Has anyone launched a new website with pre-orders before launching on Kickstarter? I'm always interested in brand launches and noticed Superfat did this strategy and had great success on Kickstarter. Wondering if there are other examples and what your thoughts are on launching pre-orders (I think they launched with a 50% discount) then on Kickstarter (40% discount) before having product to sell.
Outings are all about experiences. Treks, road trips, fests or a day spent laying on the beach, all are experiences. That’s what place marketing is about.
But how to sell something that spans across a city or country? Here is our guide on place marketing that will get you going with the strategies and how-to.
What Is Place Marketing?
As straightforward as it sounds, place marketing it the process of marketing a place.
- Marketing: Set of tactics a business uses to promote and sell its products in the market.
- Place: A geographical location like a city, state or even an amusement park.
Concluding from this, place marketing is the set of tactics used to promote a geographical location to improve its business. Destination marketing is used to promote a place for potential visitors to increase the odds of them visiting the marketed place. City marketing, region marketing, country marketing all fall under place marketing.
But why to market a place? Why is place marketing even important?
Well, place marketing can have various benefits like:
- Improving local businesses.
- Attracting foreign businesses.
- Boosting tourism.
- Overall area development.
- Cultural uplift.
Except for these direct benefits, there are various other indirect perks that each of these brings. For example, newer business establishments bring job opportunities for locals.
Marketing in any field is a tricky process. Place marketing or destination marketing makes it all the more complicated for obvious reasons. Various factors such as scale, people involved, no central ownership, geography etc. tangle the marketing process very quickly.
The basic idea of destination marketing is to understand the current image and assets of the place and market them to a relevant audience via relevant mediums. This can also involve improving the existing assets or even developing new ones to suit the marketing strategy.
Place Marketing Strategies – How To Make Your Own Place Marketing Strategy?
Are you planning to market a place, region, or a city? Is the region popular for its beaches or are its historical monuments the main attraction?
It is difficult to generalise place marketing. It isn’t something like ‘marketing mobile phones’ or ‘marketing furniture’. While of course, all specific subjects have their differences, the spectrum of place marketing is too broad. One marketing project can be the polar opposite of others. This is the reason there are no go-to steps to follow.
But there are many concepts which when applied to your destination marketing campaign are bound to make it a success.
Know Your Target Audience
Would you market a hilly town known for its adventure activities to people in their 70s? Never! Who would want to visit the place? More appropriate target audience would be teens and their parents.
You have to have an answer to questions like,
- Who would visit your place?
- What would be their average expenditure?
- How would they travel? What kind of accommodation would they prefer?
- Would they travel alone or with someone?
Answering such questions will help you clarify the audience you want to target.
Not just that, it will be helpful in understanding what areas need to be developed or adjusted. For example, when marketing areas for trekking, more camping stops will be preferred than hotels.
Have one or few personas illuminate the process ahead. Numerous questions are much clearer with personas in hand. When is the target audience most likely to travel? Are they domestic or from other countries? What interests them? What other places attracting a similar audience, are doing well? Answering all this is much easier with a proper visitor persona(s).
Involve All Stakeholders And Make Associates
Involving stakeholders like place officials, councils and having their opinions and knowledge helps. Whenever possible, grassroot research can also help. For instance, when creating a marketing strategy for a city filled with historical monuments, talking to ancestors of people involved can provide vital marketable information.
Not just these, local tour agencies, hotels, popular markets etc. can be involved in the process to understand the available resources. You can even persuade many of these to align with your marketing strategy.
Utilise Data For Analytics
Any marketing campaign launched without analysing data is doomed. Data analytics should be used on every step necessary. Making persona, analysing crowd, analysing performance are a few instances where data analysis can be useful.
Audit And Iterate
Many make the mistake of thinking analysis as a one-time process. It is not! Analysis is an iterative process. You need to monitor your actions and their results and then compare them with expected results.
If the results are not satisfactory, more analysis follows. Analyse weak-points and tune your strategies to fill the gaps. This is all about steady optimisation of marketing strategies.
Know Your USPs
The place to be marketed has to have some unique points. Again, analytics helps in figuring these out. These can be man-made structures like Disneyland or the Empire State Building or historic museums, or these can be natural attractions like mountains and lakes.
Many attractions can be targetted to a very narrow audience as well. Spending a day at the stadium of their favourite club might be enough a reason for a Football fan to visit a country. An otaku might have Japan in their priority list.
Not just physical structures, attractions like cuisines, tribes, old practices etc. are also very appealing to many. Research and analytics and involving as many stakeholders as possible can effectively help you figure the unique selling points out.
Create a Memorable Brand
Marketing should be aimed to have your destination engraved into your audience’s mind as soon as they see an advertisement. Building a good image is an extremely rewarding process.
All the advertisement modes like website, brochures, slogan, hoardings, promotions images, social media handles and even the colour schemes involved should reflect this image and be compelling to the audience.
Rajasthan (India) tourism’s taglines like, “Padharo Mahare Desh” (meaning welcome to my country) and “explore the land of Maharajas” are a brilliant example of this. Not only are they catchy, but they also capture the welcoming mysticism of the state very well.
You want to market an island for its beaches. You do your research and find that groups of friends in their 20s are a great audience. But so are newly-weds. Who will you target your campaign towards? Possibly both! But marketing may vary between the two.
Customer segmentation plays its part here. Target customers have to be segmented on various aspects like age, interests, financial capacity, mode of travel, preferable accommodation and many such factors. Once segmented, tactics are formulated in accordance with the preferred choices of each category.
Segmentation prevails in all mediums. For example, many tourism operators have separate social media handles to cater to the needs of audiences from different regions. Businesses are also incorporating customer service in a variety of languages based on their audiences.
Since marketing is aimed at potential tourists, a lot of it will be done over the internet. A coherent marketing campaign spread over various channels is a must in most cases. Here are some tried and tested tactics that should help your win your online audience:
An Enticing Website
A website is the first thing one searches for when trying to find information. Having a website that captures the flavours of your campaign is a huge plus. A mix of necessary as well as amazing information is a good idea for a website’s content.
Promotional pictures, videos, places to visit, booking portals and everything the place has to offer should be displayed on the website. It should be like a beautifully executed pitch to the tourists. Some printable brochures, infographics or guides are also valuable to many.
A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is made of thousands of pictures. A good video can have a magical effect in a marketing campaign. Kerala tourism has been producing inspirational examples from long ago. Check out one of their advertisements (a friendly warning, develops a strong urge to visit Kerala)
Social Media Influencers
Influencer marketing is a billion-dollar industry now. People with a wide following and a very high engagement rate are a very effective medium to transmit your message. Many followers take their advice without even thinking of a second opinion.
Travel vloggers, YouTubers, bloggers are some kind of influencers who can play a role here. Such adverts usually are very beneficial because of the established trust of the audience on the influencer.
In fact, it’s a common tactic to invite an influencer, say a vlogger, to a resort and have them post a review vlog in exchange. It comes out as a win for both sides.
Use Consumer-Created Content
Why is it a common tendency to look for a product’s reviews even though the description tells it all? The reason is that people can relate to reviews from other users than they can relate with advertisers. And this works in place marketing too.
Sharing content created by past/existing consumers is a strategy being used in many industries now. Take the example of Switzerland.
Switzerland tourism asks users to post with the hashtag “inLOVEwithSWITZERLAND” and shares the posts they find worth on their page. This brings us to the next point.
