Category Archives: Brands

Grown Ass Kid, Social Branding on Instagram

The project I have chosen to curate my research on, is developing growth of the presence of a start-up fashion brand through the creation of an Instagram account, titled after the fashion brand which I have set out to create, ‘Grown Ass Kid’.

Link to the previous blog post: https://fernandezreece.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/cultivating-a-brand-from-the-ground-up/ 

Recently I have set out to create an Instagram account where I will attempt to try and campaign various clothing products which I be releasing and designing myself, while campaigning the start-up brand I will be using various academic sources, statistics and advice in a trial and error process to see what methods and communication processes are most helpful in achieving a strong brand presence online.

Strong in the sense of the reach it has with it’s followers and to a further audience and also in the sense that the brand identity is something which individuals can feel that is an extension of themselves. Something they can use for self expression. During the time of writing (23/4/18) the curation of a branding campaign is yet to begin, due to personal reasoning of wanting to begin the process with the release of the next Grown Ass Kid product which has been in the works for two months and is in the final steps now.

Although my previous work on Grown Ass Kid can be found on my previous linked blog post or my personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reecefernandez/.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bfu9yp5nH4S/?hl=en&taken-by=reecefernandez

 

The aim of my research project does not lie within the marketing aspect of social branding, where influencers/popular account’s endorse products and services as a marketing strategy but rather the communication aspect of it. How to optimally use communication methods to post good, well received content and properly develop a dedicated group of followers/consumers who interact with the brand whole heartedly.

When I think of branding now days I think of branding campaign’s, campaigns that stem from traditional media to online platforms. Although in the era of social media, branding will always win when it has been channelled through this medium. Branded content on social media allows companies to forge relationships directly with consumers, you are able to post relevant content with your audience and stay directly connected to them in real time by posting into their personal feeds where consumers can interact with each other on an equal level. By doing this your brand is able to become a community hub for its consumers (Douglas Holt, 2016).

Companies have noted the relationship between consumers and social platforms and amongst these social platforms Instagram is thriving as the perfect platform to establish brand/consumer relationships. Instagram is able to curate content and build successful relationships with their audience due to the visual nature of the platform, 71% of online marketers have been recorded to use visual assets in their social media marketing (Social Media Examiner 2015 via Hubsport.com) and visual interactions are key in branding as researches have found that coloured visuals increase peoples willingness to read content by 80%. (Xerox 2014). Visual content being key and the ability to connect via likes, hashtags and comments are what makes Instagram the go to for branding.

Within Instagram there are multiple methods to curating your presence. Advantageously planning the way your grid of photos are presented on the profile is key in defining a distinct individual aesthetic. The key strategies in creating a visually pleasing sequence of photo’s is to follow rules set by Lev Manovich 2016:

Use of a single visual style in your gallery or have few reserved for particular subjects:

  • The way I will achieve this is by choosing to shoot most, if not all content for my brand using the medium of 35mm film photography. A personal hobby of mine.

When posting a sequence of photo’s overtime, no two photos should be aligned with each other that share similar values. E.g photo’s from the one photoshoot or photo’s that show the same subject should not be posted alongside each other, like so: 

   Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 4.31.01 PM

– By using applications such as ‘Snug’ or ‘Unum’ this can be achieved. Snug and Unum are applications which allow the user to preview what posted content would look like on their profile by letting the user post pictures on a draft version of the Instagram grid.

Managing the brands Instagram account in the form of statistics is a necessity. Viewing these stats is of high importance as it allows me to see how much reach per person each upload gets, as well as each profile visit I receive through the uploaded photo. Instagram provides these tools via their ‘business account’ setting. I will also be using third party apps such as ‘Command’ for a much more detailed insight into the analytics of the account. Command visualises stats such as:

  • Engagement Rate
  • Post Frequency Rate
  • Average Likes
  • Best Time to Post to achieve maximum reach

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 4.34.05 PM.png

These will be of huge help to develop my understanding of optimising my use of Instagram behind the scenes as well as learning what attributes to the creation of a successful post, assisting to my trial and error method of posting.

For the future of my online brand I will hope to have the campaign up and running by the time of presentation, as of writing 25/4/18 I have just placed an order in 40 blank hoodies which I am having sent to have the design printed. Once I receive the final product back, I will begin campaigning for the brand through videos, photoshoots and competitions. I believe the best way to achieve a successful start is by having a core brand product being associated with the beginning of an online account.

