WHY, OH WHY 300: Mobile Marketing? IKEA DOES IT LIKE NO OTHERS!

Whether tech-savvy or not tech-savvy, most of us own and are constantly using mobile devices – because it is convenient, easy to carry around, accessible anytime anywhere – we can always multitask on our phones and catching up with the world. Mobiles have evolved from just “calling and text messaging devices” to something we cannot live without (yes, I LITERALLY mean it, the first thing you think of before going to bed and getting up is your phone!). And while we spend a lot of time on our phones, why not “window” shopping, information searching, email checking, gaming (and many many more other activities)? With the incredible development of new technologies and consumers being attached to mobile devices, it has become essential for companies and brands to be active and creative in mobile marketing, in order to reach out to the majority of audience, promote their brand images and drive revenue.

In the tough and demanding market of mobile marketing, IKEA is one of the many companies that have really stepped up their game. The Swedish brand proved that they deserve to be the world’s largest and most popular furniture retailer, not only because of their inventive home appliance designs, but now also how user friendly they have become. Putting thought into understanding modern technologies and customer behaviors, IKEA have succeeded in introducing their mobile app which provides users virtual reality experience and also in-store shopping companion experience.

WHY ARE THEY DIFFERENT? What unique experience that the app actually brings to its customers/users?

1. Virtual reality experience

  • IKEA believes this idea will become the next big thing that actually changes customers’ lives. The app provides customers virtual room setup with the actual size in real world . With the app downloaded on their mobile devices, users can visualize what their home would actually look like – they are able to alter and change the furnitures, as well as browsing the room from many different perspectives. This virtual reality app aims at convenience and preciseness – it allows users to see what products are suitable, minimize the products return and exchange rate.  
  • By introducing the app, IKEA also wish to encourage and inspire mobile savvy and new homeowners to become their “co-creators”, by browsing IKEA’s inventory (both online and instore) while experiencing with their virtual house design.
  • This new app is a great strategy for IKEA to combine digital and physical shopping experiences. It also helps to boost sales and revenue by tailoring the app to their personal search, inserting call to action: recommending customers with new products and suggesting similar options. 

2. In-store shopping companion

  • With their mobile devices, customers are now able to create list of items and find their location in store, as well as check off items that have been collected. Customers can also view all the product information, along with their offers and availability.
  • Everything is accessible within a finger swipe, customers are able to scan items, viewing the store map and adding, checking and editing their lists. The app makes everything very convenient and also help customers to save a fair amount of time spending in store finding items (like what they used to do). 

All the apps are free to download on any mobile devices and can be in more than one language. Apart from all the benefits from the apps, IKEA also leverage their mobile marketing strategies by providing customers with free wifi in some of their stores. The company wants to create customer-centric app that support and make customers store visit experience even better.

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WHY, OH WHY 222: “You are beautiful” – A topic done right and went viral – DOVE Real Beauty Sketches

Most of us are familiar with Dove, and have our own memories about the brand growing up. It can be either the advertisement of a pretty girl with long silky hair that pop up in the middle of your favourite tv show; the gorgeous smell of various Dove products displayed in the supermarket; or simply using your mom’s Dove shampoo and sing to yourself in the shower. For over 60 years, the company has been very successful with their marketing strategies. And on of the most popular campaigns that touched millions hearts is the Dove Real Beauty Sketches, which promoted the true beauty in every woman.

In 2013, the company came up with a new campaign in order to inspire and empower all women to love themselves and believe in their true beauty. Gil Zamora – a FBI trained sketch artist was featured in a short film sketching two different portraits of a few women, based on their own descriptions of themselves and on the descriptions of other strangers. There were no face to face contact between the artist and all the participants. The two portraits were then hang side-by-side in a bright room, and the differences were noticeable: the one described by the stranger was more beautiful and attractive than the self-description.The film ended with women’s positive thoughts about their true beauty, and conveyed a message that “You are more beautiful than you think”.

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The video went viral with over 114 million views in the first month and became the most watched video in 2013. Dove’s number of subscribers, Facebook and Twitter followers increase tremendously. The company even won 19 lions, which includes the Titanium Grand Prix.

So..back to the question: HOW DID THE VIDEO SPREAD SO QUICKLY? Here’s a list of all the reasons why:

1. Social currency

People are interested in sharing their thoughts and opinions. Dove did not include their product promotion in the video but focused on empowering women to believe in their true beauty. By encouraging a woman to change her perception of herself, Dove was actually spreading a social message that makes them different, and references their own culture. This campaign completely changed how customers viewed the company and increased the amount of likes, shares and comments on their video. The vast audience were inspired to love themselves, and to express their feelings about this sensitive topic. The message Dove sent out has become the “common voice” that needed to be spread and heard.

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2. Triggers

“Top of the mind leads to tip of tongue”. Dove has created a massive personal touch by using the term “YOU” – “You are beautiful” – the company tried to connect to its audience and show that Dove actually care about them. People then referred the message to themselves, shared and talked about how a brand successfully changed the way they look at themselves, and bring out the positivity. It generated a massive impact that people then bought Dove products in order to support a social cause.

