Tag Archives: Social Media

#OrangeScarf: ING Direct becomes Tangerine

In November 2013, I was asked by ING Direct to join them as they revealed to their employees, their customers and the public the new name for their bank starting in 2014.  Not many people know that ING Direct was purchased in 2012 by Scotiabank and as part of that purchase, they are required to change their name within 18 months.

ING Direct Ambassadors with CEO, Peter Aceto

ING Direct Ambassadors with CEO, Peter Aceto

The first stop for this event was an opportunity to network with fellow ING Ambassadors from across Canada during a tour and dinner at the bank’s new offices on Steeles Avenue in Toronto.  We were also treated to dinner with members of the ING team at the employee restaurant that was prepared for us by their in-house Chef.

Over breakfast the next morning at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Andrew Zimakas, Chief Marketing Officer at ING Direct, shared the process that had been used to source potential new names.  He talked about breaking down the process and the methods his team used to ensure that the name they selected would reflect the bank, the brand and the “Forward Banking” principles that customers had come to love.  This process also involved the help of outside resources and customers to make sure that they were staying true to these guide posts throughout the process.

One thing that was emphasized by both Andrew and ING Direct CEO, Peter Aceto was that Scotiabank wanted to ensure that the ING Direct identity stayed the same.  This meant the new name had to stand alone and represent the core attributes that ING Direct had come to reflect.  Changing a name for a business is never easy, especially when you have a very loyal customer base.  The mantra of the day was that the name of the bank is changing; Everything else is getting better.

After a group “Cooking on a Budget” session, our final stop of the day was back at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, where we joined the ING Direct employees for the official announcement of the new name for their bank.  This event was fun, lighthearted and suited the bank perfectly.  There was even a surprise visit from their former spokesperson (who many thought was their CEO for years) who led all of us in repeating that famous line, “Call 1-800-ING-Direct and Save.Your.Money”.  That was a nice touch and a highlight, for sure!

The new image is revealed

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore

Walk Off the Earth on-stage

Walk Off the Earth on-stage

Once Tangerine was announced to everyone, the event turned into a big party!  First we were entertained by Walk Off the Earth, who had partnered with ING in May 2013 to help them promote their Canadian Super Star Saver Search.  Following their performance, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were welcomed to the stage!  Let’s just say that this took the party to a new level, that continued into the early part of the evening.

I was expecting a “bigger swing” at the name and branding for the bank with the name change.  That said, the range of “colour” options that they had available (most main colours are already taken by competitors) was limited.  At the end of the day, when I sat back and thought about what ING Direct, soon to be Tangerine meant to me as a customer, I decided that the name of the bank really doesn’t matter.  It’s the people, the processes, the products and services that they offer that matter.

During my time with the ING team at their offices and at the official launch of Tangerine, it was very evident that the people who work there are passionate about their company and their brand.  No matter what name is on the door, that won’t change if they won’t let it.  I didn’t get the impression they will.  Not on Peter’s watch.  I am looking forward to what 2014 is going to bring for ING Direct/Tangerine and some of the new products and services that they are hoping to introduce to us, including a credit card which ties to their principle of saving money.

Employee Orange Rally

Employee Orange Rally

The party is ON!

The party is ON!

CEO, Peter Aceto prepares to announce the name change

CEO, Peter Aceto prepares to announce the name change

As always, if you are interested in Saving. Your. Money, feel free to make use of my Orange Key and we both will get a kickstart to our savings!

Twitter: One Year Later….What a Difference!!