 

References: 

http://popai.com.au/wp-content/uploads/March-PDF/Branding-the-age-of-social-media.pdf (Douglas Holt, 2016, Branding in the Age of Social Media. Harvard Business Review P41. Date Accessed 23/4/18)

https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics?_ga=2.97055901.361101574.1524464722-228448703.1524464722 (Social Media Examiner 2015 via Hubsport.com, Date accessed 23/4/18)

https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics?_ga=2.97055901.361101574.1524464722-228448703.1524464722 (Xerox 2014, Via Hubsport.com. Date Accessed 24/3/18)

http://manovich.net/content/04-projects/147-instagram-and-contemporary-image/instagram_book_manovich.pdf (Lev Manovich, 2016 Instagram and Contemporary Image, Creative Commons License. Date Accessed 24/3/18)

A Digital Network: Brand and Consumer

elysium design utopia

After a semester of research into online identities and branding, I finally  have a finished product!  Definitely the most interesting research based assignment I’ve undertaken at university which is both brilliant and terrifying because the research hasn’t just stopped because I finished the subject.  Anywho, the image below is linked, and the PDF is interactive (aka the contents gives you a quick jump to the right page), hope you enjoy!

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

That means you can SHARE and ADAPT this work, as long as it is for NON COMMERCIAL purposes and you give ATTRIBUTION.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 10.35.49 pm.png

A Digital Network: Brand and Consumer

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User Generated Content

elysium design utopia

When brands utilise fan made, or user generated content, it becomes the advertising equivalent of citizen journalism.  It promotes the idea of participatory culture, while also adding to the narrative of the brand identity, and creating a community of collective understanding, collective intelligence, and collective passion (or brand tribes) around the brand organisation.

Bruns (2007) outlines characteristics of produsage with these 4 main points:

  • Moving away from dedicated individuals/teams, towards broader generation and distribution via participants;
  • Produsers move between the roles of leader; participant; and content user;
  • The generated content isn’t necessarily a finalised product, but something which can still develop;
  • Deliberate blind eye turned from copyright, in order to build upon existing works for further engagement.

A great example of a brand utilising user generated content to tell a targeted narrative are the hashtags UOW promotes to highlight student culture: #ExperienceUOW (1 | 2

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BRANDING AND TRANSMEDIA

elysium design utopia

Brands are essentially a universe of their own.  They tell a story, they deliver an idea, all with the intent for you to listen to them, to engage with them, to buy their products, or subscribe to their service.  My prezi explores how transmedia can be utilised within branding strategies, looking at case studies of Melbourne Metro’s Dumb Ways To Die, and Childish Gambino’s Because The Internet.  I also pose the question of whether or not our personal branding/online presence is a transmedia narrative in itself.

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BRANDING AND TRANSMEDIA PREZI

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Online Branding and Power: Who has control over the presence?

So in my last post, I set up my ideas of branding, and started to explore how the concept related to cyberculture.  That post was a great foundation leading into the next leg of research: a series of questions about how these brands interact with users, and what the future could also hold.

Cybercultures allows for a great deal of interaction between brand and consumer, but I question who really has the most control?  The internet is a great space for open communication, but does that tip the balance of control in the opposite direction to where it has typically been.  The lecture on Cyberpunks let me consider this idea, in relation to users who have that power and choose to abuse it – trolls who are interacting with brands for the sole purpose of derailing the brand image.  The ‘trollpunk‘ audience hijacks the presence of the brand with the intention to disrupt the hierarchy of power, (Chen 2012) and this is becoming a social norm.  Chris’s comments in the wk4 lecture: “[I]n the absence of the body, means people can have powerful emotional responses” (Moore 2016), could also lead into this idea, of having heightened emotional responses. The lack of physical, real time presence means there is this time to plan, curate, and execute never-ending arguments – either to troll, or to respond.

