In Brief: Abandoning Legacy Brands; Networking on Instagram

May 1, 2019


The Savvy Marketing Behind Today’s Top Artists

Scoring a hit album or single in the digital era takes more than endless replay on a major radio station. Artists also need a creative, original marketing strategy. 

For example, Billie Eilish, a 17-year-old pop singer, managed to earn a No.1 slot on the Billboard album chart without any radio hits by doing individual promotional campaigns with top steaming services; Spotify users had access to a version of her album supplemented with visuals and videos interspersed among the songs while Amazon curated a video in which Eilish picked out items for purchase to pair with each of her songs.

As The Wall Street Journal reported, her label enlisted major streaming services as allies, providing secondary promotional content that each could claim as exclusive.

Meanwhile, in the case of Lil Nas X, the 19-year-old rapper behind “Old Town Road,” a No.1 single and a collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus came to fruition when he uploaded his song to the Vine-like app TikTok.

Why Consumers Are Abandoning Legacy Retail Brands

Surviving in a world of online retail has been difficult for many legacy store chains, writes Knowledge@Wharton. Within a span of a few months, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Payless announced it was closing all its 2,100 shops and Gap shared its for plans to shutter 230 of its locations.

According to Santiago Gallino, a Wharton School professor researching retail operations, companies like Sears, Payless and Gap are floundering because they haven’t yet figured out “how to marry legacy with the evolving preferences and vibe of today’s customer.”

“[They are] losing touch with the customer and thinking customers will keep going to a particular retailer because their whole life they had an emotional connection [with it],” he says.

For struggling retail companies seeking a success model, Gallino suggests looking to Kohl’s, a legacy store that has learned how to successfully leverage its past while finding its footing in the present by developing new in-house brands and remodeling its interior layout. These factors allow Kohl’s “to attract new customers while keeping their ‘old’ customers happy,” he says.

For Young Professionals, Instagram Is a Networking Tool

Though it’s commonly known as a social media platform to share and view photos, Instagram has recently become a hub for networking among young professionals, writes The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz.

Lorenz links this trend to a few factors. First off, Instagram offers new connections immediate communication fodder with its daily story updates. “One of the hardest parts of fostering a new connection is figuring out how to reach out and start a conversation out of thin air,” she says. “Instagram makes it easy.”

Lorenz also attests that Instagram serves the same purpose as exchanging phone numbers or information with a business contact, while allowing new connections the opportunity to learn something about the other person before making the first communication move.

Writes Lorenz, “Adding people on Instagram is like scanning a digital business card into your address book. You get their full name and bio, and a direct line of contact through Instagram DM. Plus, you have the added benefit of scrolling back on their profile for additional context on who they are and what they’re into.”

The Link Between Customer Service and Brand Image

Thanks to social media, customer service isn’t just an experience based around automated phone menus and call waiting Muzak. Nowadays, if you have a question for a company, you can simply tweet at them.

While this feature makes life easier for consumers, it also heightens the brand image stakes for companies. With communication now occurring in the public eye, it’s easy for anyone on social media to observe the way companies respond to customers in need of assistance.

To convey and secure brand values while also providing effective customer service on social media, Anna Bredava, marketing manager at web-monitoring company Awario, recommends for companies to promote strong internal communications between social media and consumer support departments.

She writes for Search Engine Journal, “Make sure you notify a customer publicly after sending them a private message. This will also show anyone else who stumbles upon the conversation that you didn’t just ignore the request.” 

— Dean Essner


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