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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The Newsfeed

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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