Is viral marketing still the key to a brand’s success? What are the main elements that steer a social media marketing campaign towards a “viral” positioning? What are the strategies and techniques some of the brand marketers use to gain a vast reach and a wide exposure?
Just as many of us have been spectators of different wars, battles and rivalries amongst different people throughout history, we have also been witnesses to, what seems to be, the never ending battles between brands trying to reach the “king of the jungle” status. Naturally, the first battle that would come to mind is: Pepsi vs. Coke followed by McDonalds vs. Burger King. Though their marketing strategies are not entirely ethical, these competing brands have been able to sustain a high level of quality at affordable prices for their customers.
Not so long ago in the early 90′s, a surviving player was resurrected with a new and stronger image to present to the competitive world wide markets in the hardware/software technology field, the Mac, creating a new challenge for Microsoft and stirring up the debate: can Microsoft’s PC become replaceable after all those years? Could there really be a better alternative? Mac’s answer was: Definitely yes!
According to Apple reports, and for the second quarter of 2009, the company posted revenue of $8.16 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.21 billion, or $1.33 per diluted share. Gross margin was 36.4 percent, up from 32.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 46 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
But how? How was Mac able to grab and sustain the attention of many previous loyal Microsoft users?
When Mac made its comeback to the scene, not only did it provide solutions to current Microsoft PC problems, it also provided creative, out of the box viral marketing campaigns to spread the news about its uniqueness and why it is different. Furthermore, Mac was able to gain a high market share through a short period of time through personifying its ads, making them connect with the target audience and speak their language.
Let’s explore at the following examples:
- “Hello, I’m a Mac” Campaign vs. Microsoft’s “Laptop Hunters Campaign“. The less than unique or humorous Windows campaign which screams desperate had no effect on Macbook Pro Sales.
- “Get a Mac” Campaign by Apple, launched in 2006 and still running, revolved around the “Tribal Brand” Concept; giving potential customers a sense of belonging. Moreover, and due to its comedic approach, this campaign was able to reach a very broad target audience.
- Apple’s ‘Think Different” Campaign that ran from 1997- 2002, concentrated its efforts on proving how a Mac is different in every possible way than the old style regular PC.
- Personifying a brand can reap a great benefit to brand owners since it makes the brand real and closer to its consumers, giving them a deep sense of belonging and loyalty.
- Exuberance in aimless advertising expenditures could be tragic and could further portray a negative image of the brand.
- Adding engaging characters in your online advertisement videos has the ability to help grow an audience that’s receptive to your brand.
- Knowing your strengths and focusing on them in your marketing campaigns is a key strategy that has been used for decades and which proves to be successful up to this day.
I, for one, have never loved my Mac more than after watching a list of their ads while doing this research!
Finally, I’ll leave you to think about this: do you think there will ever be a time when Mac can dominate the market it serves completely?