Yes! Employ meaningful hashtags at all social media platforms whether Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or any other. Hashtags have been a way to find relevant content among the mess for a long time now. So much so that some platforms allow users to follow hashtags.
Consistent and proper use of hashtags drives an authentic audience to your source. For example, using #travellers will bring more and more people interested in travelling to your page while #monuments will organically bring people interested in them towards you. These can be so effective that there are various guides available online to help one choose the right hashtags.
Having a platform where past, current and potential customers can virtually meet and talk is a tried strategy. Maybe a subreddit, or a Facebook group or even developing healthy engagement on Twitter can be beneficial.
Mouth to mouth advertisement is just like reviews, trustworthy. A family who wants to travel with their pet might get some accommodation recommendations from someone who has already done before. Or maybe some hidden food gems. Having well managed healthy discussion forums are a great way to bind potential customers.
Apart from all these tactics, offline promotion should not be written off either. Hoardings still are a great advertising medium for many places. And television advertisements remain the primary ad. consumption sources. Everything comes to gathering the right data, researching and then deciding the most suitable channel.
We will finish with the same note we started with. Place marketing is about selling an experience. It’s not about getting hotels stuffed or about selling tickets or selling food, it is about selling the overall escapade from the thought of a trip to the return journey. Even small items like merchandise and mementoes are part of the experience and can leave an unforgettable memory. The 360-degree content by government tourism departments is a fine representation of this.
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on place marketing in the comments section.
Mark is a young adult who likes to ride bikes. He goes into an XYZ store to look at their bike range. The tagline of the store is – ‘Screw it, let’s ride.’ Mark feels very enthusiastic and energised reading it. He observes that the store is also rustic and wooden. The colour of the bikes, the bold font, the badges and pins on the biker jackets on display, everything gives mark a feeling of empowerment, passion, and enthusiasm. A sales employee also tells Mark about their customers’ family group, through which all customers across the United States go for bike rides to varied terrains, sponsored by XYZ. They receive a whole lot of certificates, awards, medals, and badges upon completion of certain segments of the travel. The idea of the family group gives Mark a feeling of compassion and risk, community and individuality, warmth, and passion. Mark is motivated to lock XYZ to make the final purchase.
Any guesses on which brand is XYZ?
XYZ is Harley Davidson, one of the top companies with a great brand experience. Harley Davidson is known for not selling bikes, but an entire holistic brand experience signifies with passion, power, unity, and boldness.
What Is Brand Experience?
Brand experience is awakening a holistic sensory experience to build an all-rounding relationship between customers and a brand.
The business uses every customer touchpoint to develop a holistic brand experience. The journey may differ from customer to customer, but the experience doesn’t, as this experience is what results in the development of the brand image.
And brand image needs to align with the brand identity, always.
Take Starbucks, for example.
Let’s say customer A got to know about Starbucks by coming across a Starbucks outlet. This is the first touchpoint. Without even buying from the store, the constant green-brown colour, basic logo, variety in menu, relaxed seating arrangement, free-wifi, sleek machinery, etc. portrayed strong feelings of adaptive style, innovation but basic. Starbucks, in the first instance, attempted to create an experience of one-stop for a quick coffee and one-stop for a long hangout with friends.
Then came the customer interaction and subsequent touchpoints.
The experience included selecting a coffee, personalising it with a name, fast-paced counter, waiting on a comfy sofa, having the name called out for the exceptional coffee and enjoying it with free wifi, and an edgy vibe.
Now, the brand makes sure this experience remains the same for customers B, C, and D as well, which will result in building a standardised experience significant of – trend, comfort, edginess, and personalisation. Overall it has a ‘feel-good’ factor to its brand experience. A customer doesn’t buy a coffee anymore; he buys a ‘Starbucks’.
The expression “brand experience” has become famous the same way number of different terms in the marketing businesses did, which is with the development of the media used to impart a brand’s message or story.
Brand experience is associated with specific products or organisation names. Through the brand experience, organisations try to curate a set of emotions that lead to a predefined brand personality.
And this personality results in a relationship between the brand and a particular need or feeling.
Brand experience is about the ‘emotive inclination’ from experience, regardless of whether physical or computerized. Media might be a component planned for driving impressions and engagement around the experience. Yet, brand experiences are not media-driven, per se, rather enhanced by media, whether employing social influencers, computerised means, social means, print ads, etc.
Importance Of Brand Experiences
There is a diverse range of brands that summon affectionate feelings and sentiments, regardless of whether it is a most loved children’s clothing brand or a top magazine membership you happily renew each year. But why at all is brand experience vital in today’s time and age?
Provide A Deeper Meaning To The Offering
Brand experience provides a deeper meaning to an offering and the brand behind it.
Take the energy drink brand, Red Bull, for example.
At the end of the day, Red Bull is selling glucose and caffeine in different flavours. That’s pretty uni-dimensional. But then why does it rank as the top energy drink in the US? It is the brand experience that lifted the mere energy drink brand to one associated with ‘wings’ – ideas, enduring, inspiring, and sporting. Hence, brand experience is vital to building a multi-dimensional brand, one that awakens feelings, thoughts, and actions in the consumer.
Build Brand Perception
Brand perception is how a customer sees the brand. Brand experience is what makes the customer think of the brand whenever he witnesses –
- Offering related keywords: Customers often think of Johnson and Johnson whenever they witness baby products.
- Brand related emotions: Coca-Cola is the go-to brand wherever there’s happiness.
Enhance Brand Loyalty
Brand experience is immensely important because it results in brand loyalty. Retaining consumers is perhaps much more important than drawing new ones. As research has proven, consumer acquisition is 5 – 25 times more costly than retaining existing customers.
Apple is an excellent example of brand loyalty through brand experience. Apple has well-established features like camera quality. None of its present marketing strategies focus on technicalities of Apple products, but rather on –
- What Apple stands for?
- What are the values associated with an iPhone – urban high class, chic, different from the clutter, etc.?
To Stand Out Of The Clutter
Brand experience is essential for a brand to be able to stand out and attract positive attention. Numerous businesses enter the industry with a lack of a crisp strategy.
Having a brand experience in today’s times expands to having a value associated with a brand. Through a strong brand experience, customers and clients can pick on positive and strong cues such as – image and vibe.
Awful experiences with a brand are what turn into a lost opportunity and obliterate the brand. Therefore, to create a strong brand experience, organisations should win the hearts of their customers.
How To Create A Brand Experience
Though the creation of a brand experience may vary from industry to industry, a few commonly used effective steps to create a winning brand experience are:
Set A Purpose – Mission statement
A brand experience should center around what the brand stands for. The best way to do this by creating a mission statement. A mission statement would define the objective, goals, and aims of the brand. This is what will guide your brand’s marketing, target audience, vision statement, but above all –
‘its brand experience’.
For instance, Amazon’s mission statement is – “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.” The mission statement shouts for low prices, top-notch product base, and convenience. And today, this is essentially the brand experience that Amazon brings with it.
Know Your Audience
Put yourself in the brain, shoes, and heart of your client. One of the advantages of the web, and particularly of artificial intelligence now accessible for client support communications, is –
“the open doors it creates for assembling more and better information about a target audience”.
To ascertain the target audience, a few helpful questions could be:
- What are consumers’ extensive interests?
- By what method can a brand authentically partner tie itself to those interests?
- What are their demographics?
- What experiences work for them?
- Are they living your brand?
