Detroit-based AaDya Security to Assist Detroit Small Businesses with Free Access to their new Cybersecurity Platform

AaDya will provide Detroit businesses with 10 or fewer employees six months of free access to Marzo4, an all-in-one cybersecurity platform featuring Judy, an innovative AI-driven virtual assistant to protect small businesses from increasing threats.

July 13, 2020, Detroit, Michigan – AaDya Security, a Detroit-based startup founded by security executive Raffaele Mautone in March of 2019, is offering their new cybersecurity platform, Marzo4, to support Detroit small businesses. The offer includes FREE access to the platform for each employee for 6 months with the remaining 6 months at the special rate of $20 per user, per month.

“I launched AaDya Security in Detroit because I believe in this city, and its future as a player in the tech space. I am passionate about helping other startups and small businesses in the city and have built that into AaDya’s core values,” explained Mautone. “As a small business serving small business customers, we know first-hand the challenges they are currently facing, including the significant increase in cyber threats. The last thing business owners should have to worry about is a breach, so we felt the best way to help was to offer our support through access to our platform and our cybersecurity expertise.”

Mautone’s vast experience with companies offering mostly enterprise-level cybersecurity solutions led him to the conclusion that there was a real need for a comprehensive solution built specifically to meet the needs and budgets of small and medium businesses.

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the Marzo4 platform is Judy. Powered by artificial intelligence, Judy functions as a virtual cybersecurity assistant, available to every employee, across all devices, around the clock. Backed by AaDya’s customer success team, and an extensive built-in knowledge base, small businesses have access to cybersecurity support that was previously out of their reach.

“There are many cybersecurity solutions out there that are effective, but they are really geared toward the enterprise,” said Mautone. “What we’ve built with Marzo4 has everything a small business needs in one package, that’s easy to manage and implement. The reality for most small businesses is their internal IT, and especially cybersecurity resources, are limited or non-existent, so managing multiple solutions that frankly offer more than they need is neither efficient nor cost-effective.”

In addition to Judy, Marzo4 includes four essential “pillars” of protection that cover the most common threats facing small businesses.

The four pillars of protection include:

Anti phishing
Endpoint protection
Password management
Single sign on

“In addition to increasing their protection against phishing attacks, malware, ransomware and password hacking, we also designed Marzo4 to make their lives easier,” explained Mautone. “Nobody wants to remember dozens of passwords, so they default to unsafe practices to create and store them. Our solutions remove that barrier to productivity and security with our easy and secure password manager and single sign on access to the applications they use every day.”

To request a product demo and to learn more about Marzo4 and AaDya’s special offer for Detroit small businesses, customers can visit https://get.aadyasecurity.com/marzo4-detroit, email inquiries@aadyasecurity.org, or call (800) 918-9113 and reference promo code MARZO4-DET.

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About AaDya Security
Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, AaDya Security provides smart, simple, effective cybersecurity software solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Marzo4, our all-in-one cybersecurity platform, powered by Judy, an interactive AI virtual assistant, is simple, affordable and provides 24/7 cybersecurity protection and intuitive customer support for companies who lack the time, expertise and capital to successfully implement these solutions on their own.

AaDya was founded by cybersecurity executive Raffaele Mautone in March 2019 with a mission to create comprehensive cybersecurity solutions that are accessible to the small and medium business customer. For more information please visit our website, AaDyasecurity.com

Small Businesses Association Funding Information

The Latest: SBA Disaster Recovery Loans Available Soon for COVID-19

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 (H.R. 6074) expanded the Small Business Act’s definition of a disaster to include Coronavirus (COVID-19).  As a result, the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) will be able to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) under a Governor’s Certification Disaster Declaration.

Yesterday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer formally requested the SBA to issue an Economic Injury Disaster declaration for the state. Once approved by the SBA, $1 billion in low-interest loans will become available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. An SBA Economic Injury Disaster declaration will make disaster loans of up to $2 million available to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. We expect the declaration to be approved within the next 24 hours.