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3. Emotions

The content of the video is relatable. The video was so sincere and authentic, no products promotion was involved, and it did perfectly well in bringing out a sense of warmth, confidence and joy. Dove has encouraged and empowered women to think differently, positively and bravely, to actually love themselves and believe that they are truly beautiful. The relationship between the brand and their audience were uplifted and customers think of Dove as a genuine brand who always supports women.

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4. Public visibility

Celebrities and other brands were also involved in the campaign by constantly sharing and discussing about the topic of the video. Dove created a common platform for discussions and empowerment – an invaluable strategy to develop their relationship with the customers and to build stronger brand image.

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5. Practical value

The video was ensured to be seen and shared by the right people. Creating a campaign supporting women and not promoting any of their products, Dove did a smart move to gain a large number of customers and to raise awareness among women. The brand succeeded in connecting and leveraging its relationship with the customers. A huge numbers of customers purchased Dove products to support the campaign.

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6. Stories

As I have mentioned at the beginning of this blog, a touching and inspiring storyline!

Watch the story here

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References

Dove’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0uGC_EBwAxw3ljqeGjy2qw

All images retrieved from the original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE

WHY, OH WHY 101: ||Social Media Influencers|| Am I an influencer? Are you an influencer? WHO ACTUALLY ARE THESE INFLUENCERS?

On this first topic, I will share my thoughts with you about how ideas can be spread by using influencers.

Are you currently following someone who occasionally gives out a discount code to purchase a product? Have you been recommended by them to try out a new service or experience? Have you ever said to yourself “This is actually great, I want to do the same thing!”, just by looking at their posts of many of the activities that they are a part of? 

 

 

 

 

 

If so, that person that you follow is doing pretty well with their role as an influencer..

To begin with: Who actually are these influencers, and why are they so popular? Easy. They are just ordinary people (like us!) who are passionate about something, and do not hesitate to share it with the world. They build up their profiles and gain a large number of followers by showing what they love to do in their daily life (singing, cooking, traveling, fashion, filming, gaming, (yes, even STUDYING, literally anything). We all are following at least one or two people, who we either are interested in their posts/blogs/videos,  or find relatable. And as these people have their own audience, they actually are able to influence and shape their audience’s opinions and behaviour.

So..the BIG question: What is their role in spreading the ideas? How do they help in promoting brands and companies’ products?

  • First of all, they can share information and stories of their own experience with a brand/a product, together with their thoughts of the brand and the company; their personal reviews or recommendations. Using influencers is a great way to create a sense of conformity and witnessing: we sometimes check out what products our influencers use, what places they go to. Have you ever been to any cafes/restaurants in town that were recommended by your influencers? Or do you continue to use the hair shampoo that happens to be the same one that your influencer is using, and even buy more hair products from the same brand? If you follow someone popular for a certain amount of time, you somehow feel like you actually “know” them in some way, and their personal stories and experiences seem to be more authentic and trustworthy to you. Think about it this way, if you are into fitness, you are more likely to trust the products recommended by a person you follow on Instagram – someone who actually was unhappy with their body and how they look at first, and then becomes a positive and active person. Another additional point is when an influencer is actually using a product, their audience is very likely to be interested in the information they share about that product: how it works, how useful it is and the pros and cons of using it.   

  • Secondly, it is related to the social identity theory – some influencers are now actually giving their audience group a “team name” and promote or encourage the “spirit” and the culture of the group. This actually creates a social currency and bragging rights. Admit it, we all love that sense of belonging, of being an “insider”. And while everyone in the group is currently trying this specific product (recommended by the influencer) and loving it, why wouldn’t you?  

 

The power of word of mouth is strong, isn’t it? Especially when it is reviewed and recommended by someone ordinary, who shares the same thoughts and interests, and belongs to the same age group as you.

However, there are some things that companies should keep in mind when using influencers:

  • Be authentic. The influencer that a brand uses should match with the values that they create. They should actually believe in your product and feel genuine about it.
  • Be transparent. When it is an ad, do not hide it. Use hashtags or note that it is a sponsorship between the company and the influencer.
  • Come up with a proper and useful plan. If many likes and followers do not help you to sell your product, then you might reconsider it. 
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This is such an interesting topic that I feel like I could talk about it forever (: But I guess we will discuss more later in class, OR you can just comment on here!! (Sounds better for me :P) WHAT DO YOU THINK??

Who are influencers in the digital age?

References:

Instagram accounts @kristinjohns @jess @gabrielconte @camperandhoney @krissycela

Social Identity Theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_identity_theory

Campo et al., (2003). Are Social Norms Campaigns Really Magic Bullets? Assessing the Effects of Students’ Misperceptions on Drinking Behavior. Health Communication, Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 481-497

Social Currency https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_currency