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Customer Identities

A short report on how brands make use of "customers identities" for marketing and engagement in social media. I wrote this report when I was running Younomy, a management consulting company.

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Customer Identities

  1. 1. {gmomv iness consulting firm Customer Identities: What They Mean for Social Engagement? C363 2013 Social Engagement Strategies of | ndia’s Retail Brands
  2. 2. Customer identities: What They Mean for Social Engagement? Foreword If it is customers that create a brand in social media, then it is important that a brand trie to find a place for itself in their conversations. However, the challenge is to initiate conversations that appeal to customers. Recently, Younomy carried out a study on the content strategies and campaigns of | ndia’s top fashion and retail brands that aimed at increasing social engagement. We found that when brands run creative social campaigns to help customers express their identities - from personal to social - during special days of “identity celebrations” like Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Teacher’s Day, they get ovenNhelming participation. In many ways, the study showed that corporate identities can be built by helping customers express their own identities. Today, customers are not only their own celebrities but also their own brands. We hope the campaigns featured in this report would help brand custodians in finding new ideas to make their social initiatives successful. We thank Ms Leena Chengappa, MBA student of JSS College of Management Studies, Mysore, for her valuable inputs for the study. Best regards, G Sankaranararayanan Managing Partner Younomy Consulting Services 2013 Social Engagement Strategies of lndia’s Retail Brands —
  3. 3. There is an “identity” behind every conversation Markets are conversations, declares the first of the 95 theses of ClueTrain manifesto*, a set of call to action for businesses operating in a connected marketplace. When the manifesto was written, there was no social media as we know it today, but the explosion of social networking sites, in the last ten years, has only made marketplaces — and customers — more connected, thus increasing the relevance of the Manifesto. Social media has come to be seen as online social market of conversations. Brands not only accept this version, but also realize that having a greater “share of voice” in social conversations is key to create word-of-mouth (marketing) and capture voice-of-customer (innovation). A deeper analysis of social engagement, whether it involves a brand or not, can tell how identities** are behind most interactions. Among several ways to strategically trigger conversations in social media channels include: creating content that encourages customers to live out their multiple identities. * The Cluetrain Manifesto was written in 1999 by Rick Levine, ChristopherLocke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger. ** From the perspective of psychology and sociology, identity is a "person's conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations (such as national identity and cultural identity)". It also includes one's "self-image, self-esteem, and individuality". Source: Wikipedia.
  4. 4. Identities: People usually have multiple identities. But we can group them into four types: personal, familial, professional and social. Types of Customer Identities Familial Professional Ozafed o2 °Pe€ou'c'cm¢ Ex ‘i am a respons bie mother“ Ex lavn a smart rranager Personal ° ogamw Ex ‘i am a healln freak Ex lam a communist @Younomy Personal Identities: are those that are built around personal characteristics, beliefs and value systems; attributes related to gender or appearances; and even personal interests like swimming or photography. Familial Identities: are built around the roles of individual in families, and their responsibilities. Professional identities: are those that are built around job specializations, careers, expertise, job titles and so on. Social identities: are based on how people are identified in societies with respect to their affinity to political parties, ideologies, religious beliefs, and causes.
  5. 5. It's a Win-Win Companies regard customer engagement as the most important performance metrics of brands in social media. When presented with content that appeal to their personal or social identities, customers are most likely to act on it. Content around Raksha Bandhan, which is a religious as well as social festival in India, offers an example of how brands help customers build their identities - in this case, identities of the loving, protective relationships they have with others as brothers and sisters. Many retail brands create social content - hashtag campaigns galore - during Raksha Bandhan that invariably elicits more interests. Some of the ideas tried out in the social space include a photo contest that sought the participation of customers by way of sharing photos of themselves with their siblings and a Twitter campaign that recognized best tweets of brother-sister affections with a prize. Identity campaigns are a win win for both customers and brands. For customers, any opportunity to live out their identities becomes irresistible. In addition to gaining visibility for their identities, among their friends and followers, customers are also looking to socializing or networking opportunities with others who are also proud of similar personal, familial, professional, or social identities. For brands, more social conversations means more sales conversions, especially when brands club their engagement campaigns with a special product/ service offerings.
