G2 | Group 3 | American Apparel

Founded in 1989, American Apparel has an estimated 242 retail stores selling trendy basic apparel across 20 countries. Targeted at teenagers, the company was popular for its edgy image and ethical, Made-in-America production process that does not involve sweatshop labour. But in recent years, American Apparel has faced much controversy – consumer and employee dissatisfaction, dwindling sales, and even filing for bankruptcy in 2015.

After a change in leadership, American Apparel has now undertaken a turnaround plan. Some changes include:

  • New mission: “be a financially sound, socially conscious, iconic brand that provides high quality American made products to consumers while maximizing stakeholder value”.
  • New target audience: 15 to 35 years old AKA millennials

Drawing lessons from their past issues and taking into account their strengths, our group has derived a proposal to help American Apparel revolutionize its brand. Thus our research question is:

“How can American Apparel leverage on its social media outlets to regain their foothold in the apparel industry?”

The specific objectives are:

Objective 1: To increase American Apparel positive brand awareness and recognition

Objective 2: To improve stakeholders’ engagement

Objective 3: Expand E-commerce to increase online sales

A quick analysis across social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc) showed us that negative sentiments toward American Apparel still dominate positive ones, and that for each social media platform, differing consumer sentiments dominate.

Synthesio sentiment-overview-1458455909693
Synthesio analysis of social media sentiments towards American Apparel
Comparison across platforms
Comparison of consumer behavior across social media platforms

This is a summary of consumer behavior across the platforms:

  • Twitter – negative sentiment, trending topics
  • Instagram – positive sentiment, AA products
  • Facebook – neutral sentiment, AA and its competitors

From these, we have developed 3 strategies, corresponding to each platform, to meet our objectives and realize our research question:

Strategy 1: Facebook Campaign – The Voice of AA’s Employees

Raise awareness to both employees and the public about AA’s change, from the employees’ perspectives through posting employee testimonials on Facebook and Instagram.

Strategy 2: Instagram & interactive catalogue campaign – Leveraging on ootd selfie culture

Promote e-commerce through consumer OOTD competition on Instagram with the hashtag #aninclusiveAA. While winners get to receive prizes, winning outfits will also be on discount on e-commerce site.

Strategy 3: Twitter Campaign – Capitalising on brand communities

Re-establish brand identity and increase positive brand awareness through engaging customers on Twitter. A Twitter competition will be held based off trending topics and the winning tweet will be designed into an AA t-shirt. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go toward a chosen non-profit organization.

We will be sharing more about our project, specifically these 3 strategies, in class. So stay tuned for our presentation!

Cheers 🙂

Dorothy Lee Chin Teng | Ko Yu Hui | Maisarah Ahmad Zohry | Tan Jing Yi | Toh Le Qi

 

 

 

G2 Group Project – GoPro [updated]

kayak-gopro-norway_3112920k

Hi everyone!

I’m Kenneth from the GoPro group, and here’s what our project’s all about!

Introduction

GoPro is America’s fastest-growing digital imaging company, and it “makes the world’s most versatile cameras” . Founded in 2002, it has sold approximately 20 million devices worldwide (GoPro, 2016). GoPro sells action cameras that sees a lot of use in extreme sports, such as skydiving, white water rafting, scuba diving, and so on.

However, they have recently faced falling profits. Over the last 12 months leading up to March 2016, stock value has fallen by 70%! This can be attributed to the firm’s lack of innovation and its limited target group – the extreme sports users.

GoPro has realised this themselves, and has begun shifting their direction so that they become more of a lifestyle product – however, even as their product becomes more oriented to the quotidian, has their social media strategy shifted in the same direction?

Hence, our group has decided to analyse GoPro’s current social media strategy with 2 research questions:

Research Question 1: How has Gopro created a strong and self-sustaining brand community through its current social media strategy?

Research Question 2: How can Gopro diversify its customer base?

Findings

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.34.43 am

From our use of Synthesio, we found this sad picture of how customers all over the world perceive GoPro, and we see that 96% of people perceive GoPro to be a niche, extreme sports camera.

Our analysis is based on GoPro’s use of 3 social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

We have found that GoPro has 3 overarching elements for their social media strategy. The most effective and important element is their User-Generated Content (UGC). With incentives such as cash prizes through its photo/video of the day contests, we see strong participation in these contests. As these entries are high quality pictures, GoPro also builds up positive brand attitudes amongst its viewers as they see the potential of GoPro as an image capturing device through other consumers’ experience with the camera.

The second element is GoPro’s use of curated content. GoPro screens and manages the content it posts on its social media platforms. These entries are selected according to what GoPro’s customers are interested in, i.e. extreme sports, conservation efforts. Overall, it seems that GoPro’s customers mostly have the quality of being adventurous people who live big lives. Together with UGC, this effectively builds up a strong brand community as like-minded individuals are brought together on GoPro’s social media platforms where they can share their successes with the use of GoPro, learn from others, and interact with other people who share similar values.