Key Economic Injury Disaster Loan Details to Know: 

  • Unlike regular SBA loans, these are direct SBA loans to businesses.  (Regular SBA loans are private bank loans (re: via Wells Fargo), but are then guaranteed by SBA.)  Direct SBA loans can be processed much faster.
  • Loans can be used for general operations…so useful to maintain operations during a downturn such as now.
  • Max loan amount:  $2 million with an interest rate of  3.75% with a max loan length of30 yrs.
  • No payment(s) required for the first year of the loan (but interest charges will start accruing)

The SBA now has authority for a nationwide disaster – something that has never before been granted for a virus or illness. States must opt-in this disaster declaration in order for their businesses to be eligible for the loan program. Information on this is in Lansing and the Chamber, Small Business Association of Michigan, and other partner organizations are advocating for this on behalf of our members.

In the interim, small businesses that could benefit from SBA loans are encouraged to start collecting the information they’ll need to complete and submit their application. Examples of information needed can be found here. It is also helpful for small businesses to contact the Michigan SBA Office to speak to the hardship they’re facing as SBA can then use this to expedite the data gathering process. For additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application in advance of the declaration, please contact the Michigan SBA offices in Detroit or Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website or call 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website for additional information.

 

Small Business Taxes

Today, the Michigan Department of Treasury announced that small businesses that have experienced disrupted operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic now have additional time to make their sales, use and withholding tax monthly payment.

Effective immediately, small businesses scheduled to make their monthly sales, use and withholding tax payments on March 20 can postpone filing and payment requirements until April 20. The state Treasury Department will waive all penalties and interest for 30 days.

Specific information about Treasury providing tax assistance to small businesses due to COVID-19 can be found in SUW Penalty and Interest Waiver Notice.

Treasury: Small Business Taxpayers Provided Tax Assistance

Small businesses that have experienced disrupted operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic now have additional time to make their sales, use and withholding tax monthly payment, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Effective immediately, small businesses scheduled to make their monthly sales, use and withholding tax payments on March 20 can postpone filing and payment requirements until April 20. The state Treasury Department will waive all penalties and interest for 30 days. Read more. 

TechTown launches emergency fund for Detroit small businesses

TechTown is launching the Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund to support the needs of small businesses impacted by COVID-19. In an effort to accelerate access to capital for Detroit’s most vulnerable businesses, TechTown — in partnership with the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), and Invest Detroit — will administer working capital grants in amounts of up to $5,000 to qualifying small businesses.
TechTown is raising $250,000 for the fund to ensure that eligible applicants are supported as they navigate challenging times. The fund is part of a layered strategy that includes a continuum of support for businesses. It is modeled after a similar initiative recently launched in Seattle. Application instructions will be made available later this week at techtowndetroit.org. Donations to the fund can be made here.

The Detroit Regional Chamber has started compiling information for a COVID-19 business resource center, explore the latest updates and resources available, including small business resources.

For any questions, please contact Devon O’Reilly at doreilly@detroitchamber.com.

 

Small Businesses Association Funding Information

The Latest: SBA Disaster Recovery Loans Available Soon for COVID-19

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 (H.R. 6074) expanded the Small Business Act’s definition of a disaster to include Coronavirus (COVID-19).  As a result, the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) will be able to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) under a Governor’s Certification Disaster Declaration.

Yesterday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer formally requested the SBA to issue an Economic Injury Disaster declaration for the state. Once approved by the SBA, $1 billion in low-interest loans will become available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. An SBA Economic Injury Disaster declaration will make disaster loans of up to $2 million available to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.


Governor Whitmer announces SBA loans now available for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Fact Sheet – Michigan

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources


The SBA now has authority for a nationwide disaster – something that has never before been granted for a virus or illness. States must opt-in this disaster declaration in order for their businesses to be eligible for the loan program. Information on this is in Lansing and the Chamber, Small Business Association of Michigan, and other partner organizations are advocating for this on behalf of our members.

