Category Archives: marketing

Find An Answer To Any Question You Can Take A Picture Of

Find An Answer To Any Question You Can Take A Picture Of

Find An Answer To Any Question You Can Take A Picture Of

Find An Answer To Any Question You Can Take A Picture Of

Socratic is an iOS app that helps curious people and frustrated students answer any number of questions

If you’ve ever wished someone else could figure out your math homework for you just by snapping a quick picture? Then Socratic is the app for you—it’s a system that can help students detangle equations as well as answer other homework questions just by analyzing pictures of the problems.

Answering questions in math, science, history, psychology, English, and economics, this free app analyzes the question in the question. Not only does it help find the answer, but it also breaks down the steps, definitions, and graphs. It also have video lessons and question and answer sections for people looking to get more.

According the app’s website, Socratic is an open-source problem solver that uses the knowledge of different experts and contributors to map out basic explanations while the system does the rest:

“Socratic’s AI combines cutting-edge computer vision technologies, which read questions from images, with machine learning classifiers built using millions of sample homework questions, to accurately predict which concepts will help you solve your question.”

The app is only currently available for iOS, but you can also submit questions to their website. Socratic is also looking for contributors to explain questions and keep building the site’s various subject matters to better help students (or perhaps just the curious). According to the website, the app has helped thousands of students in over 195 countries across more than 21 subjects.

To see how this app works in real time, watch the video below:





via PSFK

February 5, 2017 at 11:18PM

[Insight] Slack’s European headquarters presents a new look for tech start-up offices

[Insight] Slack’s European headquarters presents a new look for tech start-up offices

The “urban grain” of Dublin influenced ODOS Architects’ design for the European offices of Slack, the company known for its inter-office messaging app.

The San Francisco-based company opened a Dublin office to serve as its European headquarters in 2015 but soon outgrew its original space.

SLACK European HQ by ODOS Architects

For Slack‘s new offices, which span 2700 square metres of the One Park Place building on Hatch Street in the city centre, ODOS Architects chose a dark colour palette and a winding layout inspired by the office’s locality.

SLACK European HQ by ODOS Architects

“The concept of the design originated from the urban grain of Dublin City,” said the architects. “Unlike the planned American streets with a regular street grid system, the streets of Dublin have a unique fluidity to their routes which in essence became the core of the concept.”

“In this sense, the main circulation route was envisaged as a typical Dublin street.”

SLACK European HQ by ODOS Architects

In keeping with this idea, the main path through the office is designed to be a “lively, active” space with common areas for break-out sessions.

The route is dotted with signposts that point to meeting rooms, social areas and workspaces – all named after real Dublin streets.

SLACK European HQ by ODOS Architects

All paths converge at an “all-hands space” that serves as the main meeting point for staff. It will also host events.

For the colour scheme, ODOS Architects were keen to avoid the bright, primary-hued trappings of many technology company offices. Instead, the team opted for “more mature colour ranges” based in timber and greys.

SLACK European HQ by ODOS Architects

The floor is oiled white oak, and rooms are sectioned off by timber dividers, concrete pillars and a rebar partition holding plant boxes.

Slack branding is kept minimal, with one company logo branded into wood panels by the lift and another lettered in black behind the reception.

SLACK European HQ by ODOS Architects

“The fit-out expresses the company’s desired aesthetic rather than an explicit use of corporate colours and logos,” said ODOS Architects.

It is Slack’s second office completed in the last few months. Snøhetta designed the company’s Manhattan office, which features wooden bleachers and planted screens.


via PSFK

February 5, 2017 at 11:03PM

Emissions Tracker Designed To Encourage Environmentally Friendly Travel

Emissions Tracker Designed To Encourage Environmentally Friendly Travel

Emissions Tracker Designed To Encourage Environmentally Friendly Travel

EcoTreck lets people see how much money they can save by leaving their car at home

Walk, run or cycle to work and watch how quickly your carbon footprint shrinks while your wallet grows thanks to the EcoTreck app. By taking multiple data points into consideration, including your car’s specific details, local gas prices and distance traveled, the app not only lets you see the impact your daily commute has on the environment, but also how much money you are saving by choosing the more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Its easy-to-use interface and simple graphics aim to demystify the complex issue of carbon emissions. The app also incorporates gamification and community building elements to let you compete with your friends and unlock achievements for reaching milestones.





via PSFK

February 5, 2017 at 11:03PM

Starbucks AI Offers Voice Ordering For Customers

Starbucks AI Offers Voice Ordering For Customers

Starbucks AI Offers Voice Ordering For Customers

Coffees can now be ordered on command with a simple phrase

Starbucks is launching voice ordering for its mobile app and the Amazon Alexa platform, enabling customers to ask for a coffee before they arrive at the store.

