contacts from a specific industry), members of other lists (i.e. a list combining other lists!), or contacts who completed certain landing page forms . New contacts get added as they meet the criteria set for the list, and furthermore, dynamic lists will also remove people who no longer meet that criteria. Get it? Dynamic. These lists are powered by data and intelligence that can be collected by your marketing software or CRM as well as through interactions contacts have on your website, such as downloading content or visiting certain web pages. Dynamic lists are also critical for slicing and dicing your database into various segments for more effective and relevant email marketing .You’ll need to consult your email software provider to see if dynamic lists are part of its services available to you. To understand how they work, below is an example of a dynamic list in the making in HubSpot’s Contacts and Email tools . In our tool, we call these dynamic lists ‘Smart Lists.’ Here, we’re generating a segmented list of contacts who have Twitter follower counts of 1,000 or more. Once this list is established, as more of our contacts’ Twitter follower counts grow and meet that 1,000-follower threshold, the list will also grow. In addition, any contact whose follower count dips below 1,000 will automatically be removed from the list. So if we wanted to put some extra social media promotional muscle behind a particular piece of content or marketing offer, we might use this list to send an email to the contacts in our database with the greatest Twitter reach. Email Lists and Segmentation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When to Use Dynamic Lists in Email Marketing Dynamic lists are best used for email campaigns in which you plan on sending email more than once to a certain list of contacts that changes and gets updated frequently. As time goes on, your dynamic list would automatically adjust to your changing volume of contacts. This saves you the time from creating a new list every time you want to email that segment and keeps the list fresh and up to date in real time. Here are some examples of when you’d want to use a dynamic list in your email marketing: Customer List: Keeping your customers in the know with a monthly newsletter about your newest product tutorials, features, and other updates? New customers come, and (unfortunately), some go, so a dynamic customer list will enable you to automatically include new customers — and exclude ex-customers — on your next newsletter send. Free Trial Users: Use a dynamic list to send ongoing tips about how to get the most out of your company’s free product trial. This way, new contacts who start a free trial get automatically looped in the next time you send an email of tips to this list. Block Lists:  Dynamic lists can also be used to suppress certain contacts and protect recipients from receiving too many emails. For instance, you could create a dynamic list of anyone who has already signed up for an event, and block that continually updating list from future sends designed to promote the very same event. Interest-Based Lists: Create an evolving list of everyone who downloaded content on a particular topic, then make sure your emails to that list match that interest category.When it comes to dynamic lists, the possibilities really are plentiful — and powerful. Just think of all the very targeted email you could send! In what ways are you using dynamic lists to improve email segmentation ? Image Credit: adamentmeat last_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #9: Start With an Outline

first_img2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: Topics: Free Templates: How to Write a Blog Postcenter_img 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Free Blog Post Templateslast_img read more

What’s in a Name? What 6 Popular Brands Are Called Across the Globe

first_imgVincent: “And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in Paris?Jules: “They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?”Vincent: “No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the [heck] a Quarter Pounder is.”Jules: “Then what do they call it?”Vincent: “They call it a Royale with cheese.”While the cinephiles in the room will be quick to point out that I’m quoting from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, I’m also highlighting an example of a business (McDonald’s) tailoring their marketing to better serve a particular audience.And, as you’re about to find out, this type of international name personalization is more common than you might think. Several of the big brand names that have been injected into American culture through countless ads and jingles — names that are as common to you as the names of your friends and family members — are, in fact, different in different countries.But before we dive into some examples of businesses switching brand names in order to cater to international audiences, let’s explore some of the underlying reasons why these name changes occur. And to begin, here’s a quick story about Irish whiskey liqueur, cow dung, and German consumers.Free