Interaction and Connection: Emerging Media’s Keywords

Over the past few months I have been researching and writing about various types of emerging media. While each topic itself differed, it quickly became clear to me that interaction and connection are what emerging media is all about.

The following blog post is going to take a look at one of my favorite marketing campaigns (it is very near and dear to my heart) that utilizes emerging media to connect and interact with WVU fans across the country. The campaign is called Mountaineer Nation Day. Mountaineer Nation day takes place during an away WVU football game and it leverages the power of social media to connect “Mountaineer Nation.” There are several different aspects to the promotion but I am only going to focus on one. That component is called “Register Your Watch Party.” Fans are encouraged to register watch parties wherever they will be watching the game. Once a party is registered a Flying WV pops up on an interactive map that shows where watch parties are being held all over the world. This visual representation shows the world how big Mountaineer Nation really is. In my opinion it is an incredibly cool way to connect all Mountaineer fans. This past Mountaineer Day 719 watch parties were registered all over the world! Here is a screenshot of the map:

MND map

This is just one example of emerging media allowing people to interact and connect with the communities and brands they love. What are some other campaigns brands have created to connect their loyal customers and to strengthen their overall brand community?

References

Mountaineer Nation Day. (n.d.). Retrieved December 22, 2015, from http://mountaineernationday.wvu.edu/home

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The World of Lifestyle Brands

Let’s start off this post discussing exactly what a lifestyle brand is. Lifestyle brands are those brands who associate themselves with a particular way of life. (Marazza, 2013) By doing so these brands offer social benefits to the consumer because the brand aligns consumers with like-minded individuals. (Marazza, 2013)  Ultimately, these brands create a sense of belonging to the consumers that build relationships with them. Some examples of lifestyle brands are Nike, Apple and the Body Shop. Nike speaks to consumers who enjoy working out and want to push their limits while the Body Shop speaks to consumers who are interested in nature. (Marazza, 2013)  As you can see, each lifestyle brand attracts to a very particular target market by strategically choosing messaging that those consumers find appealing.

So how does a brand become a lifestyle brand?

There should be no surprise here, but content marketing is one of the main ways brands become a lifestyle brand. To piggyback off of last week’s blog post, YETI is an example of a lifestyle brand that has been able to elevate its brand’s status by recycling user content. In addition, the YETI brand speaks to the outdoorsmen who enjoys adventure and the wild. By centering all of its messaging on that main idea, YETI has been able to build up a large, loyal consumer base.

Another brand that has done an excellent job reaching the lifestyle brand status is Chaco. Chacos are very durable outdoor hiking sandals that have become fairly popular over the last few years. So much so they have started to become mainstream.

How did Chaco become a lifestyle brand?

Chaco first identified that its consumer was someone who LOVES the outdoors. With that in mind, the brand created all of its messaging for those who love the outdoors. Then similar to YETI, Chaco leveraged several social media platforms (Twitter and Instagram) to engage even further with its consumers. This social media engagement ultimately helped the Chaco brand create a loyal fan base. In addition, Chacos does an excellent job of recycling user generated content to create a “community” feel for all of its fans to be a part of. The brand also created a specific hashtag (#CHACONATION) for its fans to use to further create a sense of belonging. Here are some examples of social media posts to give you idea about #CHACONATION.

In addition to engaging on social media, Chaco uses curation to collect social media data/posts and uses it on the brands website under the #CHACONATION page. This means that consumers can see how active the Chaco community just by visiting the brand’s website and without having to go to all the separate social media platforms. Here is what that page looks like: Be sure to take not of the messaging under #CHACONATION

chaco_4

“Join the tribe. Share your journey. Connect with us and each other.”

What are some of your favorite lifestyle brands and how have they created a connection with you?

