User generated content campaigns

User generated content campaigns  (UGC) have become one of the key focus aspect of marketers today. Advertising agencies and brands worldwide are trying to tap into the immense power of their fan/customer base and use their authentic and original content to power their marketing campaigns.

Historically many firms have carefully managed the promotion of their products. Product promotion is a quite expensive activity of marketing. For example: a 30 second commerical on TV would cost a company thousands of dollars let alone the development price of the commercial itself.

The rise of new digital tools has dramatically changes the picture. Online platforms such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have made the creation and dissemination of promotional messages much cheaper and far easier than ever before. As a result, a growing number of firms are taking advantage of these developments and reduce their promotional costs.

User generated content occures when a product’s customers create and disseminate online ideas about the product or the brand. These ideas normally come in the form of text, music, photo or video. A key characteristic factor of UGC is that it is posted online and is accesible to others.

Starbucks, Burberry, Coca Cola, Chobani, Heineken, T-mobile and many other companies have good examples of user generated content campaigns.

Burberry is a British clothing company that was founded in 1856. Angela Ahrendts took over as CEO in 2006 and decided to launch a user generated content strategy as part of her goal of changing the company’s aging brand.

Burberry The art of trench (user generated content)

Burberry The art of trench (user generated content)

The company launched The Art of the Trench website in 2009, where users could upload and comment on pictures of people wearing Burberry products. Burberry’s ecommerce sales surged 50% year-over-year following the launch of the site.

Another great example of user generated content, Starbucks’ White Cup Contest launched in April 2014. Customers across the country were asked to doodle on their Starbucks cups and submit pictures as entries. The winning entry would be the template for a new limited edition Starbucks cup. Nearly 4,000 customers submitted entries in a three week span. The contest was a great way for Starbucks to earn publicity and prove that it strongly valued customer feedback.

Starbucks’ White Cup Contest (user generated content)

Starbucks’ White Cup Contest

Apart from this initiative, Starbucks launched My Starbucks idea webpage where people enter offers and recommendations as well as share, vote and discuss ideas. It creates lot of excitement and builds loyalty among customers.

Thus firms simply compile customer feedback, generate new and fresh ideas and listen to the voice of their customers, delegating some of the brand building responsibility to them.


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