For instance, Nike manufactured a realm by being merely a shoe brand as well as one that speaks to a whole accomplishment situated way of life. Likewise, Starbucks is situated not just as a spot to get some espresso but also as a representative of a specific point of view toward society, of a young, edgy vibe that can serve you well for fun and work.
Create And Inspire Emotion
Consumers need to see that the organisations and items they support have an actual existence. Your brand should build a character, and an enthusiasm to which consumers can relate.
Organisations can no longer stand to set up billboards and TV ads among themselves and the client. Instead, you have to focus in and get included.
Brand experience is all about building relationships with the consumer. Relations are characterized by emotions. Whether a brand experience offers a sharing and caring emotion like Coca-Cola, or a fearful and cautious sentiment like PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals), it is essential to ponder upon what’ feeling will be associated with your brand’.
Engage With Your Customers
Engagement is the core of building a brand-consumer relationship. Luckily, resources today help build this engagement easier than you can imagine. The digital perform is the one where, with just little effort, a rich client relationship can be built.
- Social campaigns – The Dove Real Beauty campaign across the United States, helped Dove add a sense of authenticity, trust, and a non-judgemental factor to its brand experience. It still is a bar of soap at the end of the day. But its also so much more than that!
- Social Engagement –Cadbury India launched discussions and open-thoughts on suggestions for a new flavour for its next chocolate bar. For this launched a dedicated platform where any customer could select ingredients, create a unique bar recipe and Cadbury would try all suggested recipes, and select the top one.
- Direct Discussions – A great example of this can the ‘let’s do lunch’ initiative by Dominos in the UK in 2012. Dominos asked people to add the hashtag #letsdolunch on all of their tweets and promised huge lunch discounts for that day to all participants. The number of tweets and re-tweets during this initiative rose to a goos 82,500 approx., thereby boosting an edgy brand experience for Dominos.
Today, influencers play a significant role in triggering brand perception.
Consumers depend vigorously on the suggestions of real people’s experiences via web-based networking media more than experts. By partnering with an influencer who has confidence in the company and whose interest, reverberation, and commitment meet the company’s prerequisites, the company profits from his/her followers.
Though not a mandatory step, the use of influencers for marketing for a brand aids in the development of trust, authenticity, and credibility to a brand’s character. And having such associations with a brand’s character is the strongest step toward building a brand experience.
A company’s objective should be to separate from the opposition, to persuade a client to buy from them over others! They should research their primary rivals or benchmark brands. For example, concentrate on how well they have approached assembling a brand name. Competitor research is a key component of brand success. This can be done by making a brand contender spreadsheet for comparison, as given below.
Brand Experience Strategy
Now that the meaning, importance, and steps for the creation of brand experience has been established. This section deals with what strategies to chose as the focus of the creation of a killer brand experience. Every brand must strive to adopt a strategy that imbibes the essence of the brand itself. What are the available strategies to do so?
According to a study, being part of a live experience hosted by a brand increases the chances of brand recommendation by 65% and purchasing chances by 59%. Live experiences are a supreme way to interact and involve your consumers. A live experience refers to a live event engaging existing and potential consumers with the brand experience at its core. The advantages of building a brand experience through a live experience are:
- It absorbs the audience through all senses. It’s an audio-visual feel to the brand.
- It builds social connectivity, with the brand as the ‘hot topic’ of talks.
- It includes a ‘stickiness factor’. The stickiness factor refers to an event being memorable and etched inside the minds of the participants.
Design thinking is a brand experience strategy designed to promote innovation. It is a consumer-centric way involving:
- Collaboration with other brands or with consumers themselves
- Surveying and mapping the consumer journey to develop a better brand experience
- Prototyping and beta testing. Through prototyping and beta testing, brands can test the response and functionality of a product by releasing the product temporarily in-house and to a limited set of real consumers.
Top brands with a great brand experience such as Apple, Nike, etc. have set the standard for design thinking in today’s times. Among the 24 principles of design thinking, the most relevant to brand experience is –
“breaking through the noise”.
Design thinking involves being empathetic and thinking from the user’s perspective. The design thinking framework makes use of user data, including – interviews, surveys, contextual inquiries, and user groups. The ultimate goal is to truly understand your customer’s needs and desires. The process focuses on eliminating whatever is irrelevant to the brand story. From unnecessary colors to sarcasm to fictitious references, etc. whatever does not seem eye-catching and relevant must be scrapped off.
Customisation has become a huge trend in driving brand experience and consumer experience. Why is personalisation a great strategy for building brand experience?
Personalisation helps in conveying a more empathetic and relevant feeling of the brand. This is because, toward the end, a consumer will not remember what they were told or what they saw as well as they would remember how they felt.
Creating a customized brand experience requires extensive research to identify the target audience and buyer persona. After there is adequate information on what the buyers’ interests, needs, and requirements are, a brand can adapt its mission statement accordingly.
Stories are, by far the most effective way to build a brand experience. As the next section of examples will indicate, companies with a powerful brand experience attach a strong story to themselves.
To inculcate storytelling to build a brand experience, one must follow the steps from the earlier section –
- Create a mission statement,
- inculcate storytelling to build a brand experience,
- Infuse emotion,
- Ascertain the target audience,
- Engage with the target audience, and
- Research competitors.
Once all these steps are successfully completed, a company must attempt to link the mission statement and related emotions and values with the target audience.
For instance, if XYZ is a pet product company
- The mission statement is ‘speaking for the ones who cannot speak for themselves.’
- Common beliefs of the target audience are that all pet products are usually for general breeds and sizes and not specific to their pets
- The brand can link these two to stand for the fact that they customize products, provide more varieties catering to the specific needs of different breeds and sizes of pet animals. The brand cares for the animals and believes that if human beings can have things according to individual differences, pets should too. They deserve love and all the customisation that XYZ strives to provide.
Brand experience examples
Coca-Cola – Share Happiness
Coca-cola has built a widespread and strong ‘share the happiness, share a coke’ story. The brand experience includes – Happiness, sharing, and caring, fun, and love. The share a coke campaign that started in 2011, demonstrated personalisation, and empathy toward its consumers. It also grew to sell 150 million bottles only in the year 2014!
Amongst other cola drink brands, coca-cola managed to build a unique brand experience characterized by sharing and happiness with, of course, its product at the center. Coca-cola made extensive use of two strategies:
- Building a multi-dimensional image
- Linking emotions to their product
To understand the use of these two strategies better, think about what does coca-cola sells? Does it really sell happiness?
It sells a cola drink, with different variants. But by using a multi-dimensional image, they expanded to create an experience of not just fizzy cola, but friendship and happiness. Today, across all age groups, one cannot imagine a party without coca-cola. The multi-dimensional image is created by going beyond the basic utility of the product and giving it a character and personality of its own. The second strategy is the linking of emotions. Coca-cola, through its advertisements, its taglines, and campaigns, built an experience centered around the emotions of – happiness, love, caring, and sharing.
X-box – Survival Billboard
The X-box survival billboard, though a promotional advertising strategy, added to the story of the brand experience of X-box. The brand created a challenge where eight members randomly chosen from the sign-up participants received, had to perform a stunt on their ‘Survival Billboard’. What X-box did is create a brand experience with:
- Design thinking strategy – By transforming a regular billboard into a survival billboard, they thought ‘out-of-the box’ and empathised with their target audience. What go users of X box like? Games, adventure, and risk. The survival billboard placed all of the emotions of the users into their brand experience.