In the interim, small businesses that could benefit from SBA loans are encouraged to start collecting the information they’ll need to complete and submit their application. Examples of information needed can be found here. It is also helpful for small businesses to contact the Michigan SBA Office to speak to the hardship they’re facing as SBA can then use this to expedite the data gathering process. For additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application in advance of the declaration, please contact the Michigan SBA offices in Detroit or Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website or call 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website for additional information.

 

Small Business Taxes

Today, the Michigan Department of Treasury announced that small businesses that have experienced disrupted operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic now have additional time to make their sales, use and withholding tax monthly payment.

Effective immediately, small businesses scheduled to make their monthly sales, use and withholding tax payments on March 20 can postpone filing and payment requirements until April 20. The state Treasury Department will waive all penalties and interest for 30 days.

Specific information about Treasury providing tax assistance to small businesses due to COVID-19 can be found in SUW Penalty and Interest Waiver Notice.

Treasury: Small Business Taxpayers Provided Tax Assistance

Small businesses that have experienced disrupted operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic now have additional time to make their sales, use and withholding tax monthly payment, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Effective immediately, small businesses scheduled to make their monthly sales, use and withholding tax payments on March 20 can postpone filing and payment requirements until April 20. The state Treasury Department will waive all penalties and interest for 30 days. Read more. 

TechTown launches emergency fund for Detroit small businesses

TechTown is launching the Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund to support the needs of small businesses impacted by COVID-19. In an effort to accelerate access to capital for Detroit’s most vulnerable businesses, TechTown — in partnership with the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), and Invest Detroit — will administer working capital grants in amounts of up to $5,000 to qualifying small businesses.

TechTown is raising $250,000 for the fund to ensure that eligible applicants are supported as they navigate challenging times. The fund is part of a layered strategy that includes a continuum of support for businesses. It is modeled after a similar initiative recently launched in Seattle. Application instructions will be made available later this week at techtowndetroit.org. Donations to the fund can be made here.

The Detroit Regional Chamber has started compiling information for a COVID-19 business resource center, explore the latest updates and resources available, including small business resources.

For any questions, please contact Devon O’Reilly at doreilly@detroitchamber.com.

 

Opinion: Metro Detroit a Hotbed for Small Businesses

November 17, 2019

The Detroit News

Mark S. Lee

According to the 2012 U.S. Census data, the City of Detroit is home to more than 62,000 small businesses. Regionwide, it seems there’s a new business opening every time you turn around, and this trend is gaining momentum.

As I’ve considered the entrepreneurial and business ecosystem here, a couple of questions emerge:

Is Metro Detroit a good place to relocate a business? If so, what’s the “state of this region” when it comes to attracting newcomers looking to grow their businesses?

“It was not that long ago,” says Glenn Stevens, executive director, MICHauto, Detroit Regional Chamber, “that Detroit and Michigan had a global perception (and, in many cases, a reality) that we were a city, region and state that was the “rust belt” and would never revive.”

But over time, the perception continues to evolve and change.

“Today’s reality could not be farther from that perception,” Stevens continues. “While we have our challenges, there is a collective focus that is synergized to address what we need to do to continue to make this a place where companies and people with ideas from around the world can come to find opportunity, live, work and play.”

Stevens also points out “the business climate, cost of living, quality of life, access to talent and the unique and special combination of culture and spirit of our people make the region and state more than a potential destination for startups and businesses to locate here.”

Read the full article here 

Parkshore Capital LLC – Competitive Financial Solutions for Business Development

Small businesses are the backbone of the local, regional and national economy.  No place is this more evident than in Michigan.

Yet many small businesses are essentially “financial orphans” who don’t fit the lending standards of local banks or investment criteria of private equity or venture capital firms.

Parkshore Capital helps small businesses seeking capital to operate or expand.  Founded by Jamal Mosallam, Parkshore Capital works with its clients to tailor financing solutions that fit specific goals and needs.

Parkshore Capital can customize financing options fit for small, medium, and large sized businesses with a broad portfolio of financial products to provide strong working capital solutions, with attractive terms and rates.

