Donnet Bruce


Blogalicious Weekend 2011

Social Media, UncategorizedDonnet1 Comment

W/ Helena Andrews @ Blogalicious 2011 in Washington DC

W/ Helena Andrews @ Blogalicious 2011 in Washington DC

My recent Emerging Media and Marketing class has influenced me to become even more familiar with social media trends, blogging, and online marketing. Daily research and projects has led me, to learning about new concepts every single day. I decided to attend as much social media and online marketing events and connect with like-minded individuals. Most recently, I attended and cultivated a load of relationships at the "Be Blogalicious Weekend" in Washington DC. Hundreds of bloggers and social media enthusiasts gathered to share tips on successful tactics, meet with brands/or PR agencies, and personal stories.

Founded in 2009, the Blogalicious Weekend conferences are aimed at celebrating the diversity of women of all ethnicities in social media. Over the course of 3 event-filled days, savvy, influential and talented women bloggers will ignite a sense of unity within the multicultural blogging community as well as educate marketers on the importance of our demographic in today’s marketplace, all while networking, building relationships, and promoting inspiration and success for each other.

Check below for a few more photos:

Hanes Comfort Lounge

Hanes Comfort Lounge

Tasty wines provided by Wine Sisterhood

Tasty wines provided by Wine Sisterhood


Which Beauty Brands Made the 'Genius' List?

Beauty, Social Media, UncategorizedDonnetComment

Emerging media has increased opportunities to assess value and benefits of social media marketing. Research provided by L2 indicated the beauty industry reveals relationships between companies’ commitments to digital/social strategies and shareholder value. In its latest Digital IQ Index, L2 compares the digital and social media initiatives of key companies in the growing beauty products industry — Estée Lauder, Sephora, Limited Brands and others — with their activities a year ago. The findings have relevance for companies in all sectors. The L2 Digital IQ Index measures brand performance across four categories — website, digital marketing, social media and mobile. Top scoring brands are labeled genius, indicating their digital competence is a competitive differentiation. Scoring scales down from genius to gifted, average, challenged and feeble.

Click below to find out what beauty brands made the list.

Levels of ‘Genuis’ Brands:

  • Origins included “surprise-and-delight” in their Facebook sampling campaign
  • CoverGirl is replicating the beauty counter experience on its website
  • Estée Lauder brands M•A•C and Smashbox have interactive social shopping, where users can invite up to five friends via Facebook, Twitter, email or IM to shop together
  • F-commerce is being used by a number of brands, such as Olay
  • L’Oréal is partnering with Demand Media to deliver original, curated content to consumers seeking online beauty advice
  • Clinique and several other brands are installing iPads in their brick-and-mortar stores to enhance shopping with social media, diagnostic tools and educational videos and tips.

Additional Key Findings:

  • Digital IQ is significantly related to year-over-year change in stock price, suggesting that digitally competent organizations are driving shareholder value.
  • Estée Lauder is an emerging digital powerhouse. The eight Estée Lauder brands in the Index registered an average Digital IQ of 122, 18 points higher than any other multi-brand organization.
  • Thirty-five percent of brands have mobile sites; almost triple the number from 2010. Beyond mobile sites, there has been limited additional investment in mobile over the past year.
  • Site sophistication has increased considerably over the last year, with 70 percent of brands having Facebook sharing capabilities and 69 percent incorporating user reviews versus just 10 percent and 41 percent, respectively a year ago. Both tactics register a correlation with site traffic growth.
  • Dior, Smashbox, Origins, Estée Lauder, and Shiseido were the biggest winners year on year, demonstrating the greatest increase in Digital IQ on the heels of significant e-commerce, social media, and mobile launches.
  • Amazon is playing an increasing role in beauty’s online ecosystem. While beauty brands are registering less traffic to and from their brand sites from, the traffic to and from Amazon has increased considerably.

Scott Galloway research evaluation indicated the growing number of correlation between beauty and online marketing. “While beauty pay lip service to ‘going digital’. Magazine advertising spend is up 16 percent year-on-year in the cosmetic industry. Digital channels provide beauty brands an opportunity to establish direct relationships with their consumers, dis-intermediating publishers and retailers.”