Download: Slogan Writing Guide and ExamplesWhat’s in a [Brand] Name?Once upon a time, the Dublin-based beverage distributor C&C Group decided to launch its popular brand of golden whiskey liqueur in Germany.It seemed like a good plan. After all, Germany was a big market, and the name of the whiskey liqueur, “Irish Mist,” certainly had a nice ring to it.To me, the name “Irish Mist” conjures up an image of a verdant field adorned with a fresh layer of morning dew; dew that is evaporating majestically into the glorious light beams of the rising sun.Unfortunately, that’s not what Germans thought of when they heard the name.You see, “mist” is the German word for “manure.” So while Germans may in fact have thought of a field when they heard the name “Irish Mist,” they probably didn’t think of a field adorned with dew: They probably thought of a field adorned with cow dung.Needless to say, a beverage that translated to “Irish manure” didn’t exactly take off in Germany the way C&C Group had hoped.A Valuable LessonDifferent cultures have different values. Different languages. Different slang. Different senses of humor. A name that sounds elegant in one language could sound off-putting or downright gross in another language. Even when it’s unintentional, a name that doesn’t play well in a certain country could mean the difference between a boom in sales and a boycott.Ultimately, taking a one-size-fits-all approach to brand names is trickier than most people think. Even making up a completely new word for a name isn’t a sure bet.Ever hear of “Mondelez,” the snack division of Kraft Foods? According to a press release from Kraft, the name is completely made up, but is meant to evoke the idea of a “delicious world.”“‘Monde’” derives from the Latin word for ‘world’,” the press release notes, “and ‘delez’ is a fanciful expression of ‘delicious.’” No problems yet. But how exactly do we pronounce “Mondelez”?According to the same press release, it’s pronounced “mohn-dah-LEEZ.” And that poses a bit of a problem for Russian speakers.Turns out that in Russian, “Mondelez” sounds like a vulgar word; a word that a native Russian speaker described as “really dirty” in the Huffington Post.Not a great fit for a snack company … or any company, really.However, some brands are able to successfully pull off the “one-size-fits-all” approach to names. Coca-Cola is one of the first that comes to mind. Wherever you are in the world, a Coke is a Coke, no exceptions. (Although I have heard it can be tricky for Coke to display its name in Chinese or Japanese characters.)One brand that definitely did it right is Kodak. When they came up with the name “Kodak” — a name that is totally meaningless — they made sure A) that it was easy to pronounce in every country where they’d be selling their products, and B) that it had no negative connotations in any of the languages spoken in those target countries.That type of linguistic research helped ensure that Kodak didn’t make the same mistakes that Irish Mist and Mondelez would eventually make.Of course, the alternative to coming up with a perfect brand name, a brand name that can effortlessly travel from country to country without offending anybody, is (as I mentioned earlier) to change names in order to cater to different international audiences.So, without further ado, here are some examples of big brand name changes from around the globe.International Name Game1) Mr. Clean / Maestro Limpio / Meister Proper / etc.This is, by far, the best example I could find of a brand tailoring its name to different countries. While we all know and love “Mr. Clean,” here in the U.S., he goes by many, many other names while traveling abroad (all of which loosely translate back to “Mr. Clean” in English).For example, there’s “Maestro Limpio” in Mexico, “Don Limpio” in Spain, “Mastro Lindo” in Italy, “Meister Proper” in Germany, “Mister Proper” in Eastern European countries, “Monsieur Net” in Quebec, Canada, “Monsieur Propre” in France, and “Flash” in Ireland and the U.K.Wait a sec, what was that last one?So it turns out the name “Mr. Clean” was already taken when P&G expanded into Ireland and the U.K. As a way around the problem, they ditched the buff bald guy and came up with an entirely new brand name: “Flash.”2) Lay’s / Walkers / Smith’s / Sabritas / etc. Another well-known brand with many different international names is Lay’s (of potato chip fame).For example, in Ireland and the U.K., Lay’s are called “Walkers.” In Australia, they’re called “Smith’s.” In Mexico, they’re “Sabritas.” In Egypt, “Chipsy.” In Israel, “Tapuchips.” And in Brazil, they’re “Elma Chips.”Unlike with Mr. Clean, the owner of Lay’s (PepsiCo, by way of its subsidiary Frito-Lay) makes no real attempt to translate when tailoring the name to international audiences. But considering “Lay’s” is derived from a guy’s name, Herman Lay, that makes a lot of sense.PepsiCo does, however, create some unity between the brands by making the logos visually similar: they all include a red, wavy banner, which is reminiscent of the banner in the Lay’s logo.3) Burger King / Hungry Jack’sBurger King? Burger King?!? I mean, there’s no way a brand as big as Burger King could go by a different name in a different country, is there? (Spoiler alert: Yes, yes there is.)You see, when Burger King was expanding into Australia, they ran into a little problem: There was already a fast food joint that had trademarked the name “Burger King.” So, Burger King — the U.S.