Parkshore Capital offers access to a variety of lending products including:

  • Working Capital Solutions
  • Accounts Receivable Financing
  • Purchase Order Financing
  • Factoring
  • Unsecured Lines of Credit
  • Heavy Equipment Leasing & Financing
  • Asset Based Lending
  • Medical Financing
  • Bridge and Hard Money Loans
  • SBA Financing
  • Business Acquisition Financing
  • Hotel Financing
  • Franchise Financing
  • Commercial Real Estate Loans
  • Private Equity

For further information, please visit parkshorecapital.com, email:  info@parkshorecapital.com, or call: (248) 562-6424 or (313) 573-8728.

‘The Secrets of Starting a Successful Business’ will be the focus of Butzel Long’s free webinar on January 23

DETROIT, Mich. – More than 90 percent of startup businesses fail. While a variety of factors go into this failure rate, it usually involves a combination of factors including lack of a proper business plan and start-up checklist; the failure to properly utilize and comply with legal requirements; a bad core product/idea and, the wrong “team” involved. With that, how can entrepreneurs and business owners increase their chances for success and get into that elite 10 percent?

Butzel Long is hosting a free webinar titled, “The Secrets to Starting a Successful Business: How to Increase Your Chances of Start-up Success from Idea to Launch (and Beyond)” from 12-1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. To register, please visit www.butzel.com/event.
The webinar, will be presented by both a successful entrepreneur and a nationally recognized business attorney who will provide the SECRETS to starting and operating a successful business, including a 20-step start-up checklist from the initial idea through the actual launch of the business (and beyond). Webinar participants will learn key business tips from successful entrepreneurs themselves, but also the best ways to navigate the frustrating legal and administrative requirements of starting a business.

Webinar presenters include:

• Bernie Fuhs, a nationally recognized Butzel Long business attorney. He has litigated and counseled clients in nearly all 50 states on a variety of business disputes, including non-compete/trade secrets, franchise disputes, and shareholder disputes. He also regularly advises start-ups and closely-held businesses, as well as sports and fitness industry members. Fuhs also is a successful entrepreneur in his own right, having founded FuhsFit, LLC (an online fitness and nutrition company), served as President/Co-Owner of Fastdater, Inc. of Michigan and works as a Color Analyst for College and High School Basketball.

• Trey Zackery, President and Owner Corporate Elevator Asset Management, which helps building managers and owners manage their elevators from design to finished product, and service thereafter. He also is the founder of “Mogul Secrets,” a podcast for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. http://mogulsecrets.com/.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing and Shanghai. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter:https://twitter.com/butzel_long

LIFT and The Center Launch “LIFT Off” Webinar Series to Highlight Small Company Innovations

Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) today announced the launch of a new webinar series, “LIFT Off.” Held on the third Thursday of each month at noon EST, “LIFT Off” will highlight a small to medium-sized manufacturer and the newest technologies being developed to advanced lightweighting or manufacturing processes.
“LIFT Off” webinars are designed to showcase valuable innovations that can positively impact lightweight manufacturing, design and implementation in the region and beyond.

The speakers and topics scheduled to-date are:
• August 17: Multi-Material Riveting – Dan Radomski, Optimal Inc.
• September 21: Breakthroughs in Low-Cost ADHSS Heat Treating – Gary Cola, Flash Bainite
• October 19: Lightweight Metals Enabling Software – Ravi Kunju, Altair

“These are people who have a great idea and have taken the risk to begin their own business because they believe so passionately in what they are doing and the difference it will make,” said Larry Brown, executive director, LIFT.

Future webinars will cover topics such as Multi-Material Friction Stir Welding, Cryogenic Machining, Morphing Software, Smart Virtual Prototyping, and Lightweight Metallurgy.

“Our goal is to give these innovators a platform to share their work with the rest of the industry and showcase some of the breakthroughs taking place at small companies,” said Gregg Peterson, The Center’s Principle Materials Engineer who works on-site at LIFT’s Detroit headquarters as part of a pilot program to propel the use of lightweight materials in manufacturing.