Tiffany & Co. tops L2 IQ Digital Ranking


Although Tiffany & Co. is a luxury jewelry brand; they aim to connect with their consumers in inclusive ways. Tiffany & Co recently topped L2’s Digital IQ Ranking for watches and jewelry brands, ahead of Swarovski and Jaeger-LeCoultre. L2 tags Tiffany ‘a class by itself’, with the brand boasting the only m-commerce site in the category and a flare for cross-platform programming, says Mark Terry. Tiffany & Co. lead the list, but other luxury jewelry and watch brands such as Rolex and Patek Phillipe received the lowest scores overall compared to similar fashion and beauty digital IQ indexes. L2 research lead, Daniella Caplan, said, “I was most surprised by the stark difference in digital performance between watch and jewelry brands and other luxury categories such as fashion and beauty.”

Recent Facebook and Twitter interactions has lead to Tiffany & Co. making their way up to the top 10. For example, Tiffany & Co. has come up with a mobile campaign referred as the Engagement Ringfinger app. L2 indicated the mobile program,  “…allows users to identify their ring size and comment on products on a private Facebook wall.”

According to, the brand is also one of only two brands in the Digital IQ Ranking with an Instagram account. And then there’s the What Makes True Love microsite and app, which delivers love stories, curated New York experiences, and film and music suggestions to consumers. Let's see if they will stay ahead of the competitor jewelry brands.

Cointreau Mobile Travel Experience

Food & Beverage, UncategorizedDonnetComment

A leading French trip-sec brand has hit the social media scene to promote a new travel package for travel and cocktail enthusiasts. Cointreau, Morgans Hotel Group, and Dita Von Teese has teamed up will introduce a unique travel experience called “My Cointreau Travel Essentials.”   Cointreau International Ambassador, Dita Von Teese is the face of the experiential campaign and will be touring as well. Not only did Dita contribute to the overall experience, but she also designed the signature portable bar for the Cointreau tour.

"In both my professional and personal life, I travel extensively.  I love to make cocktails that remind me of the places I've visited – a Cosmopolitan in New York, a Margarita in Miami, or a Sidecar in Paris," says Dita. "But I also wanted to be able to enjoy these cocktails wherever I may be, where the ambiance is right.  The bar ensemble provides everything you need to make a cocktail in style, and it is also a glamorous box to keep beautiful hats, or other personal treasures."

This tour allows hotel guests at specific properties, including: Royalton in New York, Mondrian South Beach, and Mondrian Los Angeles, to fully experience the ultimate luxury travel package. The entire package will be complete with sophisticated Cointreau cocktail offerings. For approximately $680, the “My Cointreau Travel Essentials” by Dita Von Teese Package includes:

  • “My Cointreau Travel Essentials” bar by Dita Von Teese
  • “Drinks by Dita” -  two complimentary signature Cointreau cocktails
  • A personal welcome note from Dita Von Teese
  • Stay at the participating Morgans Hotel Group property

In addition to a luxury travel package “My Cointreau Travel Essentials” by Dita Von Teese will also be available through Royalton’s in-room iPad service as well the Mondrian South Beach’s Semi-Automatic haute couture vending machines. The final touch is a signed, limited-edition bottle of Cointreau – the heart of all delicious cocktails.

To experience the mobile tour, book the packages by November 21, 2011. Until then, tour details can be found at www.cointreau.com or

Fooducate Yourself!

Food & Beverage, UncategorizedDonnetComment

I recently purchased an iPhone and have been in awe with the multiple apps that can make your life a little easier. Amongst the thousands of iPhone apps, there is a recent educational tool to answer consumers’ questions about specific food selections, ingredients, or meal options. Fooducate, which has more than 200,000 items in its product database, essentially puts a nutritionist in hand when you’re at the grocery store.