They can now order and pay for food and beverage items using their voice from My Starbucks barista, which is powered by groundbreaking artificial intelligence, as well as via a Starbucks Reorder Skill on Amazon Alexa. Customers can speak in the same way they would talk to a barista in-store, including modifying their beverage to have it just the way they like it. A beta test of My Starbucks barista will be available to 1,000 customers nationwide, with plans for a rollout through summer 2017.








via PSFK

February 5, 2017 at 10:35PM

Social Media Touchdown: How 20 Smart Brands Won the Biggest Content Game of the Year

Social Media Touchdown: How 20 Smart Brands Won the Biggest Content Game of the Year

Yesterday was a huge day for sports fans and brands across the nation. Diehard football fans wait all year for this special game and hope that their team (or at least a team they support) hits the turf for the big game.

Let me preface my next statement by saying I mean absolutely no offense to the amazing athletes that played their hearts out yesterday. But if you’re like me, the day is really about the cheesy/gooey/delicious food, the Puppy Bowl and of course, the ads.

On this day, brands hope that their creative and entertaining ads will reach an engaged and attentive audience as they’re glued to the television. In fact, the average commercial costs approximately $5 Million for a mere 30 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl. That is some serious cheddar!

While some companies choose to invest in airtime, others choose to spend efforts on another channel with an engaged audience, social media. Some great brand creative, an attentive community manager and some budget to boost posts is a great way to catch the attention of consumers glued to a 2nd and 3rd screen.

Below are examples of brands that capitalized on a great opportunity to be social and share some great content during the 2017 Super Bowl.

Heartwarming & Inspired

Each year during the Super Bowl there are a handful of brands whose message gives you all the feels and this year was no exception.




This is the story of our founder, and his pursuit of the American Dream. #ThisBudsForYou

A video posted by Budweiser (@budweiser) on Jan 31, 2017 at 6:08am PST

Clever & Creative

On a day where an enormous amount of social content is being created by brands and consumers alike, these companies stood out by taking a clever and creative approach to their message.




Bite Squad

General Mills

Food is the most important part of today. Don’t fumble. Get the recipe, on our blog (link in bio). #biggame #food

A photo posted by General Mills (@generalmills) on Feb 5, 2017 at 12:39pm PST

Quick to Respond

Kudos to the content teams, social teams and community managers for the following brands. Events like the Super Bowl create the perfect opportunity to respond quickly.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Grumpy Cat



Social Contests

Although I didn’t see as many social contests today as I had expected, these two brands garnered a lot of engagement from their various posts promoting live social contests during the Super Bowl.



Just Plain Entertaining

The brands in this category had some of the most entertaining and funny content during Super Bowl Sunday.







BONUS: Teams with Low Rankings

The opening video featuring Rob Riggle and other celebrity guests was probably one of the funniest moments of the Super Bowl. If you didn’t get a chance to see it live, I’ve included the video below.

Create Your Game Winning Social Content

While it’s clear that some of these brands invested big bucks in content for Super Bowl 51, others simply jumped on the opportunity to showcase some clever content. A special thank you to members of the Social Media Masterminds group on Facebook for helping me uncover some great Super Bowl content!

These 20 examples showcase only a fraction of the brands that created and promoted great content during Sunday’s game. Please share your favorites below!

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via Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

February 5, 2017 at 10:31PM

34 Stats to Help You Plan Your Social Media Strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & More

34 Stats to Help You Plan Your Social Media Strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & More


Back in October, I wrote a piece on Medium that covered the numbers behind some of today’s top social media networks. 

From usage numbers to engagement statistics, it was incredible to see just how impactful networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become. For example, not only is Facebook home to 1.23 billion daily active users on average, but those users come from all over the world — with 85.2% residing outside of the U.S. and Canada. That’s a crazy level of connectivity.

As I put together the post, it became obvious just how fast these networks were growing — and I thought a lot about how hard is it to keep up with all of these changes, especially for marketers. To make things a little easier to wrap your head around, I put together a simplified list of some standout statistics for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instragram, and Pinterest. Check them out below if you’re looking for some guidance for your social media strategy this year. 

34 Stats to Help You Plan Your Social Media Strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & More



  • Tweets with images receive 18% more clickthroughs, 89% more Likes, and 150% more retweets.
  • 60% of consumers expect brands to respond to their query within the hour, but the average is 1 hour 24 minutes.
  • Ideal tweet length: 100 characters.
  • Clickthrough rate is highest on Wednesdays.
  • Tweet that doesn’t include a # or @ mention will generate 23% more clicks. When the tweet is focused on driving an app install, for going a # or @ mention increases clicks by 11%. But according to Quicksprout, tweets with hashtags get 2X more engagement — clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies.    