The third element of GoPro’s effective social media strategy is its personal communication style, where it establishes a very casual and friendly atmosphere on their platforms. This is done through colloquial language conveyed through a friendly tone. This further supplements the building up of GoPro’s brand community.

Our analysis has found some main social media strategy differences across the three social media platforms.

Instagram remains GoPro’s most effective social media platform, possibly attributed to the nature of GoPro as a product – an image capturing device. The use of contests and story-telling through their posts were found as especially effective in engaging their audience, as these posts have the greatest number of likes and comments across all their other posts.

GoPro seems to have a generalised strategy on Twitter, where it uses many different types of hashtags, i.e. #GoProGirl. This fosters greater engagement as a wider range of audience can take part in GoPro’s conversations with its customers. The range of topics are also widened due to the wider variety of hashtags used.

Finally, GoPro seems to create the most interest on Facebook through videos as videos have greater likes and shares compared to GoPro’s other posts on Facebook.

All in all, GoPro’s social media strategy is a highly effective one in generating a strong brand community. This is evident in the most vocal brand ambassadors identifying themselves as part of the #GoProFamily. The main issue of GoPro’s social media strategy lies in the lack of content diversity.

Recommendations

Our group has then come up with 3 recommendations for Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, and localised our recommendations because we understand Singapore best.

We recommend GoPro to establish an official GoProSG Instagram account and supplement this with localised hashtag campaigns. A few examples would be to explore non-thrill seeking, youth relevant issues, such as sports events (e.g. youth olympics in Singapore), or health initiatives (Health campaigns by the Health Promotion Board), or even social/environmental causes championed by student leaders (e.g. community service activities like reef alert). GoPro should encourage and share content of this nature taken through its camera. Not only would this build goodwill amongst a wider range of youth customers, GoPro will be able to shift people’s perception of it being a niche-use camera, to one that can be used for any activity as they see high quality pictures of non-thrill seeking activities being shared on GoProSG. GoPro also begins to shift consumers’ perception of it being an exclusive company that caters specifically to a niche group of consumers to one that has a holistic concern with matters of importance amongst Singaporean youths. As positive brand attitudes are built up amongst Singaporean youths, this can potentially diversify GoPro’s brand community as more people feel included in GoPro’s brand community.

We also recommend GoPro to begin developing a Snapchat application where its users are able to capture, edit, and upload content onto Snapchat all through the camera itself. This is because Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the most preferred social media platforms amongst youths.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 4.27.21 pm.png

By developing new functionalities that allow its users to explore content creation, and to have these functions be aligned with its users daily activities, we believe this would shift consumers’ perception of GoPro as a niche camera, to a camera for the everyday. Granted, this isn’t a solution in of itself to solve GoPro’s falling demand, but rather, forms part of our multi-pronged approach in changing consumers’ perception of GoPro.

Finally, we recommend GoPro to launch co-creation events through Facebook. This is because this fosters greater collaboration between GoPro and its customers and allows it to gain greater insight into the needs of its non-thrill seeking customers. Not only would GoPro be better equipped with the knowledge to develop products that its customers want, GoPro would be able to generate goodwill and change people’s perception of it being a company tailored to thrill-seekers, to one that is an involved organisation deeply concerned with the needs of all types of its customers.

That is a quick summary of our group project for GoPro. For more information, our report is on E-learn! 🙂 Thank you for reading!

Paper Towns do exist after all!

On the front page of the Sunday Times yesterday, I glanced upon an article which appalled me so much that I had to scrutinize it.

The title read, “Paper-thin netizens in China show off #A4Waist”. What comes after that was this image:

 

waist1_1

Apparently, the hashtag #A4Waist has been circulating around Chinese social media sites (e.g. Weibo) and women and some men have been posting pictures of their waists hidden almost completely behind a vertical piece of A4 paper, boasting their thin bodies.

This latest craze over attaining an #A4Waist does not need to be further elaborated on how its distorting and breeding unhealthy beauty standards among young women in China and worldwide, and especially little girls.

However, what caught my eye was that trends (regardless of whether they are honorable or perverted) from the exclusive realm of Chinese social media, were able to penetrate mainstream social media sites like Instagram and even make the headlines of international newspapers!

I originally had the preconceived notion that the block-and-clone policy in China as mentioned in class was such that ‘whatever is posted in China, stays in China’, protected by invisible walls that the Chinese government has erected countrywide. It is interesting to discover that the total opposite is happening before our very eyes!