-based Burger King — allowed the Australian franchisee (a man by the name of Jack Cowin) to choose from a list of pre-existing trademarked names that its then parent company (Pillsbury) had on hand. Jack chose the name of a pancake mix brand, Hungry Jack, and added an apostrophe to the end to make it possessive. And then a new Australia-specific Burger King brand name was born: Hungry Jack’s.4) KFC / PFKTruth be told, the previous Burger King / Hungry Jack’s example didn’t really demonstrate a business changing a brand name in order to appeal to a particular audience. They changed it because, well, they had to. BUT it was such a big brand, I felt obligated to include it. And for that same reason, I feel obligated to include this next international name-change example.KFC. This three-letter appellation for the “finger-lickin’ good” fast food chain, was originally an initialism for Kentucky Fried Chicken.Today, KFC does big business all over the world, including in China, Japan, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Yet in all of these places, KFC is still KFC. So, where do you need to travel in order to find a KFC without the familiar “KFC” branding? Try Montreal.Quick story: I lived in Montreal, Quebec for six years. And when I first moved there, I noticed something very unusual about the KFC joints I encountered: They were all branded “PFK.”The reason? Quebec has very, very strict language laws, which means if you’re a business with an English name, you’re required to create a French equivalent. So, the powers that be translated “Kentucky Fried Chicken” into French, which came out as “Poulet Frit Kentucky,” and voila: PFK was born.(Fun fact: In France — ya know, the place where the French language comes from — KFC still goes by the name, “KFC.”) 5) Olay / OlazThe skincare brand Olay got its start in South Africa, but was purchased by P&G in the 1980s. When P&G decided to roll out the brand internationally, it made an effort to tailor the name to suit different cultures and languages.For example, in France, Italy, Germany, and other mainland European countries, Olay went by the name “Oil of Olaz.” In Australia, it was called “Oil of Ulan.” And in Ireland and the U.K., it was “Oil of Ulay.”Unfortunately for fans of geo-specific brand names, P&G would eventually streamline the brand and eliminate many of the name variations. Today, there’s just “Olaz” (in German-speaking countries) and “Olay” (everywhere else). 6) Milky Way / Mars Bar / 3 MusketeersNow this is a cool story. But here’s a forewarning: I’m not exactly sure why the Mars confectionery corporation names its candy brands the way it does … it just doesn’t seem to make any sense. So on that note, let’s dive in!In 1923, a man by the name of Fank C. Mars introduced the “Milky Way” bar. MmmMmm. Milky Way bars. Milk chocolate. Caramel. Chocolate-malt nougat (whatever the heck that is). Delicious.And Mars’ son — Forrest Mars — thought they were pretty delicious, too. So he took the Milky Way recipe, went to the U.K., and introduced it as the “Mars bar” to the European market. (FYI: The U.S. market would eventually get its own “Mars bar,” but despite having an identical name, it was different from the European candy.)So, to recap: U.S. “Milky Way” = U.K. “Mars bar”After successfully establishing the Mars bar in Europe, Forrest Mars moved back to the U.S. and would eventually merge his company with his father’s company, forming Mars, Inc. And, in an effort to increase international expansion, Mars, Inc. decided to introduce the “Milky Way” brand in the U.K. and other European markets. However, since the original Milky Way was, effectively, already available in the form of the “Mars bar,” Mars, Inc. needed to tweak the recipe. So, they followed their old playbook and used an existing recipe from their inventory: the recipe for their 3 Musketeers bar (which they had introduced in the U.S. back in 1932). Hence, today, Milky Ways in the U.K. taste a lot like 3 Musketeers in the U.S.So here’s the final breakdown: the U.S. “Milky Way” =  the U.K. “Mars bar,” while the U.K. “Milky Way” = the U.S. “3 Musketeers.” And yes, these candy bars are all produced by the same company, Mars, Inc.And that concludes our exploration of personalizing brand names for different locations. Now, admittedly, I didn’t really teach you anything about using personalization for your own marketing purposes. This was just a collection of fun, inspirational examples.If you’d like to learn about personalizing your marketing — including your landing pages, calls-to-action (CTAs), and emails — be sure to download our new, free guide: How to Master Personalized Marketing. Originally published Nov 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Brand Awarenesslast_img read more