March 25, 2010 – Why do I remember this date? It was the day of my FIRST tweetup, #TwestivalTO (@TwestivalTO). What has happened in the past year? What has Twitter done for me? I wish I could put that into words. What I hope to do in this post is give you a glimpse of how things have changed. To give you a frame of reference, here is a graph of my Twitter activity in March 2010, prior to attending #TwestivalTO:

Source: http://www.tweetstats.com

Something happened on March 25, 2010

When I walked into Tryst nightclub that night, I didn’t even know what the word #tweetup meant! I had no idea what to expect when I arrived knowing one person – Joallore (@clickflickca). Now if you know only one person, he is a good person to know. He has been participating in Social Media related events for a long time and knows a lot of people. He is gracious with introductions and disarming when meeting new people. These are all skills that I have improved on in his company during the last year.

I just attended my 2nd #TwestivalTO on March 24, 2011. At this point, I have sent almost 15,000 tweets and I have just over 1,200 followers. I had less than 100 of both on March 25, 2010! Have a look at these graphs! One shows my tweets by month since I joined Twitter and the other shows my activity in March 2011 as a comparison to the graph above.

A picture of a year “on” Twitter

What a difference a year makes!

Do I know what I am “doing” now? I would say, I have a better idea, but like Twitter itself,  the role that it plays each day in my life changes. Do I tweet more now, “Yes”. I like the interaction and conversation that I have with people on Twitter.  I miss the conversation when I am “offline”. It adds to the interactions that I have during the day, so just like talking over coffee with a co-worker, Twitter is something that I can do while I watch TV, have a coffee, watch a ballgame or listen to some tunes.

During the past year, people who are not on Twitter have asked me what I tweet about. I usually say, “Whatever comes to mind”. I get to talk about whatever is on my mind on Twitter and usually I can find a like-minded audience to share in the conversation.  The topic could be coffee, beer, BBQ, grilling, food, recipes, baseball, hockey, vacations, movies, music. The topics are endless and the support network is vast.

What I love about Twitter is that if you need information on a faraway place, you send it out and sure enough someone will tweet back with a resource for a restaurant or an all-night photocopy place! If you are having a bad day you send out a tweet for “+” vibes and your feed lights up with messages of support and good thoughts. You wake up on your birthday and your feed is alive with endless birthday wishes that stream in from Twitter friends around the globe! You put an idea for dinner or a get-together out there and suddenly you have 10+ people signed up to try a restaurant. The connections are personal and they have far-reaching potential.

I am now glad to include amongst my friends fellow foodies, movie fanatics, social creatures and sports fans. We have come together over the past year via various events and introductions and now see each other on a regular basis. These are all positive changes. These people are smart, funny and educated in a number of ways. Most of them are skilled professionals that share an interest in something that I like doing. There are also a number of people who I interact with regularly that I have yet to meet. I hope that 2011 gives me the opportunity to visit some of these people and meet with them, “In Real Life” (#IRL). It is always fun to finally put a face to a personality that you have talked with on Twitter.

How do I see Twitter? I see it as something that is fun and exactly what you make of it. It can be a social tool, a business tool, a marketing tool or all of those things. You can connect with every type of person on a number of levels via the “conversation” that is happening. I try to be myself on Twitter and I try to stay true to some guiding principles for myself (eg: minimal swearing). Do I tweet often, yes, but I also like to talk a lot. I am an extrovert and a social creature by nature. I always have been. Twitter lets me get out and talking to people even if I am on a coffee break, in a shopping mall or sitting in a foreign city.

I have shared in the joy of a tweep celebrating the birth of a new child.  I have seen the pictures of people’s vacations and have seen twitpics of meals that I must go and try! Some of the food that people find is absolutely amazing!  No matter how silly it seems I also love it when people share twitpics of sunsets and sunrises!  The world is full of fantastic photographers and seeing a gorgeous sunset is just a nice addition to any day, in my books.  I have shared my memories and photos from various roadtrips and vacations, as they happened. Why not, one of the first questions people you haven’t seen for a while ask is, “What’s new?”. The saying is that, “A picture is worth 1,000 words”, isn’t it?