References

#ChacoNation. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.chacos.com/US/en/chaconation/

Chaco (@chacofootwear) • Instagram photos and videos. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from https://www.instagram.com/chacofootwear/

Marazza, A. (2013, October 11). The Survival Guide for Symbolic and Lifestyle Brands. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2013/10/11/a-survival-guide-for-symbolic-and-lifestyle-brands/

Twitter (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from https://twitter.com/chacousa

Recycling Consumer Content to Create Consumer Engagement

How many marketing messages do you encounter on a daily basis? Probably so many that you tend to tune most of them out at some point. Since consumers some into contact with so many of these marketing messages each day, it becomes increasingly harder for brands to capture the attention of consumers and create engagement. One way brands are able to create engagement with consumers is by recycling consumer content. Two brands that do an excellent job of utilizing existing consumer content to garner the attention of other consumers are Cabela’s and YETI. Each of these brands takes multimedia from consumers and shares it to create a bigger imprint of interaction with consumers. The following are some examples of how these two brands use this tactic successfully:

What makes this tactic so powerful? The first is that it helps the brand enhance its digital storytelling, which as we all know is one of the most effective ways to break through the clutter of all the marketing messages. Also by utilizing consumer content, these brands are able to make their messaging seem more authentic than straight forward messaging promoting the brand.

Do you know of any other brands who do a great job of recycling consumer content to garner consumer engagement? Why do you think this is such a successful tactic?

References

Cabela’s. (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2015, from https://www.facebook.com/Cabelas

YetiCoolers. (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2015, from https://www.facebook.com/YetiCoolers

Cyber Monday #BuyMeLilly

Cyber Monday, a day full of online deals, has become increasingly popular in the last few years and is beginning to rival that of Black Friday. As Cyber Monday continues to gain traction, consumers are starting to see more and more deals from their favorite brands. This Cyber Monday proved to be one of the best with many brands vying for consumers’ attention.

Lilly Pulitzer was one brand in particular that caught my eye this Cyber Monday because of its exceptional use of emerging media, particularly its use of social media. While most brands offer discounts during social media, Lilly took a different approach. Lilly created a social media campaign focused around 24 hours of contests held on Twitter. Every hour, on the the hour, Lilly gave away one of its products on Twitter. The brand was able to engage consumers and fans through these contests by asking them to interact by favoriting, commenting or retweeting. Here is an example of the Cyber Monday contest conducted by Lilly.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 11.25.25 PM

Based on what I have seen so far these contests have garnered a larger amount of engagement. Additionally, Lilly was able to create consistency by utilizing #BuyMeLilly for all of its posts related to the Cyber Monday campaign. The brand also encouraged its fans to use that hashtag as well when referring to the products they were buying or the products they wished to buy this holiday season. As Cyber Monday continues to grow, it will be increasingly harder for brands to break through the clutter and stand out. Did you see any other brands that did a particularly good job this Cyber Monday at catching your attention and getting you to interact?

Reference

Lilly Pulitzer (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2015, from https://twitter.com/search?q=#BuyMeLilly&src=tyah

Emerging Media, Personalization and Convenience have led to a New Breed of Business

The holiday season is upon us and it seems that there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done that I need to. We have all been there: you have to go to a holiday party and just don’t have the time to go shop for an outfit or you are having people over for dinner, but don’t have the time to go to the grocery store and get your house ready for your guests. These are common problems that we face in our fast-paced “go, go, go” society. This busy time of year has inspired me to write this post on a new type of business that seems to capitalize on the idea of convenience. I am talking about the business model that integrates a user-centric strategy by providing personalized services directly to the consumer. The company that I am going to discuss in this week’s post is Stitch Fix but there are many other up and coming businesses that fit this model like Blue Apron.

Stitch Fix is a company that hand-selects fashion forward clothing and accessories and then delivers them to your door.

As the company states on its website, “For busy women on the go, Stitch Fix is the personal styling service tailored to your taste, budget and lifestyle that helps you look and feel your best every day.”

The overall Stitch Fix process is made up of 3 simple steps:

  1. Take a personal style quiz so the stylist that is paired with you gets to know your taste.
  2. Receive 5 personalized pieces that are delivered to your door.
  3. Keep the items that you love and send back the rest. (Shipping is free and Stitch Fix provides you with a mailer to send the products back.)

There are several reasons Stitch Fix has seen success with its model. The first is that it is very simple, making it easy for users to get involved. The second is that it includes personalization. Ah yes one of the key words when it comes to marketing. Consumers love it when they are able to receive a personalized experience. It makes them feel special and increases the likelihood of generating brand loyalty. (Marketingcharts, 2014) In addition, personalization is key to a brand’s long term success. (Marketingcharts, 2014)

ConversantForrester-Personalization-Importance-Brand-Success-Sept2014

The third and most important reason the Stitch Fix model is successful, is convenience. The users of this service are busy and what draws them to use it, is the fact that everything is sent directly to them with minimum effort on their part.