Manufacturing industry members, small company innovators and all others interested in lightweighting technology and innovation are welcome to join the webinars.

For more information on the webinars and LIFT’s technology work, please visit www.lift.technology/liftoff.


ABOUT LIFT
LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes in the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. Visit www.lift.technology to learn more.

ABOUT THE CENTER
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is an organization dedicated to supporting Michigan manufacturers to work smarter, to compete and to prosper. The Center offers personalized consulting services to meet the needs of clients in virtually every aspect of their businesses. The Center is affiliated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and is part of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP Program). The Center also is closely affiliated with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) with the shared goal of making Michigan businesses vibrant, driving GDP growth and creating new and lasting jobs. For more information, visit the-center.org.

Contact:
Joe Steele
313-309-9132
jsteele@lift.technology

Venerable Detroit Law Firm Berry Moorman PC Turns 90

Like many of its clients, Berry Moorman is an iconic Detroit brand. During its 90-year history, the law firm has served the automotive industry, diverse businesses, charitable and philanthropic organizations, and notable citizens and families that together comprise our city’s rich tapestry of commerce and culture.

As Detroit rose to prominence during the first half of the Twentieth Century, the firm’s founders contributed to that growth:

  • 1926: As streetcars carried Detroiters up and down busy streets, Raymond Berry and other enterprising attorneys formed a new law firm in the city’s Penobscot Building. The Detroit Red Wings, then known as the Detroit Cougars, are officially added to the NHL. Harry Houdini gives his final performance at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit. Babe Ruth launched his longest career home run at Detroit’s Navin Field.
  • 1928: When the Bureau of Internal Revenue, later renamed the Internal Revenue Service, suspected Ford Motor Co. withheld profits from shareholders, Raymond Berry formed an association with former U.S. Tax Court Justice James S. Y. Ivins and past Yale President Kingman Brewster to argue on behalf of minority shareholders, including the John F. Dodge Estate Trust, before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ultimately, the young tax attorney from Detroit scored a significant victory for his clients, returning home triumphant and built his law office into a Detroit institution. At various times, Mr. Berry represented Henry Ford, Edsel Ford, and the Ford Motor Company, and served as Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and President of the Detroit Board of Commerce.
  • 1949: Business litigation and tax attorney A. H. Moorman joined the practice, which later became Berry Moorman. The firm recruited additional attorneys to expand its services to include employment and labor law, estate and trust work, and civil and commercial litigation.

When the future of Detroit Institute of Arts’ world-class collection was called into question during the city’s recent bankruptcy, some prized art objects were protected. Robert Hudson Tannahill (1893-1969) was a renowned art collector and Detroit patron of the arts. In his will, he donated over 400 works of art to the DIA with the stipulation that the works not be sold. A predecessor firm that became a part of Berry Moorman prepared a no-sale agreement confirming the will provision and obtained Detroit City Council approval. The firm represents the Robert Hudson Tannahill Foundation, a charitable foundation now affiliated with the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which benefits eight named area charities.

Berry Moorman’s current and former clients include some of our region’s most recognized and important names:

  • Vernors – maker of Detroit’s signature ginger ale, created in 1866 and now the oldest ginger ale sold in the United States.
  • The Detroit Athletic Club – a Detroit institution and landmark housed in a building designed by the renowned architect Albert Kahn, now in its 129th year.
  • Kelsey-Hayes – established in 1927, a major supplier of wheels, brakes, and other components to the worldwide automobile industry.
  • Pewabic Pottery – nationally acclaimed ceramic studio founded in 1903 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1991.
  • Cadillac Coffee Co. – purveyor of premium coffee, tea, and related merchandise to cultured Michigan clientele since 1888.
  • A. Raymond – 150-year old international expert in fastening and assembly solutions, clipping systems, fluid connection and bonding applications.
  • Belle Tire – this tire retailer, established in 1922, now provides a variety of automotive repair services at more than 90 locations throughout the Midwest.
  • R. Hirt Jr., Co. – a distributor of cheese and specialty foods throughout Michigan, this fourth-generation family business dates back to 1887.
  • Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. – a financial and professional services firm founded in London in 1783 that specializes in commercial real estate services and investment management with more than 62,000 employees around the globe.
  • NSK – 100-year old global manufacturer of ball bearings and linear motion and control products.

