Tag Archives: digital marketing

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How Kylie Jenner Used Social Media to Build a $900M Cosmetic Empire

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Kylie Cosmetics is a cosmetics company founded and owned by the youngest crew of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner. Three years ago, at the age of just 18 Kylie Jenner launched her makeup brand initially under the name of Kylie Lip Kits. Due to vast amounts of success and growth, the company was renamed Kylie Cosmetics in 2016 with launches ranging far beyond only lip products. Today, this company has a valuation of upwards of $900M, resulting in Kylie Jenner’s name as the youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes in 2018.

Forbes naming Kylie Jenner self-made has drawn a lot of criticism, given that she grew up in an environment with many more privileges and connections than the average person in the United States. While I do agree that her family’s view in the public eye contributed to her company’s recognition, facts are facts. And the fact is that she has successfully built a company from the ground up- without spending a penny on paid advertising.

Kylie has gone on record and said that her company does not save room in their budget for advertising, and they never have. Kylie Cosmetics’ marketing efforts are based purely through Kylie’s personal and company Instagram and Snapchat accounts. When comparing the Kylie Cosmetic’s Instagram page to other large cosmetic brands such as MAC Cosmetics, their Instagram following is relatively similar- between 18-20M followers. However, Kylie’s personal account with a platform consisting 112M followers and counting, contributes significantly to the success and awareness of her brand.

She is also the most followed person on the entire Snapchat platform, where she frequently posts teasers of her new makeup releases and collaborations. She uses a combination of her business and personal accounts to reach maximum audiences and makes sure to build anticipation and interest with every release her brand makes. By using this strategy, fans remain intrigued to see what she will come up with next- and in turn be more inclined to buy her products. Kylie Cosmetics is just one brand of many that exemplifies today’s shift from traditional to digital advertising, and the benefits that come along with it.

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The Marvelous Marketing of Mrs. Maisel

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Over the summer, I discovered a show called the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. With an interesting plot, well-developed characters, and a smart AND hilarious script, the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is probably one of the best shows I have ever seen. However, I had never heard of it beforehand. I only had discovered it by browsing through IMDB and seeing a random series with exceptionally high reviews. Upon further research, I found out that it’s actually an Amazon Prime show and had won several Golden Globes in its premier season. 

The Marvelous Mrs. Masiel is one of those shows you just know you’re going to love immediately after watching the first episode. Love at first sight, if you will. Two days later, after a severe binge, I finished it and proceeded to recommend it to all my friends. And then it was quiet for a while. This is until a couple weeks ago when I spotted a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Snapchat filter. It was advertising from the second season which premiers this fall. I investigated the show’s social media presence further, and they clearly have a strong marketing team hard at work. With 13.4K tweets, 26.2K followers on Twitter, and 71.9K followers on Instagram, it is clear that Amazon is putting money out to effectively market this relatively unknown show. 

And tonight, coincidentally, the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel DOMINATES the Emmy’s, winning an impressive FIVE awards at the live show. This Emmy’s sweep is providing the show with organic, genuine promotion from fans and is surely going to create new fans. There has already had heavy buzz on social media that is creating much needed awareness on this terrific series. I, personally, am so glad this incredible show is finally getting the attention is deserves and am excited to see what the next season has in store. If it’s anything like the first season, critics might as well start handing over the awards now. 

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Nike Sacrifices Everything

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Contrary to initial beliefs about their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick’s #TakeAKnee movement, Nike’s sales have gone up. Sales have increased 31% after the first weekend, and 17% alone on Labor Day.

The ad features Colin Kaepernick with text saying, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” In his video, Kaepernick says “people say your dreams are crazy, if they laugh at what you think you can do, good, stay that way. Because what non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult, it’s a compliment.” See the video here.