Fooducate lets you use the iPhone’s built-in camera to scan a product’s barcode. The app then displays a grade a rating of- A through F. In addition, the number of calories per serving and how it compares to similar products in its category is displayed for viewers. Products may receive a bad grade due to excessive sugar, sodium, trans fats, additives, preservatives, etc. In this case, healthier suggestions will be provided to app users. Fooducate also provides data about how highly processed a product is and whether it’s a good choice for dieters. Check out the three simple steps below.

Fooducate is free, and available now in the iTunes App Store. The app requires iOS 4.0 or greater to work, and even though it works on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad, you’ll get the most use of the app if you use an iPhone or iPod Touch with a camera (you can type in barcodes manually if you don’t have a camera.)

Boutique Hotels Attract Travelers via Social Media


I am a bit obsessed with the intimate feel of boutique hotels. Ok, well not obsessed, but I mainly appreciate the personal interaction between boutique hotel staff and it’s guests.  Not to mention the diverse designs that often is apparent. During this time, boutique hotels are attempting to remain unique, personal, and luxurious for all types of travelers. Amanda MacArthur, recently discussed how unique hotels can attract new and uneducated travelers. Here are 4 ways boutique hotels can keep their guests re-visiting:

Option 1: Social Media Meet-Ups

Tweetups and other social media events is a great way to start. The Roger Smith Hotel in New York can attribute social media as their claim to fame. A few years ago, they started hosting “Tweetups” and other social get-togethers. Through their Twitter account, they were able to reach out and build relationships with all of social-savvy folks who attended their events. Soon after, this hotel became a popular venue for hosting social media

Armed with an enthusiastic Twitter account, they were able to reach out and build relationships with all of the social-savvy folks who attended their events. Very quickly, The Roger Smith Hotel became the go-to venue for hosting a social media event – thus selling out rooms left and right.

Option 2: Loyal Rewards Programs

Booking reservations for boutique hotels though offers a very clear and simple rewards program For example, guests can stay in a hotel for 10 nights, get one night free. Loyalty rewards programs gives guests a reason to visit or re-visit the boutique hotels. The Standard Hotel offers a great deal of benefits for guests that join their membership club. Most benefits include 10% off food & beverage, 10% discount spa services, parking vouchers and much more.

Option 3: Promote Your Discounts via Social Media

Make sure to promote all discounts from major social media sites such as: Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Google and Foursquare.  Budget travelers are often looking for good deals with their favorite hotels. Offering promotional discounts makes hotel guests feel like they are taking advantage of deals and saving.

Option 4: Find out what people are seeking.

Google provides a great keyword research tool, which allows you to put in the name of of a business and check if anyone is looking for something specifically related to the company. For example, if boutique Hotel Zaza in Dallas, TX used this tool, they’d see that 36 people per month search for “hotel zaza dallas promo code” and 73 people looking for “hotel zaza discount”. That will lead to approximately 109 new leads.

iFuture of Restaurants

UncategorizedDonnet1 Comment

Have you noticed that iPads have taken the place of cash registers or customer management systems in retail stores? Who needs pen and papers, when you have an iPad? Well…De Santos, a high end Italian-American located in Manhattan (in the West Village) fully operates off of iPad 2 tablets. According to, De Santos officially unveiled its new system August 1, thus earning the distinction as the first restaurant in New York completely run on iPads. Servers utilize iPad 2 tablets to take orders and swipe credit cards to finish transactions. Patrons can even use the tablets order from the menu and find out specifics on certain dishes. "The customers love it," says Sebastian Gonella, one of the owners and co-founders of De Santos. "Who doesn't like an iPad? They go nuts."

He also adds, "I can be in L.A. and check—live—exactly how many orders are placed, how many credit cards were used, which ones were mistakes or not," Gonella says. "You really have control over what's happening in the dining room. If [servers] want to give a free drink for a friend, or they made a mistake and don't want to tell the manager so they ring it again, that all costs our business. Now, we can eliminate that."

One of the main reasons for restaurateurs to choose an iPad as the point of sale (POS) system is to save money. Traditional point systems can cost upwards $20,000 however an iPad POS system can costs approximately $1,000. For example, monthly system fees can range from $49 to $129 per month.  In addition to business operations, and patron interactivity, iPads can also lend a hand to marketing efforts., indicates that: restaurants can add consumers name to mailing lists, allow customers to sign onto Facebook and ‘like’ a Fanpage, create a photo album (in real time) and email it to the customers, or connect them with data collection survey sites.

