So Marc Jacobs has opened a pop-up store in NYC, where in order to get goodies, customers share content via social media outlets. Interesting idea, very clever.
But in order for this kind of thing to work, do you have to already be an established brand, like Marc Jacobs? I wonder about this kind of “barter marketing” for small companies, new brands?
On the one hand, it could be a good way to try to establish the brand in a crowded marketplace--as long as your target market is big on social media, which the fashion world is--without spending a lot of marketing dollars. And depending on what you’re giving away (Marc is planning on handing out everything from fragrance samples to handbags), if you’ve already got the stock on hand…
On the other hand, of course, is potential doom and gloom: you run out of product, the marketing falls flat, nobody likes what you’re offering and negative backlash kills the brand, or, let’s face it, maybe nobody shows up!
Now, I hate to be a pessimist, but these kinds of potential negative outcomes aren’t deal-breakers for a huge, successful brand like Marc Jacobs. They are diversified and already hot, so chance are that this campaign will be fabulous. And even if it’s not, well, I’m sure the finance guys have got that covered.
But for a startup bootstrapping their way to the top? One dismal marketing ploy and it’s lights out.
As much as I love new, shiny, social media-driven marketing ploys (don’t we all?), if I were a small brand, I’d think long and hard before jumping onto that bandwagon. There’s a lot of research that goes into a huge brand’s marketing, so they have a pretty good idea of what’s going to work before they do it; whereas a new brand without a lot of knowledge of their customer base might not be able to pull it off quite as well.
Moral of the story: be sure to do your homework and know the best ways to reach potential customers (which means knowing who they are!) before starting down the path of the Next Big Thing in Marketing.