This, then, begs the question: Why can’t China just relak a bit and allow its citizens to venture out into the realms of international social media sites such as Instagram, since the information contained in Chinese social media cannot seem to be contained within its invisible boundaries anymore?

To end off this post before I (and everyone else I presume) continue chionging our reports due wednesday, I went to check the #A4Waist hashtag on Instagram to see if this Chinese Craze had caught on internationally.

Thankfully, it seems to be under control at the moment (only 507 posts, mostly about #lovingyourbody(s)! Whoohoo humanity!)

1170110_577151219109055_713819410_n

“I’m not afraid to bear it all! Haha geddit”

#EarthHour so let’s fight (huh, what?)

Hello everybody!

So as you may know, Earth Hour is happening in about 2 hours time (8:30pm to 9:30pm SG). Well to be frank, I did not know Earth Hour was happening today until yesterday only! How did I find out? On Social Media.

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 6.15.05 PM

The above post appeared on my Twitter. I saw the hashtag #EarthHour, and afterwards went onto Google to confirm that it is really happening soon. I did not even follow Coca-Cola Singapore on Twitter, but it still appears on my homepage because it was a ‘promoted’ post (as seen at the bottom left of the picture). This shows that marketing on Social Media has a huge potential outreach (you can even reach out to people who do not follow you).

But it got me thinking, what does Coca-Cola got to do with EarthHour? Probably nothing at all! Looking at their post, they are probably just jumping on the bandwagon of the event to promote their brand. I clicked the hashtag, and there are so many tweets with #EarthHour!! Some of the posts are totally unrelated!!

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 6.34.02 PM

What does EarthHour have to do with accidents and fighting (and the link to an article talks nothing about EarthHour as well)?? But even though it is not related, an user (like me) who was searching about EarthHour came across their post, and even clicked on it. The post got more awareness just because it hashtag something that is popular at the moment.

I want to ask what are your view on this. Do you think that companies (or anyone) who jump on the bandwagon on an unrelated event are doing the right thing or actually it may bring about negative effects to their social media marketing efforts?

Thank you for reading!

Jeremy Pek (G2)

Instagram’s New Update On The Way!

Hi all,

Link: http://blog.instagram.com/post/141107034797/160315-news

Instagram announced yesterday that they are testing a new update to their platform. Instead of posts appearing in a chronological order on the feed, it will now be in an order that reflects your interest and the people you interact most closely with. This means that posts that you might be interested in, or posts from closer friends, will be at the top of your feed. This will be similar to the Facebook’s feed style.

The rationale for doing this, according to Instagram, is because “people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.”

I believe that this new update will impact the way companies utilize Instagram the most. I foresee more Ads coming up on Instagram as companies can now utilize Instagram to reach out to potential consumers by getting their Ads right at the top of their feeds, a similar way to Facebook. This will definitely affect regular daily Instagram users when more Ads can be seen on this platform. Sounds pretty annoying to me!

What do you guys think? 🙂

P.s. Hang in there for the last few weeks of school!

Regards,

Cari Tan

G1

 

Native Advertising – Creativity or Compromise?

Sheer lighthearted brilliance from the tenacious, satirical and uber-conscious John Oliver on the negative side of native advertising (an absolute must-watch): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_F5GxCwizc

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 3.41.07 AM.png

There seems to be two sides to the argument here for native advertising.

First – the one we’re aware of – targeting the content-loving, ad-hating, editorial-and-everything-else-related hungry teenage bandwagon of consumers with fresh editorial-style advertising as we have seen on Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post. Not only has this refreshed advertising techniques and given a new lease of life to online marketing, it has proven plenty successful in endearing brands to their target segment far more than boring, annoying and obsolete banner ads.

Second – the one that John talks about – how native advertising seems to be, at best, compromising the quality of journalism, and at worst, how it is emblematic of corporations’ interests taking over even the most supposedly independent of press units such as the New York Times. It is a serious question posed to the independence of our press and ‘duping’ of the consumer.

Make sure you enjoy this short video and leave some comments!

Cheers,
Shivin (G1)

Asia Xpedition Awareness

Hi Everyone!

Not sure if you had heard about a recent expedition that is coming up? It is from Asia Xpedition happening on the 15-17 April 2016! I had noticed the event notification popping out of my facebook quite frequently. Hence, i felt that it would be interesting to find out how does an event create buzz and word of mouth online?

Here’s some observation i noticed! Firstly, the post appears quite frequently on my news feed and the reason why it appears on my new feeds was because my friends had like the post/page. As most of my friends enjoys extreme sports. Such as diving, skydiving, trekking & etc. Thus, it manage to use the social media platform to reach out to users like me who is interested in the same interest group. The increase exposure of the event had capture my attention to find out more about the event and eventually, I “like” the page and was amazed that 10 of my friends are going for the event.

