As the year comes to a close Mintel offers its latest quarterly update from social media analysts Gabi Lieberman and Lizz Martinez. They have once again singled out the top five trends in online consumer marketplace behaviour this quarter identified from high-level research into the strategies employed by Fortune 500 companies across the US.
1. Reinventing a brand through social media: “Just For Men underwent a major ‘brand refresh’ in 2013, serving as the title sponsor of the National Beard and Moustache Championship in New Orleans, which introduced the brand to a whole new audience. The championship embraces men’s facial hair in a fun way, with trophies in various facial hair categories including ‘Delicate Dali’ and ‘Musketeer,’ and Just For Men’s sponsorship lets men know that it is OK to embrace men’s grooming through hair coloring. Meanwhile, Barbasol launched its biggest multimedia campaign in the brand’s history in February 2013, looking to better appeal to younger men. The ads feature older men humorously poking fun at younger men for various activities and urging them to at least ‘Shave Like a Man.’ In one ad, a man who served as a soldier in World War II decries how he fought for the freedom to have his grandkids tweet. As part of the campaign, Barbasol launched a revamped Facebook account and a new Twitter handle @ShaveLikeAMan,” said Gabi Lieberman.
2. Social media’s ability to appeal to all senses: “For luxury car brands, interaction with fans online is about more than just connecting to current customers, but also about appealing to car enthusiasts who may never actually purchase a luxury car, but are hugely beneficial in contributing to the brand’s overall SOV. There’s a desire from the people discussing the luxury car brands online to want to experience the cars in a way that’s different than seen in other categories, where people want to get as close to touching and feeling the cars as they can without actually having to pay for that experience. Thus, brands are forced to find creative ways to deliver content that’s engaging and motivates people to stay connected,” said Gabi Lieberman.
3. Connecting a brand with conversations already happening online: “Clorox found an opportunity to jump in on discussions that were already happening online within young parent groups around the messes kids make and highlighting its expertise by offering smart clean-up tips through its ‘Bleach it Away’ campaign. Clorox sought to make the bathroom less of an ‘off-limits’ discussion area online, inviting moms to rethink the bathroom as a mini-sanctuary – a similar approach taken by household paper products brand Charmin with its #TweetFromTheSeat campaign. Household surface cleaners seeking deeper engagement online can look to these selected campaign examples as potential opportunities to foster more meaningful interactions that result in more dynamic online communities,” said Gabi Lieberman.
4. White and Dark spirit brands mix luxury with lifestyle: “In winter 2012, Hennessy created its ‘White Rabbit’ campaign. The term is a reference to people’s passions, their white rabbits being their aspirations. It also followed up with the tagline, ‘Never Stop, Never Settle.’ As part of the campaign, Hennessy created a microsite which hosts various videos of Nas visiting Hennessy’s headquarters, behind-the-scenes footage from the rapper’s European tour, and pictures of the rapper. The campaign merges the hip-hop association with the cognac, with the element of luxury Hennessy wishes to maintain. Hennessy is able to gain online mentions through people’s large connection between the brand and hip-hop culture. Nas is able to carry this message through his own Twitter account as he often tweets about the cognac. Nas had over 1.3m followers at the time of writing,” said Lizz Martinez.
5 A shifting perception in health has consumers making smarter choices: “Snacking is the eating occasion most associated with the selected cheese brands. Messages on consumption occasions tend to overlap with health and recipe chatter. People turn to their peers to search for the best low-calorie or low carb snack options, turning to cheese as an option. Those watching calories usually pair cheese with fruit or crackers such as Triscuits—presenting an opportunity for cross promotion. Taste discussion sometimes overlaps with mentions of health. Those trying to eat unprocessed foods turn to food blogs such as My Epicurean Adventures to learn about homemade versions of recipes such as Velveeta,” said Lizz Martinez.