Reflecting on the firm’s milestone anniversary, President Randy Wright noted, “We are all proud of the long-standing tradition and success of Berry Moorman in representing stalwart Detroit businesses and families.” In addition to its Detroit presence, the firm’s reach extends across Michigan and around the world; since 1990, Berry Moorman has been supporting diplomatic relationships with Russia and, in 1994, it became the first Russian-American joint venture law firm in St. Petersburg. The firm also represents ZYNP International Corp. and Incodel Michigan LLC – key partners in a China-based supply line to the global automotive and truck industry.

Generation Z and Snapchat: The Future of Advertising

By Nick Mattar
Director of Marketing
Detroit Regional Chamber

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

Every generation is scrutinized more than the last, reviewed tirelessly and considered to be lazier than all others. Millennials are currently the targets of studies, articles and blog posts that aim to point out some flaw in the way they live. However, the generation following millennials is beginning to finally pick up some traction in the internet world – Generation Z.

Generation Z is commonly referred to as the crop of people born after millennials, beginning in approximately 1997 and ending sometime after 2010. Different scholars use different years as the generation’s advent, but the common ground appears to be the late 1990s. These people have lived their entire lives with the internet, coming of age as Facebook and Google ruled. Their number one source of communication has been texting and their number one method of purchasing (or pirating) music has been online.

While millennials were awkwardly learning social media and determining how “social” to allow their personal information to be, the younger Generation Z watched in amazement as the early 2000s teenagers moved from AOL Instant Messenger to MySpace to Facebook. Each site offered the ability to show more user information and provided less privacy. Enter Snapchat. In late 2012, Snapchat gained notoriety as the first app that allowed users to send photos or videos to individuals without saving them first. The files would be instantly deleted unless the recipient had the wits to screenshot the photo. Essentially, Snapchat re-introduced privacy to the world of social media. Millennials, Generation X and baby boomers all thought the same thing when Snapchat hit the market: explicit photos. The question everybody over the age of 18 thought was, “why wouldn’t you want something available to the masses that could potentially go viral?”

After all, the chance to go viral and gain internet fame was all the rage in 2012, with YouTube and Google acting as catalysts for sharing millions of videos. New internet stars were made daily, culminating with Psy, a Korean singer whose hit “Gangnam Style” topped the charts after becoming the first YouTube video to amass one billion views. Internet success like this began spilling into mainstream business, as well, as social media marketing positions opened with the hope that whoever was hired would help make the company “go viral” and thus gain more awareness and subsequent revenue.

But Snapchat changed that notion. People began thinking about what they could do with photos and videos that did not save to their mobile devices.. First adopted by teens and younger millennials, Snapchat began processing 700 photos per second one year after launch. As the app became more popular, features were added with new, goofy options to change your photos or videos. To explore the most recent iteration of Snapchat technology further, consider the options users have when taking photos or videos:

  1. Users take photos/videos and add a “filter,” often changing the background color or adding a pre-loaded, geo-targeted graphic, sometimes sponsored by major brands
  2. Users take photos/videos and use “lenses” to morph their faces from a pre-loaded set of options, sometimes sponsored by major brands
  3. Users send the final, stylized photos/videos to friends

With all of these new options, the desire to act more random and strange is elevated due to the heightened sense of privacy.


MORE: Learn about Snapchat and other upcoming social media innovations at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.


Snapchat is expected to surpass both Pinterest and Twitter in terms of total unique users in the United States. Despite trailing Facebook in terms of total users, Snapchat boasts more unique teenagers using the app plus exponential growth in the under-12 age group. While millennials and Gen Xers are now adopting at a more rapid pace, it is clear that usage among teenagers is the highest, with anywhere from four to six billion videos being viewed daily.

