Teri’s Take: Lessons Learned from Fyre Festival, Disruptor Brands and Glossier

Wed Jan 30 2019
Terilyn Walker

From the success of brands such as Glossier and the failure of the infamous Fyre Festival, there’s so much to learn from brands that put their online presence first. Let’s kick off the year with three articles that emphasize the importance of social media in your brand’s marketing mix.

The article: What the Fyre Festival Documentaries Reveal About Millennials

The summary

This article takes a look at the controversial Fyre Festival following the new Hulu and Netflix documentaries on the topic. Last year, Fyre Festival was announced as an Instagram-worthy, one of a kind experience with influencers, A-list celebrities, and yachts. Unfortunately, it turned out to be #fyrefail with tents, stale sandwiches, and fraud. The article questions millennials’ values to understand why they were so inclined to purchase tickets to the new event, which cost up to $12,000, without much information besides short promos sent out over social media. The answer lies in the fact that millennials rely on influencers’ opinions and recommendations, social media has built a culture of FOMO (fear of missing out), and millennials want to share images of exclusive experiences online.

Our take

Although Fyre Festival was a major fail, there is much to learn when it comes to how the festival’s creators were able to create so much buzz around this event before it even began. Unlike festivals like Coachella that have years of success under their belts, in its first year, Fyre Festival relied solely on promotion from commissioned influencers rather than word of mouth promotion from real people who have actually been to the festival. Yet ticket sales were not an issue. The festival promised millennials everything they wanted, including an Instagram-worthy environment and exclusive experience, and then the promoters backed up the promises with influencer approvals.

Today’s young consumers respond well to events, exclusive offerings, and limited edition products. When you are planning your next product launch, consider how you can engage with your online audience IRL. Build relationships with influencers who have engaged audiences and leverage these connections to draw customers to store openings, meet-ups, or company events. But, unlike the Fyre Festival organizers, make sure you plan ahead!

The article: A Facebook-Commissioned Study Found That 9 of 10 Disruptor Brands Thrive on Facebook

The summary

Disruptor brands, or those that originated online, are taking over. This article shares a recent survey by Facebook that found that:

  • 72 percent of disruptor brands reported rapid or consistent revenue growth.
  • Nearly 90 percent of them credited social networks with helping them to reach customers via its tools, including pages, groups, and ad targeting on Facebook and Instagram.
  • 84 percent of disruptor brands were able to provide customers with benefits due to direct online selling, such as lower prices, free shipping, and/or more payment options.

Our take

How can traditional brands compete with online brands that continue to push marketing boundaries? The answer is simple. In 2019, it’s become crucial for all brands to have a strong online presence. The proof is in the statistics – brands that leverage social media to communicate with their customers have the unique ability to drive both online sales and foot traffic to brick and mortar stores in a way that is not always achievable with traditional marketing methods like TV commercials and magazines.

Why? Because for most consumers, the internet is easily accessible, unlike stores that may only be located in certain regions. And consumers look to the internet before TV and magazines for product discovery and customer testimonials when making purchasing decisions. In fact, 74% of shoppers make buying decisions that are based on social media influence, whether that be from their friends and families or social media influencers. So, in order to be successful this year, start building a solid social media strategy for your brand.

The article: Treating regular people like influencers is the key to Glossier’s success

The summary

How has beauty brand Glossier become a $390 million company in just a few short years? This article dives deep into the brand’s marketing strategy and company mission of “giving voice through beauty.” In an interview, Emily Weiss, the brand’s founder and CEO, says the brand is hyper-aware of the fact that all of their customers have the ability to be a billboard for their products. Regardless of follower count, in the age of social media everyone has a voice. In addition to their more than 500 influencer ambassadors, the brand reposts their customers content on their Instagram. In combination with their Instagrammable packaging and approachable campaigns featuring lesser known models, this strategy is a recipe for success.

Our take

In the saturated beauty industry, word of mouth marketing has the potential to make or break your brand. Much of Glossier’s success is due to the fact that they have given their everyday customer the opportunity not only to speak but to be heard. By repurposing a mix of both user-generated content (UGC) and influencer-generated content (IGC) across their marketing channels, especially social media, Glossier has positioned themselves as an aspirational, yet attainable brand.

Your customers are your biggest marketing channel. Brands can replicate Glossier’s success by empowering their fans to share their products and then find the right influencers who can promote on a mass scale.