Sunday steep session. Curl up in a shirtdress & cozy vest with a cup of tea. How are you unwinding this weekend? #teatime:

The Stitch Fix Community

Stitch fix has also been able to create its own community made up of users through the use of various social media platforms. Stitch Fix has an integrated social media approach by actively utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. On each of these accounts the brand interacts with its users by encouraging them to share outfits, talk about what they love and the brand even features giveaways and contests on these platforms. In addition, almost all of the brands social media posts feature an eye-popping image that immediately captures the user attention.

For a cold-weather weekend look, opt for a classic cable knit sweater with distressed denim & a plaid blanket scarf for an extra cozy factor.:

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, Stitch Fix is just one of many in using this business model. Do you think we will start to see more businesses take on this approach? What are some other businesses who have successfully applied similar tactics?

References

Digital Marketers: Personalization Critical to Long-Term Brand Objectives. (2014, September 5). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://www.marketingcharts.com/online/digital-marketers-personalization-critical-to-long-term-brand-objectives-45671/

Stitch Fix | Try a Personal Stylist! (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from https://www.stitchfix.com/

Stitch Fix (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from https://twitter.com/stitchfix

Stitch Fix (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from https://www.facebook.com/stitchfix

Stitch Fix (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from https://instagram.com/stitchfix/

Stitch Fix (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from https://www.pinterest.com/stitchfix/

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Twitter is the smartest of all

Late in 2013, Twitter introduced the Twitter Mirror, an iPad that is programmed for special events and into a frame that looks like a handheld mirror (Rosman, 2013). It can not only allow the user to take selfies, but to draw and write on the photo before posting to Twitter. The software has the ability to take video and make GIFs, while also allowing users to brand each photo using overlays that can be created by the user (Westendorf, 2014).

temp150730-twitter-mirror-020--nfl_mezz_1280_1024.JPG.jpg

This technology has really only taken off at special events that mainly features celebrities because it shows these individuals being interactive in an authentic manner that consumers are not normally exposed to (Rosman, 2013). Even though the Twitter Mirror has become widely popular for celebrities, the technology may be useable for other brands trying to create consumer engagement.

As previously mentioned, the Twitter Mirror allows the user to edit photos with filters and this particular feature could be useable by any brand to promote their product. For example, a Twitter Mirror could be used at a grand opening for a certain location. It would provide consumers with a behind the scenes look of the grand opening and it would create an additional medium for interaction, both of which would generate hype and awareness of the brand.

twitter-mirror-diaz.jpg

Do you know of any particular brands utilizing the Twitter Mirror technology? If not, could you think of any that would really benefit from this tool?

References

Rosman, K. (2013, December 10). Twitter Mirror: Celebrities’ New Publicity Machine. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304744304579250191845094318

Westendorf, A. (2014, July 15). Emerging Trends: The Twitter Mirror. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from https://digitalsportsvoice.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/emerging-trends-the-twitter-mirror/

Leveraging Pinterest to Reach Consumers

Even though social media has been around for the past decade, social media marketing has become more prevalent and more effective in the past five years. Originally these platforms were created as a way for friends and family to stay in touch virtually, but eventually brands and companies figured out that social media platforms were ideal to reach their consumers.

When we hear about social media marketing, we mostly think of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. One platform that seems to be overlooked by many brands is Pinterest.

marketing-with-pinterest

“Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas.”

Personally, I use Pinterest to save recipes, home decor inspiration, maybe even ugly holiday sweater party ideas. Let’s not forget all the wedding pinning that goes on as well. I have to admit that 80% of my pins are dedicated to wedding planning and inspiration. Because this is how people use tend to use Pinterest, brands don’t necessarily think of it as a platform to market products. However, Pinterest, like other social media platforms, can be leveraged to not only reach consumers but to also interact and create a relationship with them.

As I mentioned earlier, Pinterest relies heavily on its visually appealing nature, making it a very engaging platform. Everyone loves multimedia since it has the power of garnering attention. Several brands such as Whole Foods and Nordstrom have harnessed the strengths of Pinterest to create effective marketing campaigns. (Baker, 2014) Take a look at the following board created by Nordstrom that highlights the looks and products they love. (Baker, 2014)

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 10.39.36 PM

In addition to creating boards on Pinterest, Nordstrom also added Pin it buttons to all its products on its website. This means that when a consumer comes across a Nordstrom product that they like, they have the ability to pin it to a board of their own. To take the campaign one step further, Nordstrom utilizes in-store signage to highlight products that have the most pins (almost like a featured or favorite product based on its Pinterest status). (Baker, 2014)

As you can see, Pinterest can be a useful marketing tool for brands. What are some other brands that you feel do an excellent job of using Pinterest to reach consumers? Are there certain brands that this platform wouldn’t work for?