- Storytelling – The survival billboard was not just any billboard with fun and adventure. It had a story. A story of participants who endured numerous tests to reach the finale. A story of their survival. A story of X-box hosting the survival billboard challenge, accepting votes and polls from across the nation, and declaring a winner.
- Personalisation- X-box brilliantly personalised their entire consumer experience for the user. Users were allowed to be participants and voters. The participants and voters were given a chance to feel like they could change the game. They had a say in how this goes forward. The experience was customised to their wish.
They combined their mission statement – “We believe in uniting gaming communities where you can play, compete and connect with friends, wherever they are” with their target audience (gamers) requirements – “Innovation, competition, adventure and fun” and came up with the innovative idea. After the survival billboard, X-box is seen as a brand that delivers the experience of fun, innovation, and adventure.
Netflix – Entertain The World
Netflix, alone, occupied 35% of the internet traffic in North America in 2016. Netflix’s mission statement – “to entertain the world” conveys a global, dedicated, and entertaining idea. Netflix adopts the brand experience strategy of ‘personalisation’. Netflix never stops personalizing. It employs the following approaches:
- Design thinking – By means of design thinking, Netflix placed itself in the shoes of the consumer. What do people like to watch? How do people decide what to watch? After extensive user research, surveys, and response analysis Netflix provides content suggestions similar to content a user is watching or has watched in the past.
- Personalisation – As a business, it tries to keep the user ties to itself by constantly curating an account according to the preferences of the consumer. To boost the brand experience, Netflix shows that it deeply cares and values the customer’s choices and preferences. It is almost like -“we will curate your account, especially to help your likes and interests. All just to make your entertainment viewing with us worthwhile”.
Netflix’s customer-centric approach has only strengthened over time. Because of which today, it is known to deliver an experience curated just for an individual customer – personal, easy, custom, and fun, all according to one’s views, likes, and dislikes.
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on brand experience in the comments section.
I was looking for an inspiration for myself and compiled this list. I was coming across to popular examples like Uber and Airbnb, so I dived deeper into the growth hacking ocean to put something different on the table.
I included both popular and unpopular hacks to the list to inspire you, so here I go.
Puma asked Pele to tie his shoes before the kickoff and Pele did it. As expected, the cameras focused on Pele and his Puma's and made people realize the world's best footballer wore a Puma.
According to the book “Three Stripes Versus Puma”, Pele was paid $ 120,000 to crouch and lace his shoes. This might be the best case of influencer marketing until this day.
Takeaway: Ask yourself who, when, where.
Who can introduce your product to your target audience best? When is the right time and which online or offline platform can you use to get maximum exposure?
Unsplash has a corner named “Collections". They ask influencers (mostly micro-influencers) and invite them to pick their favorite photos and create a collection.
Then Unsplash promotes the collection on the website, newsletter and social media platforms. Flattering right? Yes, at least that’s what the influencers think.
The chosen influencers will often share their collections with their followers. And Unsplash gets free exposure + tons of user-generated content.
Takeaway: People like to be praised and be the center of attention. You can benefit from other people's audiences.
3. Vitaly Uncensored
This is quite unconventional and it's dangerous.
Vitaly Uncensored is a strange adult jokes platform. And people barely knew they existed until the Champions League final in 2019.
Until Kinsey Wolanski (co-founder and girlfriend of Vitaly) caused an international stir after running on to the pitch with a swimsuit written "Vitaly Uncensored" all over.
Naturally, people searched for the term and social media platforms like twitter flooded with reactions.
Vitaly Uncensored now has more than 32 million registered users and has raked in up to £3m in advertising as a result. And she was fined just £13,000.
Takeaway: A Growth hacker doesn't always follow the rules. You can sometimes break them as long as it is bringing you growth.
Ahrefs can win the gold medal in the growth hacking Olympics.
They're the most popular SEO tool and don't use Google Analytics. Neither do they use the Facebook Pixel. Instead, they hacked the most prominent SEO conference (Brighton SEO) with a 10 cent coffee cup.
Imagine how much attraction they had at the conference. Everybody was instantly aware of the existence of Ahrefs; those cups worked as an ice-breaker to open new conversations and possibilities.
Takeaway: Make a list of conferences and offline events that you can join. And think of how you can direct the conversation to your brand.
If you were an early adopter of Gmail, you'd remember this one. You could only create a Gmail account if a friend invited you.
And every referrer had a limited amount of invites, which made it more exclusive and triggered the fear of missing out (FOMO) marketing technique.
It was simultaneously so exclusive and so viral, some people auctioned Gmail invites on eBay. It worked well because Gmail was offering better features and quality of service compared to the alternatives in the market.
Takeaway: Knowing behavioral psychology is a great asset for a growth hacker. Even a little psychological trick can be the foundation of a new growth hacking strategy.
6. Please don't tell
Gmail used exclusivity and FOMO triggers in their digital marketing strategy. What if you want to do it offline?
Crif Dogs is a hip place known for its innovative hot dogs. There is a strange vintage phone booth corner in the restaurant.
One day, a person walked in and used the rotary dial phone and CLICK, a secret passage door opened to a cozy bar. And the bartender treated him with a tasty cocktail and gave a card to this lucky person on the card written: "Please Don't Tell".
As you may relate, that person has felt like he discovered the most astounding secret in the world. He then talked about this experience to all of his friends and it caused a social chain reaction.
This word-of-mouth marketing strategy transformed this place into the busiest bar in New York City. So busy it's almost impossible to make a reservation.
Takeaway: If you can make someone feel special with a big secret, you can create a community of privileged brand advocates.
You must remember the era of FarmVille, MafiaWars or Zynga poker. These were the Facebook games that made addicts out of our friends, parents and loved ones.
You know the classic pricing decoy: Small $ 3, medium $ 6.50 and large $ 7.
Zynga re-engineered this by offering three choices to the user: grind, spam or pay. Well, since people didn't want to pay to continue playing games, they started to terrorize their friends by spamming them with invitations.
This had a huge viral effect but after a while, Facebook put an end to this spamstorm.
Takeaway: Try to approach popular marketing tactics from a different angle to create your own growth strategies.
8. CD Baby
"Your order is on the way" you probably have received an email similar to this one. But I don't think you ever received something like what Derek Sivers wrote:
Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Sunday, December 11th.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year”. We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
Thank you once again,
Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby
He spent 20 minutes writing this masterpiece and it exploded on the internet. This content got forwarded thousands of times, CD Baby got gazillions backlinks and new customers.
Takeaway: Differentiate your e-mail marketing strategy or copywriting efforts. Sometimes it is as easy as to put a smile on your customers' faces.
- Tiger King
The Tiger King docuseries on Netflix have reached super-hyped status. One of the protagonists is called Joe Exotic, he is a total badass. But I was not aware that he's a badass growth hacker too.
Joe Exotic intimidated his archenemy and biggest competitor by renaming his tiger show.
Just to add context if you don't know the show.
Joe Exotic keeps more than 200 tigers in his wildlife park. On the other hand, there is that lady (Carole Baskin) who is catter than cats and trying to save tigers under the banner of Big Cat Rescue. And they're trying to sabotage each other, all the time.
So to get more visibility to his tiger show and steal Carole's audience, Joe Exotic started a new show under the name"Big Cat Rescue Entertainment".
In the end, Carole sued Joe in a $ 1M lawsuit.