  • On average, people miss 70% of their feeds.
  • 1.1% average engagement rate of all posts (4.2% in 2014; 2.2% in 2015).
  • Images with a single dominant color generate 17% more Likes than images with multiple dominant colors. Images with a high amount of negative space generate 29% more Likes than those with minimal negative space. Images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more Likes than images that are predominantly red.
  • Photos showing faces get 38% more Likes than photos not showing faces.
  • Photos see more engagement than videos on Instagram.
  • The red heart is the most frequently shared emoji on Instagram, which is shared 79% more than the next most popular symbol, a smiling face with heart eyes.
  • 50% of captions and comments on Instagram contain at least one emoji.
  • The most common posting frequency for brands on Instagram is 11–20 times per month.
  • Instagram audiences are more engaged on Mondays and Thursdays at 2 a.m., 8–9 a.m., and 5 p.m.


What networks are you most interested in investing in this year? Share your thoughts in the comments.

free social media content calendar template


via HubSpot

February 5, 2017 at 10:03PM

The Little-Known Stories Behind 8 Iconic Packaging Designs

The Little-Known Stories Behind 8 Iconic Packaging Designs

Packaging has a profound impact on how we relate to particular products.

In a consumer taste test for 7-Up, participants reported tasting more lemon flavor when they drank the soda out of cans with 15% more yellow coloring in the package design.

The colors, textures, fonts, and compositions on the products we buy can really change how we feel, taste, and experience a brand.

Even in the age of social media, product packing and "shelf-presence" is still important for brands to get (and remain) in the consumer consciousness. For your inspiration, we’ve dug up the stories behind a few of the most iconic and recognizable packages, taking a look back at some of the surprising influences on their original designs. 

The Stories Behind 8 Iconic Packaging Designs

1) Bear-Shaped Honey Bottles

If you’ve bought honey in the last 60 years, chances are it came in one of these friendly bear-shaped plastic bottles. It seems like the majority honey manufacturers today choose to package their product in the instantly-recognizable shape, but have you ever wondered where the idea originated?

Ralph and Luella Gamber, the founders of Dutch Gold Honey Inc., first imagined the bear-shaped container while having dinner with friends in 1957. Winne the Pooh creator A.A. Milne had died just a year before, and there was still a lot of publicity surrounding his honey-loving protagonist, Pooh Bear. "We just figured a bear likes honey, why not a bear of honey?" Ralph Gamber told the Los Angeles Times in 1997.

The Gambers never actually patented their now-iconic design, due in part to concerns that it would resemble Winne the Pooh too closely and lead to a lawsuit. "We made it look as different [from Pooh] as possible. We thought we’d be sued … We didn’t know about franchise rights or whatever," Ralph Gamber said

Image credit: Amazon

2) Kikkoman’s Soy Sauce Bottle

The Kikkoman soy sauce bottle is a stylish staple at restaurants, and despite its sleek, modern appearance, the teardrop design has remained completely unchanged for over 60 years.

The man behind the bottle’s unique form is Kenji Ekuan, a Japanese industrial designer who dedicated his life to creating positive, useful things after witnessing the atomic devastation of Hiroshima — where he lost both his sister and father. 

Inspired by the simplicity and elegance of classic Japanese design, Ekuan and his team created over 100 prototypes for Kikkoman before arriving on the quintessential bottle we all know and love today: a refined, transparent dispenser with a neck inspired by an inverted teapot spout. 300 million bottles later, the design is still an integral part of the Kikkoman brand.

"For me it represents not the new Japan, but the real Japan,” Ekuan told the New York Times in 2012. "The shape is so gentle. Of course, during the war, we were forced into acting differently. But for a long time, some 1,000 years, the history of the Japanese people was very gentle."

Image credit: WebRestaurant

3) The Blue Tiffany & Co. Box

Since their first appearance in 1878, Tiffany & Co.’s simple blue boxes tied with white ribbons have become an international symbol of luxury and sophistication. Adweek even called the decidedly minimal packaging, "the most recognizable and most desired retail container in history" — and we aren’t inclined to disagree. 

So what made Tiffany & Co.’s founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, decide on this particular shade of blue back in the 19th century? No one really knows for sure, but it seems like more than a coincidence that this hue was desirable among wealthy women at the time, due to the popularity of turquoise jewelry. 

Image credit: Tiffany & Co. on Instagram

4) LaCroix’s Colorful Can

Love it or hate it, LaCroix’s kaleidoscopic design certainly stands out in a sea of otherwise minimal seltzer containers. With its jazzy font and vibrant splashes of color, you’d be forgiven if you thought this sparkling water brand hadn’t changed their logo since the 1990s. In reality, the current can design — which one designer described as "swirling hangover puke" — didn’t burst onto the fizzy beverage scene until 2002.