References

Baker, L. (2014, December 17). Best of 2014: Our Favorite Pinterest Campaigns. Retrieved November 9, 2015.

Pinterest. (n.d.). Retrieved November 9, 2015, from https://www.pinterest.com/

Emerging Media Meets Fitness with Peloton

It seems that emerging media has started to intersect with almost all facets of people’s lives. We use emerging media to stay connected socially, we use it at work to be more productive, it helps us get our news and so on. For this blog post I am going to be discussing a new brand called Peloton and how its innovative usage of emerging media has completely changed the fitness landscape.

Fitness is something that has been important to me at a young age, but as I have gotten older and entered the work world I have found it increasingly hard to find the time and energy to get myself to the gym. After a long day, all I want to do is go home, not to the gym. How many of you encounter this problem? Often people tell me to purchase of equipment for my home, but that doesn’t appeal to me because of the social aspect of a work out is missing and I never feel like I am getting a good workout in.

If these are problems you face, take a look at Peloton.

The founders of Peloton were cyclists who had similar problems as I described above, “We loved cycling but had a hard time finding a workout that consistently fit our schedules, and our at-home workouts never felt quite up to par.” Peloton looked to innovative technology and emerging media to create a truly world-class cycling experience in your own home.

peloton2Peloton3

So how does it work exactly?

Users can purchase a Peloton bike and then a subscription to Peloton’s cycling classes. Classes are led by cycling experts 10 times a day and they all have differing characteristics. In addition, the subscription allows users to access all of the classes on demand as well if the live times do not work with your schedule.

Peloton makes this possible by including a state of the art touchscreen. This touchscreen uses Wi-Fi and provides a completely immersive and socially connected workout experience. The use can see the instructor, monitor their progress and see others that are in the class with them. In addition, each Peloton user is provided with an account to monitor results and progress. In addition, Peloton developed an iPad app that allows its users to access classes and content anywhere, anytime.

peloton

Peloton says, “We are more than just a class, a cycling studio, and a bike. We deliver a fully engaging experience with the technology to make every workout effective, and the social connection to make every workout addicting.”

As you can see emerging media helped create a more engaging and accessible home workout experience. What are some other types of emerging being used in the fitness landscape and how have they changed people’s workout routines?

Emerging Media: Let’s Get Connected!

Emerging Media: What is it and how do we use it?
For my introductory post I will be discussing the definition of emerging/new/digital media as it will be the focal point for my entire blog. During the past week my IMC classmates and I took the time to come up with our own definitions of what emerging media is. Some of the words we came up with were evolutionary, shared, user centric and innovative. While all the names were different, each definition had one key character in common: interaction.

So what is emerging media?
Emerging/new/digital media is different than traditional media because it creates interaction with its user. In the past marketers would just send messaging to consumers without being able to receive feedback. Now with emerging media, marketers can engage with consumers because it provides channels for interaction. Keep in mind that this is a very broad definition and that there are many different kinds of emerging media. Here are several examples:

  • Social media
  • Podcasts
  • Online communities
  • Multimedia
  • Blogs

These are just some examples. I will be going into more detail about different types of emerging media and how we can effectively use it.

How do we use emerging media?
Now that we got the definition out of the way, lets discuss the fun stuff: how we interact with emerging media on a daily basis. Emerging media has become so common that it is often hard to pinpoint when we come in contact with it. I could not tell you the amount of times I use different social media channels during the day. When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I do is check Instagram and Facebook to check what all of my friends have going on. I do the same exact thing right before bed.

Has social media become a part of your routine as well?
Below is an infographic courtesy of Quick Sprout that shows user engagement. Understanding how and when people use emerging media, like social media, is key when trying to use it to market to consumers or connect with individuals.

infographic
As we all know the digital landscape is constantly changing, making this an incredibly exciting topic to explore. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on the latest emerging media trends and hearing your feedback.