In the era where Instagrammability is influencing marketing and more, some brands are crediting the visual platform for all their success (some without spending a dime on traditional marketing)…
It’s the era of the Unicorn Frappuccino, when food, places, products, even colors have the potential to become viral phenomena—and moneymakers—thanks to the power of the perfect social media shot. As we explored in our recent Instagrammability trend, the perfect social media image has become a currency for brands, and finding the perfectly picturesque is a rising motivator for young consumers, influencing the places they visit and the brands that they buy. Now brands are facilitating Instagrammable moments, with events, products, and campaigns focused on providing the best post possible. Over half of 13-34-year-olds tell us that they like it when brands create things designed to be shared on social media, and some brands are actually crediting the platform for their success.
Take Birchbox. The subscription brand powers sales through social media, in part because their products are optimized for social media, where they can take on a life of their own. Birchbox UK’s Managing Director explains, “We have a beautiful box design every month and that’s about what’s going to be Instagrammable—What is she going to be proud to display on her feed?” Scroll through the almost half a million Instagram posts under the #birchbox hashtag, and it’s clear this attention to share-able details is paying off. Shoppers share their new box designs, and even show off their stacks of collected boxes, and comments from followers on Birchbox posts are as often about the box design as they are about the contents. They’re not the only brand that has learned to optimize social—specifically Instagram—to spark sales. Here are four brands that have the platform, or their product’s Instagrammability, to thank for their success:
Halo Top’s strong Insta-game and skyrocketing sales go hand in hand. The guilt-free, all natural ice cream brand has seen a 160% increase in followers in the past ten months, side-by-side with a 2,500% increase in sales the past year, according to Digiday. All this as their product expanded to freezers nationwide—and without spending “a penny” on advertising. The secrets behind their social strategy? Using minimalist, bright images that focus on packaging, and pairing up posts with celebrity birthdays, all topped off with some sprinkles of humor. Halo’s VP of Marketing tells Business Insider, “”We started off really focused on digital and social, with more than 90% of our efforts on Facebook and Instagram…We’re 100% a digitally native brand.” They currently have over 500K followers on Instagram they regularly respond to.
Back in 2015, people began to notice that a certain small soda brand is seeing sales explode thanks to Millennials. From the beginning, avoiding traditional advertising and packaging has been credited for creating their cult appeal, and now, according to Fortune, La Croix is more popular than ever with no signs of fizzling out anytime soon. Sales of sparkling water, one of Millennials’ favorite things to drink, have more than doubled in the last four years, and La Croix is feeling the love. Parent company, National Beverage, saw profits rise “from $49.3 million to $107 million” since 2015. Why? While competitors like Perrier have stayed traditional with marketing, La Croix has gone digital, and has shone on social. Their Instagrammable pastel cans are perfect fodder for feeds, and their “vast network of micro-influencers” make sure no Millennial misses them.
Many say that Glossier owes a lot of their success to Instagram, but these days, there are a slew of beauty brands that have used the platform to grow their fan base. But one has managed to Instagram their way into international success. Frank Body has been around since 2013—and Racked points out the brand may predate Glossier, but their peak popularity is happening now thanks to a strategic “successful Instagram influencer strategy.” The brand’s cheeky, Millennial Pink filled, feed is full of fans and influencers who have covered themselves in Frank’s coffee body scrubs. Their mix of user-generated content and lighthearted messaging has earned them almost 700K followers, and helped them to create sensations like the “unicorn” body scrub with a 50,000 person waitlist.
Last fall, Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwan ice cream redesigned their packaging with one deliberate goal in mind: to “look good on social media.” The brand’s co-founder tells Quartz that they worked closely with design firm Pentagram to make their pints and trucks “very Instagrammable.” Pictures of the new minimalist packaging began to flood social media, along with messages that customers were buying the product specifically for the look. But the real proof of Instagrammable power? Sales were reportedly boosted by 50%.
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