With Snapchat so popular among Generation Z, what does that say about this younger generation?

It is clear that Generation Z values their privacy more than past groups. Witnessing the social media failures of those before them, Generation Z took cues and found solace in the social network that did not necessarily include the “social” part: Snapchat.

Having said all of that about Generation Z and Snapchat, what does that mean for business?

The ability for businesses to advertise on Snapchat has only been available for less than a year with tangible returns still somewhat unknown. Taco Bell has provided the single most successful Snapchat campaign thus far, offering the ability for users to turn their heads into tacos during Cinco de Mayo. It was used over 220 million times, providing more brand awareness than any television ad short of the Super Bowl. Moreover, Taco Bell’s latest campaign aims squarely at Generation Z more than any other group. The company publicly stated that the youngest group of people with buying power is their target audience, especially with their new Quesalupa product launch in early 2016.

Television is still the most powerful advertising avenue for brands but Snapchat is quickly becoming a valuable advertising asset. Pricing can be steep, but for Taco Bell, which spent $750,000 on their Cinco de Mayo ad, the expense has proved to be a worthwhile endeavor. Revenue numbers have not been released for the 2016 fiscal year, but when one considers the additional publicity from the Snapchat lens and the ability to call Taco Bell an innovative marketing company, it is clear the lens has provided the company with a tremendous value add.

The expectation is that Taco Bell’s 2016 revenue will climb and a large part of that will be thanks in part to their recent investment in Snapchat. With Generation Z now having buying power from allowances and part-time jobs, Taco Bell has become the first company to capitalize on it by reaching their target audience in an easily accessible method. The long-term results can be difficult to quantify today, but the ability to reach out to the newest generation with buying power is something that will undoubtedly pay dividends in the future.

←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp


More from Nick Mattar:

The Must-Know Digital Marketing Tools Every Business Needs

Brooks Kushman Senior Attorney to Discuss Intellectual Property Law for the Growing Business

Brooks Kushman Senior Attorney Timothy Clise will provide an overview of common intellectual property legal issues for growing businesses at Automation Alley on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

In his presentation, Clise will discuss how changes in IP law over the last 10 years have left companies of all sizes faced with a variety of challenges to maintain a current IP strategy that maximizes protection. He will address critical intellectual property issues, how to overcome common obstacles and strategies to maximize IP protection, while providing practical guidance on trademarks, patents and licensing agreements.

Automation Alley is a technology business association dedicated to growing the economy of Southeast Michigan and enhancing the region’s reputation around the world. The presentation is part of the Automation Alley 7Cs™ program, an initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of manufacturing startups using a customized seven-step process including intense coaching and access to investment and resources.

Clise’s practice at Brooks Kushman focuses on U.S. and international patent preparation and prosecution in the electrical, mechanical and electromechanical arts. He also advises his clients on design, trademarks and trade secrets for developing meaningful, worldwide intellectual property portfolios. As a recognized leader in intellectual property law, Clise has been invited to speak on internal best practices, how to develop meaningful patent portfolios, and routinely speaks in Asia and Europe on various US patent law topics.

Clise holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Dayton and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Brooks Kushman he was an Intellectual Property Attorney for a major wireless communications corporation and Managing Partner of his own Minnesota-based firm.

About Brooks Kushman P.C.
Brooks Kushman P.C. is a leading intellectual property (IP) and technology law firm with offices in Michigan and California, and represents clients nationally and internationally with respect to protection, enforcement and monetization of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. The firm has more than 90 intellectual property professionals specializing in various technical disciplines, and has a reputation for providing leading IP counseling with a focus on the business objectives of their clients.

Brooks Kushman counts a number of Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries among its clients. The firm is also recognized by leading legal publications and rankings, including Corporate Counsel magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Law360, Intellectual Asset Management, Managing Intellectual Property, World Trademark Review, and Intellectual Property Today.

For more information, please visit www.BrooksKushman.com.