In an effort to differentiate themselves in a crowded market, LaCroix hired Lyle Zimmerman, the head of Alchemy Brand Group — the branding firm behind major campaigns for P&G and Coca-Cola. Zimmerman’s team mocked up a few branding options and presented them to LaCroix’s parent company, National Beverage.

Of the options presented, the folks at National Beverage most disliked the splashy, colorful design we all know and love today. But market research showed a completely different story: Comsumers overwhelmingly preferred this abstract neon monstrosity/masterpiece, so LaCroix ended up running with it. 15 years later, their unique design is partly responsible for their meteoric rise to the top of the seltzer space. 

Image credit: LaCroix

5) Toblerone’s Triangular Design

In a very literal example of outside-the-box thinking, Toberone’s original creator, Swiss chocolatier Theodore Tobler, decided to manufacture his honey and nougat-studded bars in a triangular mold back in 1906. Tobler and his production manager, Emil Baumann, were supposedly inspired by the Matterhorn, the Swiss mountain best known for its nearly symmetrical, pyramidal peak. 

There is however an alternative theory about where Tobler got his inspiration. While visiting the Folies Bergères in Paris, Tobler witnessed a cabaret show that ended with the dancers forming a human pyramid. According to his sons, this acrobatic grand finale was the real inspiration behind Toblerone’s iconic shape. 

Image credit: Ashley Pomeroy

6) Morton Salt’s Pouring Spout

Nearly all salt comes in a round package with a pouring spout these days, but did you know that Morton Salt was the first to use this design back in 1911?

At the time, most salt packaging didn’t allow for easy pouring — especially in damp climates. If the weather was humid or rainy, salt exposed to the air would clump, making it difficult to pour neatly into salt shakers. The folks at Morton Salt designed this round package with a closable spout as a way to keep the product safe from humidity, and allow consumers to pour salt in a precise stream. 

To introduce this new concept to consumers, Morton brought on advertising agency N.W. Ayer & Company, who suggested the now-famous girl with an umbrella image to illustrate that the salt would always pour — even in rainy weather. 

Image credit: Morton Salt

7) Heart-Shaped Chocolate Boxes

Around Valentine’s Day, you’d be hard pressed to find a chocolate manufacturer that doesn’t sell heart-shaped boxes of assorted truffles. But where did this tradition begin?

British chocolate company Cadbury is widely credited for introducing the heart-shaped candy box to consumers back in 1861, when Richard Cadbury was seeking a way to use the pure cocoa butter extracted during the drinking chocolate manufacturing process. He devised a completely new product: "eating chocolates," which he packaged and sold in colorful, heart-shaped boxes he designed himself.

Among the Victorian elite, chocolate was frequently given as a token of affection, and Richard’s romantic boxes — covered in illustrations of cupids and flowers — became a popular way to give the gift of chocolate, plus a lovely keepsake box. For their major part in the commercialization of Valentine’s Day, Cadbury’s company experienced explosive success, and continues to sell heart-shaped boxes today.

Image credit: Cadbury

8) Campbell’s Red and White Soup Can

The Campbell’s tomato soup label that Andy Warhol popularized in his series of famous pop art paintings wasn’t always red and white. In fact, when the condensed soup first launched in 1897, the cans were wrapped in blue and orange.

So what caused the brand to switch their color scheme so dramatically? It turns out it was a football game. In 1898, Herberton L. Williams, the company’s treasurer at the time, attended a college football game between the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell. Williams was so inspired by the red and white uniforms worn by the Cornell team, he proposed Campbell’s change their packaging to match. Today, it’s difficult to imagine Campbell’s cans with any other color scheme. 

Image credit: NBC News



via HubSpot

February 5, 2017 at 09:03PM

What posterity has done for us

What posterity has done for us

Sir Boyle Roche famously said, "Why we should put ourselves out of our way to do anything for posterity, for what has posterity ever done for us?"

Quite a lot, actually.

We were born into a culture that took generations to create. The people who came before us built a civil society, invented a language, created a surplus, enabling us to each grow up without contributing much at all for the first 15 years of our life. Posterity, as created by the folks that came before, solved countless problems so we could work on the problems that lie ahead.

Posterity gave us jazz, the scientific method and medicine. It gave us a stable platform to connect, to invent and to produce.

We are someone else’s posterity. Each of us is here, and is able to do what we do, because others did something for posterity.

In many ways, our contributions to each other and our culture are a tiny repayment of our huge debt to people we’ll never get to meet. People who sacrificed and stood up for posterity. Otherwise known as us.

I’ve never met anyone who honestly felt that they would have been better off living at the beginning of any century other than this one.

And our job is to build the foundations necessary for our great grandchildren to feel the same way about the world they’re born in.

It’s only fair, isn’t it?



via Seth Godin

February 5, 2017 at 07:51PM