Any company can "do" marketing. But the companies that can consistently create marketing people love are the companies that really get noticed.
Problem is, lovability is kind of a hard thing to synthesize. I mean, how do you quantify exactly why the brands you love elicit those warm and fuzzy feelings inside of you?
Sometimes it's their copywriting, other times it's their design sensibility, sometimes it's just the way they talk to you on social media -- but it's not the easiest thing in the world to replicate for brands out there trying to create more lovable marketing. But, we're going to try to explain it (so maybe you can replicate it) anyway. This post will highlights some brands that we think consistently create lovable marketing, and explain exactly why their marketing is worthy of such adoration. And of course, this is not an exhaustive list ... please share the many other companies out there that do this in the comments.
Before We Begin, What's This "Lovable Marketing" You Speak Of?
Okay, it occurs to us that we've been using this phrase, "lovable marketing," a bit more lately. If you weren't at INBOUND 2012 where we started talking about it -- or even if you were and need a reminder -- this video should help get you caught up. (Note: We're already selling tickets to next year's event, INBOUND13 ... you know, if you want to get your tickets early.)
We'll point you to the blog post and ebook that explain it, too, but we didn't think it was very "lovable" to make you read a bunch of stuff when a short video gave the context just fine ;-)
Moosejaw is a outdoor apparel and sporting goods company. Big whoop, there's lots of 'em, right? That's one of the reasons their marketing is so fantastic -- because they find a way to stand out in that already heavily saturated industry by positioning their products in a more entertaining, less clinical way.
When you go to most sites in this industry, you're reading about things like the lens width on your ski goggles. Yawn. Moosejaw's marketing content tells you all that … but in a way that doesn't make you want to take a nap on your desk. Take their site layout, for example. When you're looking up shirts, you see headings like these:
They're trying to show you their new items in stock, pretty common for ecommerce companies, but instead of just saying "New Items," they say something that your buddy might say to you. Or, what an in-store associate would say if you visited a location (way to replicate the in-store experience online, guys)!
They even get a little ridiculous. Take this heading, for instance:
"I have never eaten a radish." What? I don't even totally get that joke, but I love that it shows they don't take themselves too seriously. They think shopping should be a fun experience, and they do their best to make it feel like that with their marketing content. If you want a laugh, spend some more time perusing their website … you'll find content like this on every page.
2) Naked Pizza
Naked Pizza takes a different approach to the whole "not taking yourself too seriously" thing by leveraging an embarrassing experience that everyone can relate to in their marketing. Have you ever had a bit of sauce on your face after eating a slice of pizza? Or maybe some crumbs from the crust?
Everyone can relate to that -- either being the person with stuff on their face, or the one who has to tell the person with stuff on their face that ... they have stuff on their face. Their marketing pokes fun at you, and enables you to poke fun at yourself -- but in a way that isn't offensive. Creating marketing that brings everyone in on the joke is incredibly lovable.
JetBlue is known for being a beloved brand, and I think their engaging tone and creative marketing campaigns have a lot to do with it. You may remember their recent "2012 Election Protection – Live Free or Fly" campaign, or their "You Above All" campaign. In the latter campaign, they feature people in real-life situations being deprived of things they expect. For example, they created a video where people in a taxi cab were charged extra fees for legroom and luggage.
The campaign is lovable because it's playing off an experience everyone has been frustrated by. We've been stuck on planes with no legroom, charged ridiculous fees for having luggage (who doesn't have luggage when they're flying?!), and all those other pains of flying. JetBlue addresses them head on by creating real life analogies to demonstrate just how absurd the other airlines are. I mean, who wouldn't get behind a brand that mocks the others in the industry taking advantage of consumers?
4) IMPACT Branding
An important strategy for creating lovable marketing is not taking yourself too seriously. That's something that many B2B companies, however, struggle with. That's why we love that IMPACT Branding consistently adds some levity to their social channels. Take a look at one of the updates on their Facebook page, for example.
You expect fun, B2C companies to jump on big memes like Call Me Maybe, but a B2B company? Not necessarily. That's why we love seeing them embrace their inner goofiness ... even if they sell to big briefcase-carryin' business people. You'll find tons of instances of this all over their blog and various social media accounts -- some of the best include their incorporation of fan favorites like Dwight Schrute and Barney from How I Met Your Mother.
5) MINI Cooper
MINI Cooper has an advantage in their marketing from the start -- they are marketing a product that is kind of adorable. They carry over the lovability of their product's design into the lovability of the design in their marketing. Take a look at some of this billboard, for instance:
Instead of creating an obnoxious billboard, they played on the environment surrounding the billboard -- featuring their car speeding out in front of the bent trees. It's playful, creative, and rethinks the traditional highway billboard.
They keep these playful and creative elements at play in their summer ad for mini inflatables, in which they use the pun, "go topless" to emphasize the top-down element of the vehicle.
I guess it's not hard to have adorable designs when your car's design is already adorable :-)
It's not easy to make cloud-based file sharing make you feel warm and fuzzy. Unless you're Dropbox, who has figured out how to infuse it into their marketing automation.
Yes, cloud-based file sharing marketing automation can make you smile.
When a user isn't using their Dropbox account, they may get an email like this telling the user that their Dropbox is lonely. And let's be serious, don't you feel guilty hearing that someone feels lonely!?
Dropbox also uses imagery to get the point across. I mean, look at those "Before" and "After" pictures! You just want to brush those cobwebs off and make that box happy again! They keep this kind of imagery and feeling present across all their marketing, too -- in emails, on social media, and within their product.
The key to marketing any technology product is to create lovable product marketing. The job of a product marketer is to make the product easy to integrate into your life. Square accomplishes this by demonstrating their understanding of their target persona, and creating marketing around that persona's experiences.
For instance, in this video, they depict a small business owner taking on every task: she is the salesperson, marketer product person, and customer service representative. But how can we make her life easier? With an easy payment system, even a small business can quickly process payments.
This video is something their target persona -- the local business owner -- can see themselves doing. Additionally, it demonstrates how the Square product would integrate into this lifestyle. Seeing an easy solution that solves one of the problems of a local business owner -- not to mention showing that you "get it" -- makes Square a company with totally lovable marketing.
Boloco always has fun and creative marketing campaigns, but what really makes them stand out is their social media presence. Boloco operates under the unofficial policy that everyone should receive an answer, and stay true to their word. If you take a look at their Twitter account, they aren't just promoting themselves; they're making sure their customers know that their voice and opinion matters.
What differentiates Boloco's marketing from other burrito companies -- and lots of other non-burrito companies -- is that not only will you get a response, but you will get a quick and cheery response. They don't act too busy to talk to you, or like your communications aren't important. They make you feel, well, loved.
9) Virgin America
Everyone wants the perfect flying experience: cool, fun, comfortable and most of all, VIP. I mean ... who doesn't want to feel like they're part of the cool kids club? Virgin America does something that all of the airlines don't by not only promising this kind of experience in their marketing, but actually providing it in real life. Take a look at this ad, for example, that shows a cool and hip flight with blue lights, sweet TV screens, plenty of leg room, and wireless internet.
And the cool lights, funky music, and red carpet treatment aren't just part of the marketing; they're the actual experience. That's the VIP status that everyone wants to have, but almost nobody has the money to afford. Virgin making everyone feel like they're entitled to that kind of swanky flying experience -- and then actually dleivering it -- it totally lovable. Who doesn't want to feel like the belle of the ball?
I guess it's not that hard to create lovable marketing when your product and service is lovable. You don't have to spin anything, you can just ... show people what you do!
What other companies produce marketing that people love?