  6. 6. Identity Campaigns Following are few customer identity social campaigns of select retail and fashion brands in India, carried out during August-October, 2013: Personal Identities As it is often observed by contemporary marketers, people are their own celebrities. They do have a view and a distinct voice, and a personality. Offering chances for the customers to express their own personalities (”seIf images”) in any possible way appears to be a sure-fire way to win their hearts. Café Coffee Day's (CCD) Coffee Mate CCD comes out with a print magazine that publishes “Coffee Mate of the Month”. It features a customer every month with his/ her photo and few interesting personality details. The magazine is circulated in all its outlets in India. This regular profile brings out the personality of customers, who are also featured in the official Facebook page of the company. Co| gate's Visible White Angels Photo Contest
  7. 7. Colgate encourages its Facebook fans to share the pictures of “your dazzling white smile”. It has an app in Facebook that can be used by customers to upload and share their smiling photos. One of its recent social campaigns gives a chance for its customers to get a make-over and get featured in a leading magazine with Hindi actor, Sonam Kapoor. Globus‘ Pose to Win Contest Globus promotes Facebook engagement in a novel way - it has permanently put a backdrop at all its retail stores. People are asked to pose and get a snap in front of the backdrop and share the photos in Globus‘ Facebook Fan Page. ‘ Customers, whose photos get maximum number of likes would stand a chance to win Globus gift vouchers worth Rs 5000 each.
  8. 8. lt€: .l. .’I. ‘l. l!. l<. l!. -"1‘. r:. l‘. f«e: T«; r‘i: F;ft‘; f«e: Familial identities are often the primary among all other identities of customers, considering the close family ties people have in India. Tanishq’s #TweetaRakhi Tanishq, a jewelry brand, had conducted a contest on the eve of Rakshabandhan. Targeting its female fans, it asked them to “remind your brother how much you love him”. The fans can share their funny little moments with their brothers in Twitter, embedding the #TweetaRakhi tag or tweet directly to @TanishqJeweIry. Tanishq awarded three lucky winners with gift vouchers. Westside In '5’ Follow For those who came in late - we're Trent’S celebrating Father's Dayallthis week with On the 0CCaSlOn Of Father's Day, Trent, M_'Dadls. Here are the details ---> - - - pic_tmenCom/ NuGCSBm1Kj a retail chain, gave its customers a chance to gift their fathers a special magnet personalized with dedication to g: ‘,: ::: ::. :;: ::; :D“r“"*h them. Participants would rewrite their gfJ<: °:'; :;: ;:~: ;dmaW Twitter bio starting with #MyDad| s and a: i;j: :»: s«: ;:u; ;:; i:; ms D-adis tweet out to @WestsideStores. Trent (‘We'll tum your bio into a personalised magnet and ship ll to your father for lreel printed this on a magnet and delivered it to the parents. “ 2 E. ll£"7"'_'i‘i)Cl, - '. '~’. Wi; ‘a3r 9 BigBazaar’s #Sib| ingsConnect BigBazaar witnessed active participation for its #Sib| ingsConnect contest. It let its fans to create beautiful Rakhis. It asked its fans to recall fond sibling-memories during the Raksha Bandhan. Big Bazaar also had created a social media campaign on Parents‘ Day, asking its fans to express their feelings for their parents.
  9. 9. Social Identities Social identities are broader, and are based on people’s diversified affiliations with others, ideologies, and causes. Café CoffeeDay’s Friendship Week CCD recently ran a campaign asking its fans to come up with the funniest_#Friendship_Week meme for a friend. Participants would have to make fun of a friend. CCD presented creative memes in its exclusive web section htt : //www. cafecoffeeda . com/ friendshi da 7' W WITII FIIIEIIIIS [IKE VIIII. WIIII IIEEIIS ‘ WEE YIIIIIISEII EIIEHIES? IIIIIIIIIIIT III“ IiI'EII YIIII WIIIISE IIIIIIIE ‘. -- uno- HAPPV FRIENDSHIP IIIIIIITII 5’ HAPPY FRIENDSHIP MIIIITH 5” WWW in »-A It d r. '.u. wr. 'i'IIr"i'i‘iiVr"F‘I1v'| ‘, iTii'i’i‘IflF‘l'ii‘l<l’-l[iPI3.‘ "ils'3 E-e av izomifriendshiprjay. ‘ Titan’s Fathers Day campaign Titan, emerging as a consumer products company, ran “Celebrate Fathers Day with Titan” campaign. To help its customers looking for Father's Day gifts, Titan put together its best Father's Day gift ideas, collecting gifts for dads from around Amazon to make online shopping for Father's Day a snap. Customers were asked to like Titan's official Facebook page to receive Father's Day ideas and exclusive Amazon content.