Now, this obviously is not ethical and can hurt your reputation, I'm not suggesting you do the same. But this case can inspire you to be creative with your brand name. It could be interesting to include terms that people are already searching for.
Fortnite’s growth hacking strategy has changed the way of marketing around games forever.
Here is the default strategy of every game until the Fornite era.
- Make the game.
- Spend millions of dollars to promote it like crazy in conferences and ads of all sorts.
- Launch the game, do the grand slam, collect the money and sail for the next game.
That's why we see a new Call of Duty, Battlefield, Fifa and similar games each year.
Well, Fortnite was not even popular in its first year but they found ways to retain their existing customer base with three tactics.
- The game was completely free.
- Huge in-game updates, which they called "Seasons".
Every ten weeks, developers brought new mechanics, weapons, maps, characters and so on into the game. They announce these seasons with trailers and encourage gamers to create hype.
So if you're a Fortnite player, you'll know, every ten weeks you'll have a new game to play.
- Limited-time game mods
They regularly launched new game modes for a limited time to create FOMO. And gamers kept coming back to not to miss this one-time experience.
Meanwhile, they monetized the game by selling in-game items like character and weapon skins or dance moves.
In a very short time, they acquired a huge fan base and created their own celebrity streamers. The rest is history.
Takeaway: Acquisition is often an overrated aspect of marketing. In growth marketing, it's equally important to keep your current customers happy and transform them into your fans. (Focus on retention)
Crimibox is an online interactive detective game that lets you become a Sherlock of your case. We prepared a FB chatbot quiz themed "Which detective is hidden inside".
The assumption: If they are interested in knowing which kind of detective they are, they are potentially also interested in solving a murder case.
Crimibox asked several questions in a chatbot and helped them find out their inner detective. At the end of the quiz, they offer them to solve a murder case and direct them to the crime scene. This scene was Kickstarter.
Crimibox increased its subscriber number from 2K to 10K in 15 days and successfully launched on Kickstarter!
Why did it work?
- It was super targeted.
- People always fall for personality quizzes
What do you do when you Shazam a song?
You try to suck up all sound from the music and Shazam does something quite ingenious at that moment. It encourages you to hold your phone up to speakers.
And this move gets everyone curious like "Why the hell is she lifting her phone to the speakers?". So yes, this is nothing but a word-of-mouth marketing strategy at its best.
It's not possible to measure the analytics or conversion rate but over 1 billion downloads say something.
How could a brand single-handedly take down the traditional taxi business? By knowing the enemy and the customer.
Hailing a cab after a night out is a pain in the ass, likewise in bad weather conditions. Uber knew that, and at the beginning, they focused on these key events.
They also picked a subtle fight with yellow cabs by highlighting the areas where Uber excels like; easy payment, lower prices and no more taxi-hailing.
People that were using the service were coming back, so they offered a $ 20 free ride to the new users to lure them in. After that, things went very fast, now we look at taxis like they're an endangered animal.
Takeaway: There is always room to fit in with your product and outsmart the competition. Understand your competitors, customers and the environment to come up with smart tactics.
Hotmail's growth hacking strategy is super simple and many companies like Apple copy-pasted it.
Hotmail placed a default signature line to every outgoing email and invited receivers to create a free account. Afterward, Apple and others used the same e-mail marketing strategy to spread awareness and grow their customer base.
Hubspot created a free tool that measures your site's performance by grading key factors like SEO, mobile performance and so on. Then it gives you tips to optimize your site.
People shared this tool with each other, it got many backlinks and quite a lot of attention on social media platforms as well.
No surprise, Hubspot grew its email list and grew to 15.000 users with the help of this one tool.
Takeaway: Many brands create little add-ons, apps and tools that solve a problem for their target audience. Afterward, they launch it on platforms like Product Hunt to get free exposure.
Airbnb leeched its competitor Craigslist's blood and used them as a distribution channel for a long time.
Their growth hacking strategy consisted of two parts.
They encourage their audience to cross-post their listing on Craigslist with a link back to their Airbnb profile. This way, hosts increased their chance to get rented and Airbnb got new users.
Eventually, it got tons of free traffic and generated thousands of users.
Next, they contacted existing Craigslist hosts and asked them to sign up on Airbnb.
These two strategies helped them to grow their customer base and traffic without spending a dime.
It worked because it was a win-win.
Another one from Airbnb
You know how important the pictures are when it comes to renting or buying a house. The founders of Airbnb knew this too.
To grow bigger, they started to photograph their hosts' apartments. After the platform grew big enough, they hired an army of pro photographers to make their customers happy. And make some more $ .
Your target audience is already hanging out somewhere on the internet, find them and think of new ways to transform them into your customers. Don't expect value if you don't provide value.
17. Dollar Shave Club
Picking a fight with a strong argument is a deadly growth hacking strategy. Dollar Shave Club used video marketing to declare war to razor industry giants by asking these simple questions:
– Do you like spending $ 20 a month on a brand named razor?
– Do you think your razor needs a vibrating handle and flashlight?
And Mike, the founder, gives the solution to his audience in this witty video.
The video went viral and got 26M views. Please watch if you're not one of the 26M people.
Takeaway: Think of a problem in your industry and, use content marketing, show how your product could solve this issue. Especially video marketing is an effective way to show your brand personality and deliver your message.
You can learn everything you need to start with video marketing by reading this eBook:
Dropbox is known for its creative onboarding process and referral program.
The marketing strategy is quite simple. The product itself offers storage space in the cloud and they reward people with more space by gamifying the onboarding process.
Just like in the story Hansel & Gretel, they embellish this hard process by offering little treats. And the main course was their referral program where they offered 500MB free extra storage.
It works like this. You refer Dropbox to a friend, she signs up and you both get 500MB extra storage. 1 stone, 2 birds.
So the cost of customer acquisition for Dropbox is 500MB. This is definitely one of the nastiest growth hacking techniques.
Takeaway: One, If you can give extra value, you can make the onboarding process fun and rewarding for your users. Two, design a double-sided referral program. Offer something to the referrer and the referee.
That's all folks! If you like it let me know in the comments. And if you want to read it on a blog with pictures and videos you can go here: https://www.grow-force.com/growth-hacking-examples/
Oreo – the second most liked brand by kids, used over 3 creative teams, tours around 450 small towns to lock down their perfect slogan – “Twist, lick, dunk”. Unfortunately, this could have been done much sooner if they had this article to help them!
While slogans form an important part of a company’s marketing strategy and branding process, it is important to cover some basics of what slogans are. So before you put your creative hat on, read ahead to find out about slogans, their difference with other marketing tools, their types and final steps toward the treasure of a catchy, creative and commendable slogan.
Slogans are a memorable, short series of words for potential customers aimed at summarising your product’s appeal. Slogans can make or break your brand image because it is the first and foremost arrow thrown at the customer along with the company logo. Even before experience with any product or service, a slogan strikes the consumer. A memorable slogan helps in recall and identification of your brand. And every good company strives for brand recall. So, lets read ahead and find out more about the uses and ways to go about creating a top-notch slogan.
What Is A Slogan?
A slogan is a brief and indelible phrase that encompasses an offering’s appeal.
Slogans are always defined as “short and brief”. There exists a psychological rationale for this – it is believed that it takes almost 7 seconds to form a first impression. Short-term memory is shorter than you think! Therefore, slogans ought to be “short and brief”.