The commercial aired during the 2018 NFL season opener, featuring Nike athletes Nyjah Huston, Serena Williams, Lebron James, and Kaepernick. As the campaign made its way through social media, some Nike supporters starting a boycott. From cutting off their Nike swooshes, to burning shoes, some fans were pissed. Even President Trump tweeted, “What was Nike thinking?”

Despite the outbreak of negative speech against Nike, the brand has come out alive and well. So well, their sales have increased. Nike lost a few customers, but those customers are not their main target consumer, and are small purchasers. Their goal is to attract and maintain their long-term, high-involvement customers and establish a long-term relationship. Nike is standing for those who will risk everything for what they stand for, and customers are loving it.

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Classic City Coffee: 1000 Faces

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Founded by Benjamin Meyers, 1000 Faces coffee has been serving the Athens community for twelve years. Although the company has undergone many ownership changes, it successfully opened a second location in downtown Athens last fall. The North Thomas street location attracts students walking home from class looking for a place to study as well as business professionals and Athens local looking for a place to grab a cup of coffee with friends. On the higher-end of the spectrum as far as price and quality, 1000 Faces Coffee has branded itself as clean-cut, hipster and environmentally aware, appealing to much of the high-brow Athens coffee drinking population, but remaining inviting for customers of all kinds as they make it their mission to offer friendly service.

Digital Marketing Rundown:

Website: www.1000facescoffee.com

  • Boasts the company mission: “to connect the coffee consumer and coffee producer more directly through quality, education, service, and friendly interactions.”
  • Landing page shows featured coffees and further divides the site into four sections: shop, learn, wholesale, and blog.
  • Blog features information about resources and partnerships, recipes, and health tips.
  • A banner ad at the top of the site gives a discount code for online purchases.


1000 Faces Coffee

  • 3,901 following
  • Rated 4.9 out of 5 by 82 people
  • Review buzzwords include: “best cup of coffee,” “nitro cold brew,” and “latte art”
  • Activity level: High – Posts most every day
  • Has a link to their email sign-up



  • 1,475 posts
  • Activity level: High – Posts most every day
  • Averages around 100 likes
  • Utilizes Story Highlights featuring customer photos



  • Bio: “specialty coffee roaster, merchant of change, voyager of the agrarian spirit”
  • 175 tweets
  • Last activity: May 16th 2018

In the Community:

  • 1000 Faces has a well-rounded presence in the community appearing at the Athens Farmer’s Market on Saturdays
  • 1000 Faces Branded Coffee is served at many local Athens establishments including: The National, Mama’s Boy, Big City Bread, Sips Espresso Cafe, Walker’s Coffee Shop and Pub, Homemade, Condor Chocolates, and The Last Resort

Classic City Coffee Digital Marketing Ranking: Digital Marketing Dawg

Taking into consideration their activity level on social media as well as the depth of their main website, 1000 Faces Coffee deserves a superb ranking for their digital marketing. They champion their business as well as their customers by emphasizing how important the human relationships they maintain are to their company mission. This is evident by the engagement they foster with customers through their social media channels like Facebook and Instagram as well as the blog on their website. The blog section of the 1000 Faces website is a great tool for customer engagement and effectively and actively works to link the “two most important ends of the 1000 Faces spectrum” the growers and consumers by telling stories about what the company is doing in regards to its partners around the globe. The site also keeps up with current events, such as recent concerns over the carcinogenic nature of coffee, and is actively maintained. Customers who fall in love with 1000 Faces can find out a lot more information from the website as well as shop their coffee and retail items online. Within its individual social media channels, 1000 Faces does a good job of engaging with customers and responding to messages on a one-on-one basis. In doing so, they effectively create loyal fans and seem to have grown a “tribe” within the Athens community. This tribe is expanded by their presence on Yelp and when users check-in on Facebook so that friends of the tribe become exposed to 1000 Faces as well. They are the most active coffee company on social media we have looked at so far, and their activity seems to align with their mission to deliver customer value while being passionate about coffee.