At the page, they had vlog competition where users send in their travel video in 30sec and also travel write up to engage the community. I felt that the initiatives was a good strategy to engage their potential customers and also to spread the events through word of mouth.

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 4.53.51 PM.png

Through navigating the page, I had also saw that they are recruiting volunteers! Volunteers can simply get a one year free magazine subscription  and limited edition t shirt. It was really interesting how they uses social media to recruit helpers and the strategy to get people to sign up. Hence, this is a good learning point where we can understand how does an event helps to create hype before the event, aside from products and services 🙂 Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 4.56.56 PM.png

So yea’ i think this is a good strategy for Asia Xpedition, as Singapore had became an emerging market for adventure sports/extreme sports. Shall check out the news after the event to know how successful the turn up is!

Tian Xin

G2

Find out more:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaxpedition/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Offical website: http://www.asiaxpedition.com/

LTA’s Journey Video

Hi everyone!

Recently LTA uploaded a video onto Facebook:

Journey

What does a bus ticket mean to you? To this couple, it goes beyond something transactional – it's the ticket to the ride of their lives together. Watch as their feelings blossom into an enduring love that transcends time and boundaries.#SGBusJourney

Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Tharrrsdy, Marrrch 10, 2016

This seems like an effort at increasing positive sentiments towards the company, similar to the Starhub example Prof showed us in class. However, I do find this video more effective at generating positive attitudes towards the company because of a few techniques.

I liked that the video had a compelling storyline, and that it was relevant and relatable to most Singaporeans (its intended audience I would expect). It was especially effective at creating a sense of time by beginning the setting of the video in the earlier years of our transport system. This gave me a sense of nostalgia, and it engaged me because I could relate to it. No only did it make the video more interesting, it subtly highlighted how LTA has been consistently improving our transport over the years. This is definitely intentional in creating positive sentiments.

I felt that because the story was centred around a couple, as the audience becomes increasingly emotionally attached to the characters, even the blatant showcasing of our buses’ capabilities (e.g. the improved fare system, the better service from bus captains), could be forgiven because the audience is invested in the characters. I didn’t finish the video feeling as if LTA was praising itself (though through an objective and critical lens, it is pretty obvious). Rather, I finished the video with positive feelings, and a better brand attitude towards LTA.

This might be part of their social media campaign, seeing as there’s a hashtag #SGBusJourney in the caption of the video’s post, but I don’t really follow LTA or the bus operators in Singapore so I’m not sure.

Hope the rest of you enjoyed the video as much as I did! 🙂

Aly & Fila and Zouk: The Chronicles of The Malaysian VIP

Many things get blown up online. And when a prominent DJ, with many followers and fans tells the world on Social Media that you’re “lame”, using the Denial tactic and Minimisation technique will only cause more damage to your brand reputation.

http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/entertainment/najibs-son-at-zouk-did-new-owner-genting-step-in

As according to the link above, a popular DJ was playing at Zouk. His stated end time was 3.30am, but he was initially invited to play till the end, which he agreed to. However, this initial agreement was dissolved when the Malaysian Prime Minister’s son wanted to spin. And there the situation worsens, as the DJ’s video of him criticizing Zouk’s actions were uploaded on Facebook and shared, leading to widespread dissent on an initially well regarded brand such as Zouk.

And Zouk responded, albeit in a way that only created more dissent as they were minimizing the determinants for their actions.

Lesson learnt: Apologise, and be sincere about it? People might be initially angry, but at least not as bad as now?

Managing branded posts

Hi all!

3 months ago, Adidas and popular social media influencer Andrea Chong were caught up in a social media fix regarding Chong’s participation in the Standard Chartered race. In the photo posted by Chong, she is seen wearing a Standard Chartered Bib while running the marathon (see photo here: http://mothership.sg/2015/12/singapore-now-has-its-own-ridiculously-photogenic-marathon-runner-but/). There were rumours that she did not complete the marathon. Netizens also pointed out that the bib was in fact registered under another person, an intern with PR firm Edelman. In response, Chong removed the post and uploaded a new photo (http://www.marketing-interactive.com/adidas-marathon-faux-pas-can-you-afford-to-be-careless-with-branded-posts/). 

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) has stated that it will develop a set of guidelines on digital and social media marketing and advertising activities. The guidelines will “establish the levels of disclosure that are required of sponsored messages that appear on blogs and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Marketers will be required to make sponsored messages distinguishable from personal opinions and editorial content in their posts and disclose any commercial relationships.”

What constitutes as a branded post? Will simply hashtagging or tagging the brand in the post count as that?

This set of guidelines will be extremely pertinent, especially in light of the recent spate of events involving NTUC Income and Rebecca Lim’s “retirement”. 

Clara (G1)