The next part of the definition terms slogans as an “indelible phrase”. This is because slogans are meant to be memorable and catchy. The indelible element may be through the way of a rhyming scheme or humour or pop-culture references, etc.
What element suits your brand perfectly will be discussed further in the article, but alongside it is important to note that catchy slogans are the only slogans that can survive. Surely no brand would want to have disastrous slogans like :
- “Sitting on faces since 2001” by Sunglass Shack
- “Good luck” by Uzbekistan airlines
- “The more you play with it, the harder it gets” by SEGA
Do drop in any other disastrous marketing slogans that you may have come across in the comments section below!
Lastly, the definition terms slogans as a phrase “that encompasses an offering’s appeal”. A slogan is essentially an invitation toward your offering. The invitation, therefore, must encapsulate your product or your brand vision or your service’s benefits, etc. It should be an independent, brief and holistic phrase.
Purpose Of A Slogan
Slogans are not merely a group of catchy words; they are a strategic attempt at creating a persuasive image in the minds of the consumers. The basic purpose of a slogan is to sell a product/service. purpose of a slogan is to act as a shadow identity of a brand and promote a specific product/service.
A genuinely successful slogan will act not only as a benefit to your brand but it is also a long-term commitment. It is like the DNA of your brand. It imbibes the ideals of the related product/service and portrays the same to customers as well as employees. It aims to increase sales of your product. Slogans aim to reach out to customers on an emotional level. They relate to day-to-day situations for the target audience.
Brand slogans promote a product/service as well as a campaign for a range of products and services. Slogans aim to reveal more about your company, especially through more information about your pricing strategy, services or what customers may look forward to. In other cases, the slogan may reveal even more, for instance – a technology company slogan would emphasize its differences or a shoe company may encourage consumers to reach for their goals. The purpose of these slogans is to build a brand identity that sets the company apart, inviting consumers willing to experience the benefits of that brand.
Another important function of a slogan is to position the brand in the minds of customers most desirably and advantageously. Why is this positioning important? Positioning sets apart a brand from others. In today’s times, it is not only the brands that possess the power to change the market, but it’s also the consumers. A slogan is the best way to clarify to the consumer, “this is who we are, this is what we sell and/or this is why we are the perfect choice for you!” Your slogan must give the customers a reason to bother to notice your brand.
The basic aims of a slogan are summarised below:
- Creates positive imagery about your product
- Promotes a campaign for not only a single product but a range of products
- Compels the audience to ‘stop-and-think’
- Makes your brand stand out from the clutter
- Increases demand for your product
Tagline vs. Slogan
“Just do it” and “There’s no finish line” are both phrases used by Nike. Did Nike have two company taglines? Or two company slogans? Or do both the phrases have a more detailed use and purpose?
Marketing requires the use of numerous tools. Similarly, taglines and slogans are two different types of marketing tools. Taglines are a more permanent form of a company motto, while a slogan may be temporary/permanent and is aimed at the promotion of a specific campaign of a company. Slogans are a part of a marketing campaign. On the other hand, taglines lean toward being a company motto or something in that realm.
While both slogans and taglines are marketing tools, they are very distinct. The difference between slogans and taglines is – slogans are for the promotion of a company’s product campaign while taglines are for the promotion of the company itself. For instance –
Apple tagline: “Think different”
First gen. iPhone slogan: “This changes everything”
Oreo tagline: “Only oreo”
Oreo slogan: “Milk’s favourite cookie” / “Twist, lick, dunk”
The above-mentioned taglines and slogans are the most appropriate examples to understand the difference between slogans and taglines. As is evident, the tagline is more like an overarching phrase, while the slogan is campaign specific. Though slogans are intended to be campaign-specific it is not a water-tight definition.
Types of slogans
Broadly there are two types of slogans:
1) Business slogans
2) Advertising slogans
Business slogans emphasize the features that set your business apart from your competition. They are also informational. For instance:
- KFC – “Finger-lickin’ good”
- Carlsberg – “Probably the best beer in the world”
They showcase the distinct value proposition of the business in order to convey to people your brand’s stance, whether it be trust, revolution, perfection and etc. For instance, the following slogans portray empowerment and confidence:
- Pantene slogan – “Always camera ready”
- Zara slogan – “Love your curves” (England and Spain)
Advertising slogans emphasize on a particular product or service that has been part of an ad campaign, instead of focusing on the overall business.
It aims to create associations between the product’s usage experiences and the benefit that the customer may receive after purchase. For instance, the following slogans portray how your experience would be after you either purchase or engage with the company’s product:
- Coca-Cola – “Open happiness”
- Ajax – “Stronger than dirt”
- Frooti – “Fresh and juicy”
However, slogans can further be categorized based on their characteristics and features as follows:
As the name suggests, descriptive slogans build an image of the work your business actually does. It is an excellent choice if you wish to distinguish your business from other competitors. Popular examples include:
- Diary milk – “A glass and a half in every half-pound”
- Paul Masson – “We will sell no wine before its time”
Descriptive slogans are specifically more useful for brands with non-descriptive names. But as discussed above, slogans have to be short, precise and crisp. Therefore, even if you chose to go with a descriptive slogan do not create a generic and boring one.
Commanding slogans very briefly put, are powerful. They carry enough weightage to persuade any consumer to take action. If successfully crafted, these slogans can convince consumers to make purchases. Popular examples includes:
- Nike – “There Is No Finish Line”
- Gatorade – “Is it in you!?”
Persuasive slogans stress on why a consumer should opt for your particular product/service. You’ve got to make your case before your consumers through this kind of slogan. Convey to them why YOUR business is trustworthy and will help with their problems. A persuasive slogan hits the head right on the nail, more like a selling statement. Examples given below may help you understand better:
- L’Oreal – “Because you’re worth it”
- Kit-Kat – “Have a break, have a kit-kat”
Brands that develop a creative slogan, essentially raise the bar to a new level. Creative slogans, more often than not, male use of a literary device to enhance recall and response from consumers. Creating a creative type of slogan may be harder than it looks because along with thinking outside the box, you have to avoid overwhelming the consumers with something that might go over their heads.
- Maybelline – “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe its Maybelline”
- Meow Mix – “Tastes so good, cats ask for it by its name”
Now this one is one with immense psychological research support. Emotive slogans are made with the intent to awaken an emotion. Therefore, it goes beyond merely providing information about your product/service. Perhaps the most popular example include:
- DeBeers – “A Diamond is forever”
- Disneyland – “Where dreams come true”
How To Write A Slogan?
Now that you have read and acclimatized yourself with the technicalities of a slogan, let’s see how you can actually start creating a long-lasting and impactful slogan?
Step 1: Identify Your Purpose
Step 1 isn’t about identifying your life purpose, that might take a while. This step is referring to identifying the purpose of your slogan. The basic question grid below might help:
Q1) What are you selling? Is it a tangible product like toiletries, beauty essentials, food items, etc.? Is it an intangible product like software, taxi service, data, etc.?
Q2) Is it for charitable purposes or a business profit?
Q3) Who is your target audience?
Q4) Are you a start-up brand or a well-established brand?
Once you have answered these questions, review your answers and you should be able to gain clarity on what is your product/service’s purpose? You may be a well-established pet supplies brand looking to adopt a new slogan for a new product or you may be a start-up menstruation help brand looking to create a new slogan for your new chocolate-flavoured cramp medicines. Do let us know in the comments, what are your answers to these question?