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Apple and the Future of Wearable Tech

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As we draw closer to Apple’s annual September Special Event, speculation has mounted concerning the release of new iPhones, Airpods, and wearable tech.

Apple has spent the last several years continuing to develop and integrate its suite of tech products to allow them to be more accessible to users, and they aren’t alone. A variety of tech giants including Google and Microsoft have shown significant interest in the development of wearable technology in clothes, smart watches, health monitors, and augmented reality(AR).

While these new advances excite dedicated tech enthusiasts and casual consumers, there is another group who should be interested in this growing industry: marketers.

The 21st century has rapidly normalized the idea of carrying around communications technology. As people become more and more attached to their devices, they also have created an opportunity for constant communication between users and companies. But wearable technology, and specifically AR represent a revolution in the digital dialogue between companies and their customers.

Wearable devices could provide a constant stream of data about users that could be used to predict their needs and desires. A health band could theoretically detect low blood sugar, notify the user of the health concern, and recommend nearby restaurants or stores to resolve the issue. Augmented reality devices such as Google Glass, though clunky at the moment, may eventually become a sleek daily wearable device that replaces our phones. An augmented display could allow for digital advertising to appear in real time around storefronts, displaying information about products, sales, and other promotions.

While these opportunities are certainly exciting, they do not come without risk. This technology and marketing tactics employing it could become too intrusive and thus aggravate consumers. Misuse of this technology could have a similar negative backlash that we saw with spam emails. For this reason, marketers will have to be careful to use the technology in a way that is informative to users without disrupting their lives. Those who adapt to these technological changes most effectively will become the market leaders of tomorrow.

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Market It Up

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It’s Labor Day weekend, and I was trying to find a way to procrastinate on all my other responsibilities while still being productive in some aspect. I settled on watching a movie on Netflix and calling it “research” for this week’s blog post. 

I had seen some buzz on social media over a Netflix original movie called “Set It Up” in recent months. It’s about two assistants who try to set up their demanding bosses and ended up falling for each other. Released in June, the movie has since received generally positive reviews and has “resurrected the modern romantic comedy” genre, according to RollingStone.

I, personally, am a sucker for a good rom com. No matter how cheesy and cliché, I always get drawn in and invested in strangers’ romantic lives. Set It Up was no exception. Although very cliché and predictable, it was a sweet movie with likable characters. 

After watching a movie, I always end up stalking the social media of the stars of the film. Expectedly, after a few scrolls down, I see the celebrities advertising their work and posting behind-the-scenes and gleaming movie reviews. This made me think about how important casting is for filmmakers in this day and age. Not only does the actor have to have a connection with the script, but their social media presence also has an impact. The more followers the celebrity has, the more organic adverting for the movie there is. In addition, the fans of the actor provide a built-in audience. 


After several major successful releases from Netflix that stem from the rom-com genre, the media provider will most likely continue churning out feel-good romances. Could this be the beginning of a new age rom-com renaissance? It will be interesting to see how social media will play into its advertising. 

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The Art of Rebranding, As Told By Burberry

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Brands, especially those that set trends and depend on of-the-moment popularity for their success, are constantly reinventing the product they sell and the way they sell it. In the age of digital marketing, a new social media feature or fresh channel for creating conversions is enough to rock the boat. However, the speed at which consumers are constantly changing their preferences and updating their feeds has brands scrambling to keep up. What happens when your branding isn’t on par with your product?

Burberry feels you. After 20 long years, freshly appointed creative officer Riccardo Tisci made the move to rebrand Burberry to better reflect what the brand represented now (and not what it used to be two decades ago). The new logo, shown below, is a clean and modern take on the softer, more antiquated logo Burberry previously used.

Tisci also took advantage of the recent monogram craze to pay homage to Burberry’s roots, using the initials of Burberry’s founder, Thomas Burberry (shown below).