Travel brands turn to social media for added exposure


Many of us are constantly plugged into multiple social networking outlets. Although social media is evolving, I feel like a "late bloomer." There are so many tools and strategies to learn when it comes to online marketing. In addition to social media platforms, additional trends that include: location based-marketing, video platforms, text campaigns, word press-based websites, review sites, plug-ins, and so much more. My first social media encounters allowed me to discover interesting connections between new media and the brands that I adore. My keen professional and personal interests revolves around the hospitality, food, beverage, wellness and lifestyle industries. Today, travel brands are reaching consumers worldwide by utilizing popular social media sites. I'll touch on a few opportunities that have assisted resorts, spas, and other hospitality entities increase their revenue. “Facebook alone accounts for 12.3% of all consumer time on the Internet,” says L2 Think Tank. In 2001, the 10 most-visited sites online accounted for 31% of US page views, in 2006 it was 40% – now it’s 75%, which suggests the medium and long-tail of the web is decreasing in importance, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Travel report. During the first-quarter 2011 measurement period, travel brand Facebook communities grew an average of 20%. Facebook allows companies to target specific groups of customers. One of the most popular social media websites is Facebook, with about 500 million active members—145 million are in the Unites States. In order to reach a large number of people, hotels create Facebook pages that contain:

• Photos

• Updates

• Activities

• Services

• Employee engagement

Here is an example of how the Nu Hotel in Brooklyn updates their recent and prospective guests.

Blogger conferences and retreats have become another popular trend in the hospitality industry. These influential retreats initiates a dialogue between bloggers and online visitors that may have known about a particular resort. For example, in January, the Snow Mamas blog featured five to six mommy bloggers who wrote about their ski trips. Each mommy blogger provided tips on dining, budget, lodging, and ski gear for the whole family. Check out the video here Mommy Blogger Retreat.

The voice of travelers are more important than ever. As social media shapes businesses, I look forward to innovative changes that continue to involve consumers. Today, many travel brands are being controlled by a consumers, their lifestyle, engagement, and social media. It's inevitable. I wouldn't suggest that resorts should only rely on social media, but online engagement should be a major component in the overall marketing strategy.

In good company at Peels...

Food & Beverage, UncategorizedDonnetComment

Hey World! I just had to take advantage of this beautiful weather and meet a dear friend at Peels for brunch in the East Village. Peels offers a wide variety of traditional southern inspired dishes. The décor also offers patrons a very relaxed and casual atmosphere. This two-floor restaurant comes with long family style wooden tables, 2 full bars, and leather booths around the perimeter.

As we waited for our table, my eyes became fixated on the French toasts, classic buttermilk biscuits, eggs, salads, and countless amounts of pastries that surrounded me. After perusing the tempting meals on the menu, I decided on the Build-a-Biscuit selection. My buttermilk biscuit, creamed collard greens, and chicken combination were a modest, delicious and filling dish. I never turn down the chance to catch up with friends over a tasty southern meal. I enjoyed every minute.

I am already thinking about my next visit to Peels. What should I try next?

Pop in if you’re in the area and let me know what you think!

Peels Restaurant,

325 Bowery (East Second Street)

(646) 602-7015

Flying in True Social Media Style


Virgin America and social marketing outfit Context Optional have rolled out Terminal 2 Takeover, a leaderboard to display location check-ins via Facebook and Foursquare at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal Two.

The leaderboard dynamically aggregates and displays mobile phone location check-ins by Facebook and Foursquare users at the airport. The brand’s @VirginAmerica Twitter activity is also streamed to the right-hand side of the leaderboard.

The airline already has an existing alliance with loyalty programme TopGuest and members can get bonuses when checking into airports and hotels using Foursquare, Facebook, Gowalla and Twitter.

Virgin America says it is aiming to reward passengers checking in via social networks, with its San Francisco efforts aimed at its tech-savvy customer base in nearby Silicon Valley.