Step 2: Select A Type Of Slogan
Go through the earlier sections on “types of slogans” and identify which type do you want to stick to? You may blend in a few, but it is of vital importance to narrow down your brainstorming. A few narrow ideas to help you:
- Descriptive and informational
- Overwhelming good-will
Step 3: Killer Phrases Are On Your Way
Once you have successfully completed steps 1 and 2, you will have a fair idea of a group of words that can turn out to be your slogan.
For instance, if you have identified, your product as a pen. Your product is for a business profit. Your target audience is college-going students. You are a new start-up brand. You have identified your type as creative, humorous, snarky and engaging. Now you can think of ways that blend your type with your product. Going by the earlier example, how do I make the use of pen funny for college students? How do I make the use of pen creative for college-students?
Step 4: Keep It Short, Original And Believable
Once you have started forming phrases, it is important to note that your slogan must be short. As explained earlier, it takes 7 seconds to create a first impression. Short phrases are easy to remember and easy to recall.
Next, shift your focus on keeping it original. It is a natural tendency to get influenced by the hundreds of brands and their slogans around you. Beware of this influence and do not let it sneak into your slogan. An old and traditional slogan will not only pull down your sales, but it will also lead to associations of “old”, “boring”, and “dishonest” with your brand.
The sky is the limit while creating a slogan. But that does not mean that while doing so you try and make promises that your brand can never fulfil. McDonald’s can have the slogan, “Because you only have $ 4” because it stands true to its brand. If Starbucks chose to adopt a slogan similar to McDonald’s, it would face immense backlash.
Step 5: Do Not Rush The Process
As important and urgent it is for you to advertise with your newly created slogan, do not spend hours at a stretch working on it and locking down the last one! The perfect blend of creativity, humour, and persuasion takes its time.
Keep in mind to not lock down the last slogan you think of. Make sure that you cannot think of anything better, because there may always be a better one. What makes you laugh, will make your customers laugh. When you see/hear your slogan you should want to buy the product, or at least browse through what the company is offering.
Take breaks and look at your progress slogans with a fresh set of eyes. Once you are sure that your slogan awakens an emotion inside you, and cannot get any better because it is the best, you have successfully created a KILLER SLOGAN, my friend!
Social Commerce is a spinoff term made by combining ‘social network’ and ‘electronic commerce’. It integrates the e-commerce experience with social media. While strategies taken by different platforms may be different, the main motive is common: facilitating sales via social network.
And it is not something new. In fact, all major social networking platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook etc. have already implemented it in one or the other way! Interested? Keep reading.
What Is Social Commerce?
Social commerce or s-commerce is the process of using social networks as platforms for selling goods and services. This doesn’t mean just redirecting to an online marketplace but also allowing users to complete the purchase from within the social network itself.
Usually, it doesn’t need its own platforms. Instead, the implementation of S-commerce looks to add to existing social media platforms by using them as a channel for e-commerce.
S-commerce shouldn’t be confused with social media marketing. Social media marketing is done to increase overall brand awareness and to drive users to the company’s website. In relation to sales, it uses social media only and only as a medium to ‘redirect traffic’. On the other hand, social commerce uses online social networks as platforms for sales. As a matter of fact, social media marketing can be used to boost s-commerce!
Benefits Of Social Commerce
While in some cases social commerce is carried by brands creating a social network like shopping platform, the most common implementation of s-commerce is the integration of e-commerce in existing social networks. And well the benefits are huge.
For a practical scenario, suppose a user browsing through their feed when they see the kit from their favourite Football club. In the usual case, the user will have to search for an online market from where this kit can be purchased from, find the kit and then make a purchase. S-commerce instead aims to make this seamless by integrating the ‘buy’ button in the feed itself and letting the user buy the kit with minimal clicks.
When Instagram added initial retail capabilities to the ‘photo and video sharing platform’ in 2015, it suddenly had a large userbase that in addition to the media sharing was also using the s-commerce platform. This is totally in contrast to some other new e-commerce platform which would need to spend enormously to gain such a userbase.
The capability of adding e-commerce as a ‘module’ in the social network reaps big rewards.
“Data is the new oil” was famously said by Clive Humby in 2006 and the reasons are evident. Serving a modern bike helmet’s ad. to a gamer would bring sales far lesser than when it is served to members of the H.O.G. Companies spend enormous resources into gathering such data. Before serving an advertisement, they want to be sure whether the user is part of a gaming legion or H.O.G.
In the case of s-commerce, a lot of data is already there. Referring to the example above, the user him/herself followed their favourite club’s page which eventually served the ad. Facebook won’t NEED to look into browsing history to know that the user is a football fan when the user is active on 4 football groups.
According to a 2015 user survey, Instagram reported that 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram. With the knowledge of user preferences, millions of users can be served advertisements that are actually good suggestions.
Minimising Discovery-To-Purchase Friction
Why did e-commerce become so popular when everything is already available in the markets? One big contributor to the answer to this is ‘ease’. People did find time to go to a cloth retailer on weekends and windows still had curtains before e-commerce but, being able to look at dozens of curtains while commuting and getting one at doorstep three days later is just easier and has won many preferences.
S-commerce further reduces this friction. Take the case of the Football example above. The steps of finding the right online vendor, registering/logging in and finding the same product (and variant) were taken out of the process. It just makes sense.
Bringing Curated Vendors Into One Platform
Imagining seamless integration of large e-commerce marketplaces into one platform might be a bit far-fetched right now. But s-commerce making social networks ‘curated marketplaces’ is real. While user-data makes advertisement suggestions better, feeds are heavily based on people/groups the users choose to follow.
As soon as Tom’s favourite coffee beans manufacturer, soup company and beard oil manufacturer decide to integrate business services into their Instagram pages, Tom has got a curated list of products that he likes baked right into his Instagram feed.
Not only customers but companies also get to enjoy organic traffic. Customer retention is also higher since the traffic is targeted. In addition, social networking platforms provide powerful tracking and analytics services which would be impossible for small vendors to get hands on otherwise.
Social Sharing And Engagement
Reducing the ‘friction’ of performing a task is always a big goal for better user experience. Just like reducing the friction of buying, social commerce also reduces the friction of sharing. S-commerce makes sharing and discussing a product with friends just a couple of taps away. It brings people closer to the ‘shopping with friends’ experience. Consequently, it also increases the overall engagement of the users on the platform.
Social Commerce Examples
Social commerce by itself isn’t anything new and most major social networking platforms have been experimenting with it in one or the other way. Most readers will be surprised to know that Facebook technically started their s-commerce journey all the way back in 2007, 3 years before Instagram was even born! Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are the biggest facilitators of s-commerce.
Companies have come a long way and have been gradually getting successful in doing s-commerce the right way. The ‘M-commerce’ or mobile commerce (buying and selling via mobile phones) boom has magnified the response for s-commerce. Here are some visual examples of how two social media and now s-commerce giants are doing things:
- Products on a Facebook page.
- ‘Shop’ of the retailer (dbrand).
- Directing to retailer’s website.
- ‘Shop’ on Instagram.
- Example product placement (similar on feed)
- Example product placement (similar on feed).
- Tap to buy
- Get directly to the checkout page and checkout from within Instagram’s browser integration.
Buyable pins which let users buy the pinned offerings. The transaction is carried out by Pinterest itself.