  10. 10. BigBazaar’s #GanpatiBappaMorya Big Bazaar sought entries - creative ideas, views, greeting messages or even photos - from its fans on Ganesh Chaturthi, a popular Hindu festival, for its #Ganpati BappaMorya contest. The winner of this contest were to present with a gift vouchervi/ orth Rs. 2000 that can be redeemed at the nearest Big Bazaar outlet. BigBazaar’s Onam Photo Contest BigBazaar crowdsourced pictures on the occasion of Pookalam, a flower arrangement made from various flowers during the grand harvest festival of Onam by Keralites. It published Pookalam pictures sent by fans in its Facebook page. -' ' , 3 "-~~_'». y_'. ¢«. ' (1 .0 ii rx E3;/ ', ~*. "5,‘: ' - i““"1) * -i. “'‘. . ‘ ‘~ ‘I ‘.3.’ 8"} < . - _ '. “*‘~'<? ‘:" , -1,. ' 43‘ We would like to thank g’. ". ..'. .,, ‘ , . 5 4; A , w-~-‘, '., '4r-‘. _-Lg _, 1,») 2., .4; "; 'r-$3,. each one of you for £t‘_l, ,‘, ‘.i , I, ‘ F}: "ii ‘; "‘; .*. '«: ~"f, ;.'“" your participation. * i ' ' s r '. tr . a 5 (. fix‘ _r* ‘x “: ‘.'~‘f~ .1 . 5. ~. 2*‘ 2.: .: ~.«e~'~r ‘ >. ~. 3"-1. . . A : .''14 » ’ '(I‘ ‘V -is t ,1 I. r ’ ~ , ~ I ‘L I ~'. ’ . ‘‘ ix‘ . ' I viziii: Barista’s #HappyTeachersDay Barista asked its fans to make their favorite teacher feel special on #HappyTeachersDay by inviting the teachers for a coffee at Barista. ll]
  11. 11. rr : :ee: lrr: ::: i rr When brands give people chance to express and nurture their identities, it helps brands increase rate of social engagement. Hence brands need to focus on honing their skills in using segmentation sciences like demography, psychography and firmography to understand the rich diversity of identities of their social customers. It seems that brands are already using social media for finding customer identities. A 2013 survey of Grant Thornton, points out “identifying and profiling” customers figures as the third most important business objective of social media usage by US brands. Primary Business Objective For Which US Companies Use Social Media According to Senior Level Financial Executives, August 2013 % of repondents Brand awareness 38% Recruiting 27% Identify participants/ customer profiling and identification 14% Customer Care 12% Fulfillment 5% Crowd-sourcing 4% Source: Grant Thornton, ‘Social Media Risks and Rewards, Sept, 25, 2013 Discovery of customer identities can help brands create tailor-made content for micro targeting, increasing both the rate of conversation and conversions. Acknowledgments Study Inputs: Ms Leena Chengappa, MBA -Final Year Student, SJCE, JSSCMS Mysore Design and Layout: Ms Rathna Photos: Facebook images of Big Bazaar, Cafe Coffee Day, Colgate, Globus, Tanishq, Trent Westside.
  12. 12. Customer Identities: What They Mean for Social Engagement? About Us Younomy is a social business consulting firm. We think social is a “conversation” and co—creation platform. We share our thoughts through workshops, reports, media articles, newsletters, and blog. Ourjob is to help brands evolve unique social business strategies. Connect to co-create: www. younomy. com he| |o@younomy. com Mobile: 91 -9790276206 Social: @younomy; fb. com/ younomy 2013 Social Engagement Strategies of India's Retail Brands