It’s Personal: Three Brands Making Marketing a Personalized Experience

As social media has lifted the barriers between brand and consumer, making one-on-one conversations not just possible but expected, marketing has begun to shift to beyond-niche levels. Smart brands are targeting consumers on a personal level, making marketing into a customized, exclusive experience that feels like it is just for them. Kleenex and Kotex were two brands at the forefront of the personalized marketing movement, both targeting small groups through Facebook and Pinterest respectively, and sending care packages and personalized crafts to only a few hundred individuals. Each gained impressions far beyond the small number of people who were sent gifts, by making them feel they had a personal interaction with the brands that was unique enough to share (and re-share). Here are three more brands that have recently gotten personal with their marketing to get the attention of young consumers:

 

1. Wendy’s: Pretzel Love Songs

Wendy’s is launching their Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger (a product aimed, of course, at Millennials) by spreading the pretzel love through song. Their Pretzel Love Songs aren’t just a jingle though, but are composed to feature fans’ tweets about the new burger. After encouraging burger-lovers to use the hashtag #PretzelLoveSongs to post about the new item, Wendy’s staged a live event starring Nick Lachey crooning ballads featuring the pretzel love messages. A YouTube channel for the campaign features artist Eric Michaels singing the pretzel love songs at a white piano as each  individual customer’s tweets are displayed on screen.

The Personal Twist: Getting young fans involved and featuring them on an individual level by showcasing their creativity and encouraging conversation in a ridiculously humorous way.

 

2. Heineken: Departure Roulette

As part…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: “I put off/dread calling people in general. Everything should be done online by this time!” –Female, 30, FL 

In a continued effort to draw back the teen consumers they’ve lost, Abercrombie & Fitch’s logo will “be dead” in U.S. stores by 2015. Globally, the Abercrombie and Hollister logos and names will still be used on designs, but will be phased out here where the brand knows it is no longer considered a status symbol. Abercrombie’s sales continue to fall, and the retailer is making efforts to appeal to a different youth mentality by removing references to “Ivy League heritage,” making the brand “totally accessible,” and toning down the club-like atmosphere in-store. (BuzzFeed)

Following heartbreaking stories of the death of toddlers forgotten by their parents in hot cars, automakers made claims that they would be working on new technology to help prevent the tragedies. But years later that technology has not been produced, so parents and teens are developing it instead. Independent entrepreneurs are working on a slew of solutions for baby on board tech that would stop hot-car deaths, including car seat sensors, smartphone apps, and low-tech solutions. Many are seeking backing on crowdfunding sites to make their products a reality. (Washington Post)

Ck one was an iconic ‘90s product, but the brand has kept up with the youth market in order to stay relevant with a new generation. The fragrance, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, relies on social media platforms, including Snapchat andTumblr, to attract Millennials and stay engaged. When creating their latest TV ad, they invited all participating talent to take behind-the-scenes pictures, selfies, and video, which were then used to “seed” the new campaign on social. The Snapchat campaign has “seen more than 1 million views in just a month and a half.” (Mediapost)

Just a few years ago, Hollywood was incredulous that YouTube was anything more than a collection of amateur vloggers, and certainly most didn’t believe that it would change the traditional entertainment world. But now, YouTube has become a “Hollywood hit factory” for teen entertainment. Smaller companies that realized the platform’s potential early have grown massively, big studios are snapping up YouTube studios to get in on the action, and programming is in the midst of  “rapid consolidation.” Our social media trend tracker shows that as of March 2014, YouTube has become the number one platform teens use, with 89% telling us they use the video site

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