This UnME Jeans: Branding in Web 2.0 case study analyzes in detail the benefits and risks of each three social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, or Zwinktopia) so Foley can decide which one to pursue for UnME Jeans.
Thomas Steenburgh and Jill Avery
Harvard Business Review (509035-PDF-ENG)
November 12, 2008
Case questions answered:
- Which, if any, of the three social media plans should Foley pursue for UnME Jeans? Why?
- What benefits would Foley gain from each of the three social media plans? What risks does each entail? How can Foley better reap the benefits and mitigate the risks of each of the programs?
- How should Foley measure the results of her social media plans? Which media metrics are best and least suited for a Web 2.0 world?
- How well do the social media plans address the emerging challenges of the rapidly changing media environment outlined in the case? What can you change in the social media plans to make them more effective for UnME’s target consumers?
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Case answers for UnME Jeans: Branding in Web 2.0
1. Which, if any, of the three social media plans should Foley pursue for UnME Jeans? Why?
Before deciding to pursue a particular social media plan and platform, the organization must be aware of the objectives that it wants to achieve through that plan. Thus, listing our objectives and then analyzing the options to verify which of the three social media plans is best for UnME Jeans.
Foley has the following objectives to achieve:
- She wants higher engagement with customers through her strategy
- She wants the brand to be talking with customers and not talking to them. Also, she wants to develop a brand story that she can deliver
- Through her content, she is aiming to touch her customers emotionally
- She wants a plan that can seamlessly integrate with her existing media plan
- She wants to improve her sales through the new social media plan to justify the investment
Based on the above-stated objective, I believe that Facebook is the most suitable option to pursue, as it provides higher value than Zwinktopia and YouTube.
Furthermore, if we look at the target customer segment of UnME brand, i.e., Girls with 12-24 age bracket and who are social, taste leaders, and influencers in their communities. Thus this brand can leverage the reach of these influencers on Facebook to convert non-customers of UnME Jeans to customers.
In 2008, Facebook had 80 million active users, thus providing a huge potential for advertising and increasing sales through targeted advertising. Also, users voluntarily entered and updated their profiles with age, education, likes, dislikes, interests, etc.
The feature of targeted advertising was further enabled through the built-in algorithms of Facebook that enabled the marketers to advertise to specific users based on demographic and psychographic characteristics.
With targeted advertising, the relevancy of the ads increased, and thus CTR also improved. Thus, the click-through rate of Facebook is higher than that of YouTube because of the targeted advertising.
UnME Jeans can further increase the value obtained from Facebook by integrating their Facebook marketing strategies with other online platforms, creating a company profile, and then interacting with their users and potential customers directly to respond to any of their queries.
2. What benefits would Foley gain from each of the three social media plans? What risks does each entail? How can Foley better reap the benefits and mitigate the risks of each of the programs?
- Facebook has a large user base, i.e., 80 million in 2008, thus building loyal communities, influencing potential customers, and word of mouth can significantly increase the brand value in a short span of time.
- Our target segment is mostly using Facebook, and the users spent most of their social medial spending time on this platform. Their frequency of return is also the highest among all social media platforms.
- It is one of the social media platforms growing very rapidly in the current day and age.
- You can easily target the relevant user base based on their profile information.
- Brands can easily engage with customers to discuss their interests.
- Because of the relevant ads, it has the highest CTR
- Facebook provides more features where you can promote pictures, videos, and articles.
- Because Facebook is becoming a preferred platform for many brands, this has resulted in cluttering on the network.
- While promoting banner ads on Facebook, the risk of advertising blindness exists.
- Brands do not possess total control over the medium.
Mitigation of risks:
UnME Jeans and other brands can mitigate the mentioned risk to a significant degree by ensuring an active involvement with their customers. Also, if users post their queries, they should be responded to in due time.
Furthermore, if some users post negative views about the brand, it should not delete them but rather respond in a professional manner to avoid further backlash.
- It enables the pretest of the real world’s marketing strategies in the virtual world and observes the feedback.
- Before launching the real product, a brand can release its virtual version to increase the hype around the product launch.
- UnME’s target customer segment is very similar to the general users of this platform.
- On this platform, (Exhibit 10) Apparel is the best performing product on this platform, thus suitable for UnME Jeans.