Identity in 2015 is crazy complicated. The same is true for brands. From deconstruction and irony to H2H centered marketing, brand identity means much more than meets the eye.
Living in the fast-paced digital age has its perks. For a company looking to modernize their brand identity, it makes more experimentation possible. Social media has made changing your brand identity easier.
Brand Testing: Then…
Twenty years ago, if you wanted to try something new with your brand, you had a whole process to contend with. You’d visit an ad agency, accumulate ideas, pick from a few options, and then launch a commercial, or a magazine or newspaper ad, or a radio spot. And after all that work, you’d wait. After a few months, you’d find out how much of an impact that hard work and creativity had, if any at all.
Now brands have social media. Recently, Hostess decided to contemporize their brand. Where did they decide to unveil their new branding efforts? Twitter.
The new strategy is bold, fun and aimed at “young audiences who are in on the running joke…”Whether you find Hostess’ campaign a “slam dunk” or it elicits an immediate eye roll, the snack cake behemoth is utilizing social media in a formative fashion.
By choosing to try out their new, contemporary brand on social media, Hostess can see results right away. They don’t need to wait months before knowing if their new campaign was a hit or a flop. All they have to do is monitor their social platforms for likes, shares, retweets, comments, and more.
If your audience feels something was too bold, or over their head, or downright hilarious, they will let you know immediately. In the case of Hostess, the reviews may have been a mix of appreciation, laughter, and confusion. The point is, Hostess got results fast. Plus, it generated a lot of discussion for a brand founded in 1919.
Social Media: Home for Your New Identity
I’m not saying every brand should use social media to experiment with identity. However, if you’re a brand thinking about a change, social media is a great tool for doing so. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Want to make a subtle change? Start adding a few more creative Facebook posts a week. Experiment with an Instagram or Pinterest account. Looking to preview an entirely new identity? Start on Twitter and Facebook. Your followers will let you know right away if they like it or not, all before you put too much time and money into a full rebrand.
Social media is a great way to discover how people perceive your brand. Use social media to form a marketing strategy. Find your target market and create content from your research. Then, measure its success.
The changing nature of social media can be hard to keep up with at times, but in this results-driven world, it is a great tool for brands. Even if you’re not looking to make a change in brand identity, you should commit to measuring results—and using social media to do so. Otherwise, what’s the point of being a brand in 2015?
Image credit: CC by Russell Sprague