Back in the 1980s London agency BBH came up with a brilliant ad campaign that is now their corporate mantra. The ad was for Black Levi’s and featured a single black sheep in a flock of white ones. The strap-line ran: “When the world zigs, zag”.
Identify a gap in the market and fill it with something different enough to be exciting but relevant enough to sell: this has long been the holy grail of marketing.
When the world zigs, zag – BBH campaign for Black Levi’s, 1982
In the past, the best ideas depended on sheer creativity and gut instinct as much as market research. Today’s brands have an always-on, direct line to their customers.
I’m reporting live from Social Media Week London again this year – covering the official event stream from the conference HQ in Holborn. So don’t worry if you don’t have a conference pass, just follow the #SMWLDN hashtag (or @JemimaG) on Twitter. There are also loads of unofficial (and free) events happening round town.
This year’s theme is Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of The Connected Class. The key question is how can all humans achieve more in a connected world? Fabulous question, but you might be disappointed looking down the schedule trying to find sessions that attempt to answer it. These ten get my vote:
1. Definitely Not Content Tues 15 Sept, 9am: Will Hayward spoke last year. He’s really good. This time he’s talking about the cultural significance of the social web and why why we should all aim higher than “content” marketing. Continue reading →
Twitter is for now and Facebook’s for yesterday – but you can see the future on Pinterest. From recipes, wishlists and wedding plans to visualisations of new husbands and dream homes, Pinterest has it all.
In a neurotic, self-obsessed, keeping up with the Joneses world, what could be better than a social network that defines not so much who you are, but who you want to be?
Pinterest’s 70 million users (“pinners”) share what they want, not what they own. For a generation where identity is built around shared ideas and experiences, Pinterest could be the de facto social network.
“Pinterest is a search engine, first and foremost” says Sarah Bush, Pinterest’s UK country lead. Pinterest wants to take on Google – by being a social discovery engine where images are curated by other people. A Google search for “red dress” (for example) will serve up a selection of sponsored links under the “shopping” tab – Pinterest gives you a range of styles selected and commented on by fellow users.
10:12 We are at the very cool Beyond Retro café in Dalston (top pic of Karinna Nobbs from London College of Fashion and team chatting before the event). Karinna is just introducing the panel now (bottom pic of panel left to right: Karinna, Jonathan, Sophia, Hanna, Kat and Charlotte). This is a live blog so please keep refreshing the page for updates.
Karinna: Pinterest is dominated by women, has been very much in the press since around February. Pinterest great because you can really micro-segment your audience (into style tribes for example) and really engage with niche customers.
You can look at who’s pinning you and what they’re pinning for trend prediections – is everyone pinning a colour you don’t have in your collection? Pinterest has a much higher referral rate than Facebook, Twitter etc. The average time people spend on Pinterest has been quoted as 45 – 90mins – far more than other networks.
The great thing about Pinterest is that it’s not only useful on a personal level, it has great applications for business – as Chris Brogan discusses in the clip above.
More than anything else, Pinterest is a search engine that will drive traffic to your site when used in the right way.
Kate Spade and Wholefoods are good examples of brands using the platform effectively. And you don’t have to be a manufacturer or retailer: Pinterest works equally well for spreading ideas, as organisations like The Guardian and Enough Project are showing.
Despite being a social media consultant, I’m a bit of a luddite when it comes to trying new stuff: not enough time or patience. But Pinterest grabbed me right away – mainly because we’d recently moved and I needed home furnishing ideas. Boom! An online moodboard that can be instantly added to and shared – how damn convenient.
Clearly a lot of other people think so too, because Pinterest is growing at a phenomenal rate – currently more than four million users worldwide. Eighty per cent of those are women (although uptake skews towards men in the UK).
First came blogging, then micro-blogging, now photo-blogging. We’re increasingly busy in terms of the daily information we need to process: if a picture paints a thousand words, ideas can be communicated in an instant. It’s no wonder applications like Instagram and Pinterest are of the moment.