For those of us who aren’t invested in high fashion…Who cares? The significance of Burberry’s drastic rebrand is not in the chic new logo or trendy vintage monogram, but rather in the delivery of the rebrand. Burberry announced its new, fresh face via Instagram using two separate posts. While the responses having been mixed regarding the sudden logo change, the importance of it all occurring on social media point to larger trends in the digital marketing sphere.

Plain and simple, news happens on social media. Burberry took advantage of a risky rebrand and turned it into a buzzworthy announcement that had everyone from Adweek to GQ talking about it. Here are a couple of Burberry’s rebranding best practices:


In addition to revealing the new logos to its loyal followers, Burberry also revealed emails between Tisci and designer Peter Saville that detailed the project timeline (a mere four weeks) and offered up a glimpse into the design process. By being transparent, Burberry established a level of customer ownership in the new brand. Their posts seem to beckon followers to feel as if they were a part of the process in a way that compels them to feel associated and proud of the (re)brand.


Teasing the new logo and monogram pattern with project communications not only lent transparency, but also garnered excitement for what was to come. By creating momentum around the rebrand, followers had an incentive to log on to Instagram or Facebook to check on Burberry’s feed. The mystique surrounding “What will Burberry do next?” created an added layer of hype to an already exciting announcement.

What’s next?

Burberry’s new look has incentivized people to look towards Tisci’s first show with Burberry to see how the new branding will affect the classic Burberry look. Will he shake things up yet again or just put a modern spin on an old classic? Only time (and social media) will tell.

Whether it’s a drastic rebrand or simply adapting to new trends, if there’s one thing that can be learned from Burberry, it’s that change, while not always popular, is best served with both transparency and consumer in mind. From choosing an accessible channel for their announcement to sharing the process with fans, Burberry delivered its rebrand in a way that stands out from a crowd.

What do you think? How would you react if one of your favorite brands shared a rebrand this way? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Scooterino – Swerving the Rules

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Take a look at any news broadcast during the 2017-2018 year and you’re almost guaranteed to see a segment about angry taxi drivers displeased with Uber taking over their cities. In the United States, these concerns have for the most part been ignored, but in other parts of the world governments took it to heart. With European countries banning Uber, tourists need an alternative for cheap transportation. Thus, companies like Scooterino have formed.

Scooterino is a Rome-based company that allows consumers to hitch a ride on a scooter with a click of a button. It works in the same manner as Uber with just a download of the app. Since Rome’s streets are narrow and parking is hard to come by, this company thrives in the city but would be a hard sell in the U.S.

Scooterino has a difficult task when marketing their services, because they want to have as many customers as possible. On the other hand, they don’t want to have so many customers that they’re taking business away from Taxi drivers. By having a few social media campaigns on popular social media sites, Scooterino is able to keep enough interest in their company to make a profit and also not disrupt the local competing industries.

If you were in Rome, would you call a ride on Scooterino?

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Understanding Tesla: The Pros and Cons of Star Power

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The booming tech industry has provided many startup companies with easier access to investor funding. After seeing the record-breaking growth of companies such as Facebook, Apple, and Uber, investors are constantly on the lookout for the next big idea or genius entrepreneur. Sometimes, investor confidence in an idea or brand can even overcome their hesitation about poor financial performance.

A great example of this is Tesla, which has seen incredible investor confidence from its position as the golden child of the electric car market. Although the company has never turned a profit they have still benefitted from billions of dollars in investor money. Many attribute Tesla’s success with investors to its CEO, Elon Musk. Musk is considered by many to be a brilliant innovator, and his fame has had a strong impact on expectations for Tesla.


But how exactly has Elon Musk’s personal fame impacted Tesla? And what does it mean for the future of digital marketing?

Elon Musk is something of a controversial figure, receiving praise and criticism from journalists, employees, and competitors. His successes with other companies such as Paypal and SpaceX have convinced many that he has the ability to lead Tesla through any difficulty. This has inspired something of a cult of personality around Musk. Both deep-pocketed Wall Street investors and Tesla megafans have been won over by his charisma, and they are more than willing to ride out Tesla’s difficult financial years in support of Musk and his ideas.