Future of Social Commerce
TL;DR: s-commerce is here to stay, and grow. As mentioned on this post by Instagram, every month around 130 million accounts tap on shopping posts to learn more about products while 62% of participants in a survey said they have become more interested in a brand or product after they saw it in Facebook stories. These stats explain why companies are pushing hard to better things. Facebook making ticket sales possible via the platform and Instagram testing complete checkout process from the app without any redirection are indications of where s-commerce is headed. It’s common to see retailers providing bot-integrated customer care on Facebook itself. And all this is going to go further as companies learn and technology develops (hint: AR).
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think of our article on social commerce in the comments section.
Ever wondered why websites give away time-bound offers specifically to first-time customers or specifically to long-term ones? Why do companies choose to have loyalty programs at all? Why do students get different offers on Windows and office users to get different offers?
The answer lies in the technique of –
Unless a company has a really low number of customers, it is neither possible nor feasible to cater to each and every customer individually. And even if it wishes to remain a small business with a focused customer base, making each of its customers feel connected and personal with the brand is a goal that’s hard to reach.
Customer segmentation is a marketing strategy which helps in that.
What Is Customer Segmentation?
Customer segmentation refers to dividing the target market into manageable and feasible groups according to shared characteristics to develop effective and appropriate business strategies.
In simple terms, customer segmentation is the process of dividing the existing customer base into manageable and feasible groups based on common characteristics such as age, gender, loyalty, frequency of purchase, etc. to target and develop marketing strategies for each group according to its characteristics.
The objectives of customer segmentation include dividing the target customers into smaller groups that reflect similarity among customers in each group to –
- Develop better relationships by understanding the needs of every customer segment
- Identify valuable customers
- Identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities
- Improve profitability by developing more effective marketing strategies for each segment
Types Of Customer Segments
Developing appropriate customer segments based on consumer preferences can aid tailoring marketing communication effectively. There are three main approaches to customer segmentation. These are –
- Priori Segmentation: This segmentation type uses publically available characteristics information like industry and company size to create distinct segments of the customer base. Usually, demographic segmentation comes under this approach of customer segmentation.
- Needs-Based Segmentation: This type of customer segmentation relies on differentiated and validated drivers (needs) expressed by the customers for the offering. Lifestyle segmentation and value/benefit segmentation come under this approach of customer segmentation.
- Value-Based Segmentation: This segmentation approach segments the customers based on their economic value to the company. New customers and existing customers segments fall under this type of customer segmentation.
Under demographic segmentation, customers are divided into specific categories of age, gender, income, location, ethnicity, education, occupation, etc.
This type of customer segmentation works on a notion that what interests a single, 18-years-old college student will be different from what a 50-years-old lawyer, married with two children, would find interesting.
Lifestyle segmentation includes segments based on the customers’ activities, opinions, and interests. Here’s an example –
|B||Social gathering events||Public welfare||Drawing/Painting|
|Marine diving||Environmentalist||Adventure sports|
The above table gives a crisp picture of what kind of communication strategies would work to help get hold of each of the respective customer. For instance –
The following customer loyalty rewards should work better for the corresponding customers:
Free recycled backpacks – Customer C
Free fashion magazines – Customer D
Another great example of lifestyle marketing is Mountain Dew’s “Dewnited States” campaign. Mountain Dew communication is oriented towards a consumer segment that prefers adventure, risk, and thrill, of between 18-30 years probably.
Value or benefit segmentation refers to creating segments of customers based on their value perception from the product/service sold by a company. In simple terms, in this strategy, the company divides the segments based on the value, benefit, or advantage consumers believe to perceive when they consume the offering.
A few important things to note here:
- This kind of segment only works for existing customers/recent customers, but not new ones.
- Value segmentation requires substantial analytical insights about consumer behaviour from the point of contact with a brand until the consumer makes a purchase/leaves.
Examples of value/benefit segmentation could include customers who:
- Try to maximize value
- Try to seek benefit
- Are reluctant aspirers
- Are heavy spenders
New Customer Segment
A company/brand may choose to segment its consumers on a ‘new versus existing’ basis too. In such a case, the new customer segment would include:
- A new customer who hasn’t made a purchase
- A new customer who made a few purchases (1-2) recently
Within the ‘new customer segment,’ often the focus is on what means did the customer use to come across the product in the first place.
Next, it would include a sub-segment of the ‘level of engagement’ that the user had with the website, salesperson, application, etc.
A new customer, when appropriately nurtured, usually converts to an existing customer. Existing customers are loyal to your brand. They are further divided into sub-segments of the frequency of visiting or buying, and the reason for buying.
The Importance Of Customer Segmentation
Customer segmentation has a significant impact on customer management. Dividing customers into different groups that are based on common characteristics and needs helps to market to every segment distinctively and effectively. It also helps to focus on the needs of each kind of customer at any given moment. Whether large or small, niche customer segments can be targeted based on the resources or needs of the company.
The following section details the benefits of customer segmentation, and in turn, how any company can grow using customer segmentation:
Customer segmentation strategies permit a company to emerge as an active, assertive, and even aggressive business. It is quite the opposite of the “spray and pray” method wherein brands create adverts and marketing campaigns but merely sit back and “hope” for customers to be attracted.
The idea here is that once a company is well-versed with its customers’ profiles, it’s more likely to rightly ascertain what they need.
A resultant rise in sales numbers and revenue, in turn, will transform the company into owning a larger chunk of the market share. With that, the company would naturally become more popular and therefore cause a rise in its brand equity.
Ability To Expand
Next, customer segmentation allows growth not merely in a spatial sense but strategically too. A spatial/physical sense because one will be able to cater to the right customer and turn to areas populated by those who suit one’s present customer base.
Think of Apple – the world’s first $ trillion company. At first, it started as a California business partnership. When the company became financially prepared to expand, it began as its services in other metropolitan areas across the country.
Well, Apple segmented and targeted a specific market, gained its trust and loyalty. That trust and loyalty converted into revenue and enabled Apple to expand its customer base.
Increased Customer Retention
With the trust of customers, comes loyalty.
The most obvious reason for this link is the brand experience – because a respective brand has been helpful in the past by catering to exactly what the customer needed and is expected to do so in the future too.
But there are reasons, less obvious and much deeper than that.
Successful customer segmentation will permit the maintenance of a connection with the customers post-sale.
Through segmenting customers into precise subsets, formulation of what else can be offered (additionally) to indicate the company’s enthusiasm about serving their wants and needs, becomes easier.
By doing so, there is an increase in the likeliness of them returning when they need something in the future.
Through customer segments of financial and societal status, it becomes much easier for a brand to offer a product or service at a price that will be considered reasonable.
Therefore, the optimization of the price of the product will help ensure that customers get the greatest value for their money, as well as ensure that the company produces the maximum sum of revenue possible.
Customer Segmentation Examples
Customer segmentation is a fact of many industries. Companies segment their customers to sell better, serve better, and maintain better relationships. Here are some examples of customer segmentation experienced in known industries –
Banks segment their customers based on their economic status and their relationship with the bank. Such segmentation helps the bank to send personalized communication to upsell and cross-sell.
The segmentation also helps it to develop a more effective marketing strategy which focuses on the exact needs of every segment.
Ecommerce websites segment their customers according to which stage of the sales funnel they are on. This helps these websites send more effective communication messages (SMS, emails, push notifications, etc.) to make them move ahead in the funnel.
Online games, often freemium ones, segment their customers according to their activities in the game. This helps them find customers which are more likely to convert and conduct micro-transactions.
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