• heartofafrica

Having fun! Taking some big brand "digital laggards" into the connected space

Up until a couple of years ago it was still relatively common to have friends who hadn't yet joined facebook. Or brands who didn't see the value in a facebook profile or businesses without a website. But nowadays that's relatively unheard of. At least for any brand or business of any size. Some small businesses still fly under the digital radar, but if you're a well known and established brand, the expectation by customers these days is that you are not only online, but you're leaping forward in the digital space with high-intensity.

Enter WONDERBRA, PLAYTEX, SHOCK ABSORBER, BEAR and SHE BEAR. Some of South Africa's most well known and established underwear brands. All without a website (seriously!) and all but one without any social presence. The holding company employs over 1,000 people and has grown year on on year despite dismal prospects in the local textile and clothing industry. So if they're doing just fine and growing their brands consistently without all this digital hype, why even go digital? Of course the answer to this is not simple and if it had been my job to disemenate this, it would probably have taken me weeks of analysis and interrogation into the the sunk cost of having not played in this space, followed by a really compelling argument to GO DIGITAL. But the client did their homework. They know how far behind they are and they know that had they capitalised on the incredible power of digital marketing earlier, their growth would have been exponentially bigger. When organizations get busy "doing", the visionary stuff falls away and you get caught up in the churn. Once you get a chance to look up, you realise you haven't only been lacking vision, but you're lagging really far behind and need to catch up quick! Or you're going to lose market share.

And so these 5 brands had to get online and social in a short period of time. Luckily I've only been responsible for the social part. But what fun! As a "shoe-string budget" marketer with a passion for start ups, I mostly work with brands with limited budgets and often limited awareness in the market place. The social space is where brands like this have an even playing field against the big guys so it's where a lot of energy goes. But taking really well known brands live socially has been so exciting. The traction, adoption and interaction has been so quick. And so easy! People know the brands. So it's a safe and comfortable space for them to Like, Share, Comment and Interact. Plus the brands have such unbelievable depth of content. Just using historical campaigns, there are probably two years of social media content on Wonderbra alone. But the great thing is that these brands are ramping it up and have an awesome agency on board with a whole range of exciting new marketing plans. So there certainly isn't going to be any lack of content anytime soon. For me, I just get to have fun putting it all together and pushing it out there. And then watching the digital magic unfold.

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