But while Tesla has certainly benefited from Elon Musk’s good reputation, investor confidence in the company can also be shaken when Musk’s reputation takes a negative turn. In the digital age, mistakes made by famous figures are instantly broadcast, and this can go so far as to influence market opinions on companies such as Tesla.

As an example, Elon Musk recently attempted to take Tesla private at a share price of $420. In a series of tweets, he explained his plans to 22 million Twitter followers. This caused shockwaves through the market as investors scrambled to react. Unfortunately, it seemed that Musk’s claims of having “secured funding” were not ironclad. After a few days of confusion, the proposed plan was scrapped, and Tesla’s shares dipped.

This was not the first time that Musk’s actions impacted Tesla’s stock price. In a highly publicized incident, Musk berated analysts during Tesla’s Q1 earnings call. This behavior was judged harshly by Wall Street, and Tesla suffered a sharp drop in stock price.

The relationship between Elon Musk and Tesla can provide a very important lesson in digital marketing. The fact is, it is difficult to separate the emotional opinions made by consumers and investors from the financial realities of a company.

Glitzy new startups have gathered millions overnight only to collapse months later, and a single instance of bad employee behavior can stain a company reputation for years. Tesla certainly has a lot to gain from Elon Musk’s celebrity status, but they must always remember that their reputation and his are deeply linked. 

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Instapoets: Rupi Kaur

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If you’re active on Instagram, you’ve likely seen Rupi Kaur’s work. Pretty, small poems accompanied by curving, rustic sketches. Still can’t recall?

Here’s a piece of her work.

Yes. Now you’re with me.


Rupi Kaur, or “the Queen of the Instapoets” according to Rolling Stone, is a 24 year old creative with 2.9 million followers on Instagram. She gained her mainstream popularity by self-publishing her first work, Milk and Honey, on Instagram back in 2014. Initially garnering public attention for posting a jarring portrait of femininity, her poems soon being to proliferate across Instagram feeds, captivating viewers with her elegant truths and aesthetically pleasing content.


Ms. Kaur’s success is an example of how critical Instagram can be when it comes to marketing. And while I would never presume to say Ms. Kaur’s successes are derived solely from the popularity of her work on social media, it is undeniable that her involvement with Instagram boosted her visibility as a poet. So much so, that a publishing house picked up Milk and Honey and republished it several months later. Her second work, The Sun and Its Flowers, was published in 2017 with equal success.

As Ms. Kaur’s publisher once said in an interview, “in this digital world where content marketing is this sort of buzzword, Rupi is the content it doesn’t need the marketing.”

I’d have to agree with that, but with a clarification: Ms. Kaur’s work doesn’t need marketing, because she’s doing it for herself.

Of course, when she first published her work, I’m sure Ms. Kaur did not post with the idea of marketing herself or her work, but it was marketing all the same. Images of Milk and Honey were able to garner so much interest that she got herself a book deal, in a time when interest in poetry had been on the steady decline for years.

The social media fame translated into sales as well: Milk and Honey sold over 2 million copies, more than rest of the top ten poetry books on listed on the Time’s bestseller list combined.*



That, my friends, is a successful social media campaign.

In this digital age, poetry has experienced a revival of a sort—a mix of pixels and prose, if you will. Both poets and writers have adapted to this new medium, and the trend is growing. What I’m curious to see is how traditional publishing houses take advantage of this new medium when it comes to marketing their authors and books. Many brands have embraced the use of influencers and interactive social medial campaigns when it comes to promotion, but I feel that when it comes to the novel, publishers are lagging.

Perhaps it’s time to brush up on their Insta-game.




*Source: https://www.economist.com/prospero/2017/11/01/rupi-kaur-reinvents-poetry-for-the-social-media-generation

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