Twitter has given me the opportunity to go to San Francisco (#VXToronto, @virginamerica), try multiple restaurants in and around Toronto, meet new people in Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener and points in between (@TWestofTO, #RandomTO, #JaysTO). I have shared thoughts on movies and the #Oscars, the #Grammys, bonded over the Olympics (#Van2010reunion, #Vancouver2010) and even organized an event to celebrate the survival of a #BlackBerry taking a “swim”!! (#BeerDunk2010). I also organized an event in October 2010 (#FeedYourDragon), with my friends at Mickey’s Pizza (@FeedYourDragon), that helped raise over $200 for the World Food Program(@WFP) and taught us all how to make some of the best pizza we have ever eaten!!

There are loads of people who have guided me on the path in the past year, but the one that organized the majority of the events that I went to was @clickflickca (Jo). We are old friends, but after the last year I think that we are now good friends. Without his energy and enthusiasm for connecting people the graphs that I have included in this post would not look the way that they do.  My thanks to you, my friend, for the guidance you provided even if you didn’t realize it.

I look forward to what the next 12 months on Twitter will bring.  I am hoping that I can find a way to make Social Media part of my career and daily life.  I enjoy it that much.  How that is going to come together, I am not sure but I am working on it (if you would like to help me in this endeavour, get in touch with me via email or twitter, please).   I am sure that the #tweetups will continue as the number of things to do in Toronto and Southern Ontario is endless!! Where we go next, who knows!! I am sure it will be a blast and I look forward to it (and tweeting about it)!!

Note: Please visit – Tweetstats if you like the graphs that are included here. They run an awesome website!

I find this stuff interesting and if you do, here is a TweetCloud of my first year on Twitter (via Tweetstats):

How things have changed…

It’s the end of the first week of 2011!! The routine has been reset and life has carried on!! Do you find that things have stayed the same or have you changed things up for the new year??

I have made a little progress on some of my goals for the year. I have seen 2 movies since the start of the year; The Tourist and The Fighter. Both were good movies and I don’t disagree with the buzz that Christian Bale will get some attention at Oscar time. He plays the role of a drug addicted boxer in The Fighter and he does an outstanding job.

As far as my other goals, I have managed to make some progress on reading my book that I have had on the go. Other than that I haven’t been able to implement much in 7 days or less!!

When talking about changes I find it interesting how my cell phone usage has changed over the years. When I first had a cell phone, all I ever used it for was voice calls. Texting, BBM and data applications would not have been possible on the green lit screen in those days!! Times changed and I progressed to texts and the occasional picture message on my phone.

Once I entered the world of Blackberry, the way I used my phone changed completely. Now I am more concerned with my phone being able to run apps, access the web and connect to social media content. I rarely use my phone to actually call someone now. That may be different if I was using my phone for business, but in the personal/social setting that I use my phone, I am more likely to BBM/Text/Email someone then call them.

What about you? How do you use your phone? Has that changed recently? If you just got a SmartPhone for Christmas do you think that the way you use your phone will change in 2011? Take a second and join the poll below.

I look forward to your comments and the results from these polls!!

Travel, Twitter and the Internet

I spent today doing nothing that I planned to do!

Instead I spent the day looking at things to do, places to visit and planning my upcoming trip to San Francisco.  I was lucky enough to be included in the promotion that @virginamerica is running through @klout and I am getting to live out one of the things I have wanted to do for a few years; See a San Francisco Giants home game! I booked my tickets today to at least one of the 3-4 games I hope to take in while I am there!

In doing this, I discovered that if you put a baseball team in a tech savy city, the way they use technology changes. I sent tweets to @SFGiants and received timely responses. I learned about cool promos that they have held supporting social media (bit.ly/dnnTkG) and eco-friendly options that they have for fans like mobile tickets (bit.ly/9yPUUG)!

I am looking forward to being part of the crowd at the Giants games I am going to and visiting San Francisco again! There is a lot to see and do, which I will talk about as the trip grows closer! I will definitely be writing about it during and after my trip!

Stay tuned!