This idea of trolling leads me to consider online presences, and automatic responses, either from brand or consumer.  Twitter bots are quick and easy to set up, and could be used for a great number of things, but does this mean that we are heading towards an online social media network of artificial intelligence?  If twitter bots are becoming more accessible to create and utilise, and the responses are becoming more realistic, then does the future of online branding lie in a self evolving AI structure with base ideologies that mirror those of the brand, and evolve depending on the audience that interacts with them.  Microsoft’s recent attempt resulted in something they were not proud of, however it mirrored the idea of “destabilisation of established order by the development of artificial intelligence” (Moore 2016) as users interacted with the AI account in order to change it from an ‘innocent’ bot modelled after a teenage girl, into a nazi sex bot (Horton 2016).  The Barbie brand is also planning on peering into the cyberculture world, incorporating their dolls with AI so that children can have real conversations with the toys, adding a new layer to the identity of both the doll and their brand, creating a new brand presence through each doll as they are interacted with.

*FURTHER OPTIONAL READING ABOUT PERSONAL BRANDING AND IDEAS CAN BE FOUND HERE*

 


Chen, A 2012, Trollpunk is the New Cyberpunk, The World of Today, viewed 30 March 2016, <http://worldoftoday.tumblr.com/post/24514056899/trollpunk-is-the-new-cyberpunk&gt;

Gershgorn, D 2015, Barbie Learns to Chat Using Artificial Intelligence, Australian Popular Science, viewed 30 March 2016, <http://www.popsci.com.au/robots/artificial-intelligence/barbie-learns-to-chat-using-artificial-intelligence,409334&gt;

Horton, H 2016, Microsoft deletes ‘teen girl’ AI after it becomes a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours, The Telegraph, viewed 25 March 2016, <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/03/24/microsofts-teen-girl-ai-turns-into-a-hitler-loving-sex-robot-wit/&gt;

Moore, C 2016, Week Four – Experiencing Cyberculture, Cybercultures Blog, viewed 30 March 2016, <https://cyberculturesblog.wordpress.com/week-four-experiencing-cyberculture/&gt;

Shani, O 2015, From Science Fiction to Reality: The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence, Wired, viewed 30 March 2016, <http://www.wired.com/insights/2015/01/the-evolution-of-artificial-intelligence/&gt;

 

A Digital Network: Brand and Consumer


TRANSCRIPT:

What is branding?

Branding is not the logo, it is not the name, but rather it is a conceptual idea, which gives consumers ‘something to believe in’.  It is a set of beliefs that open the door to a relationship with your audience.  The name, the logo, the media strategy are a set of identifiers for the brand which create a link between brand and and product, giving a more tangible image to identify the brand by.

So if branding is an idea, how does this relate to cybercultures?

The introduction of the internet has changed the way in which brands approach their audience.  The experience becomes less about the product, and more about the consumers by utilising networks within the internet to create a social impact, creating a new network of consumers who not only have an interest in the ‘products’ being sold to them, but they also share a connection to the company through their belief system and the way in which they interact with their audience.  The audience is not a passive body who will listen and agree to whatever you say, the audience is a body of people who crave connection, crave a sense of belonging, crave a relationship. Cyberculture is what enables this relationship to be formed between brand and consumer, as it allows companies to tap into a network which operates through a social basis – sharing, learning, collecting, and adding to the collective knowledge through a digital realm.

Cyberculture has created a platform for brands to incorporate user generated content as a way to promote their ideals, while also celebrating the consumer, their lifestyles, and their practices.  The focus is not so much on the brand itself, but on the people interacting with it, forming a vastly different approach to the old methods of creating brand awareness. It creates a space for conversation, which moves beyond a brand just being a product, and into something which becomes more than a product: something which reinforces the idea of the brand. My research will focus not on the idea of a brand itself. Rather, it will focus on how brands interacts with the internet — particularly social media — in order to extend their brand awareness and forge valuable  connections between the brand and their target audience.


Brookins, M 2010, The Advantages of Using Social Media Marketing, Chron, viewed 7 November 2015, <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-using-social-media-marketing-18593.html&gt;

Strauss, S 2013, Think Branding, with Google – Converence Keynote – “Branding is the New Normal”, YouTube, viewed 15 March 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l2CUjkg0ug&gt;

Trigger Communications 2011, What is a brand?, YouTube, viewed 15 March 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQLlPC_alT8&gt;

Turner, E 2015, Mind The Windows: Social Media Strategy

University of East Anglia 2011, What is Branding?, YouTube, viewed 15 March 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKIAOZZritk&gt;


Elysse Turner | WordPress | Twitter