We’re talking about your go-to brands. You know, the ones you swear by and only ever-so-cautiously deviate from.
Think of “cult” brands—the brands that have the most devout fans. The types of brands that people really commit to. Think about skate kids queueing for hours in the rain in NYC or the “I only wear Nike trainers” person in your life. The fact that we can pretty accurately guess that you know someone who’s a big-time Nike fan says it all. Right?
Besides the obvious benefits of high engagement, word-of-mouth, and great customer retention, there are a few somewhat unexpected benefits of having a fiercely loyal following. The usual rules of engagement between brands and consumers start to blur once buyers turn into fans. For example, buyers are less sensitive to price. They’re not just buying a product, they’re buying in to an ethos, a lifestyle, an aspiration—and they’re willing to pay for it.
So let’s get to it.
Founded in 1980 by former Vogue art director Terry Jones, i-D is one of the world’s most revered fashion magazines. When it comes to Instagram, they make their own rules. The mix of high fashion, activism, and all things avant garde is still as poignant as it was nearly 40 years ago when i-D came to be.
Patagonia has never faltered from its mission to save the planet—saving the planet is its brand. Everything Patagonia does has a clear purpose and is tied back to its core values. And this is evident throughout their Instagram feed, right down to the captions and comments.
Why? They know their audience. So well, that Betches’ social team is constantly pumping out new handles to cater to its fans. Betches has refined pop culture to a level no one thought was possible.
A skate brand that has entered the world of high-end collaborations while maintaining their somewhat niche tone of voice—an impressive feat.
The queens of community. Sweaty Betty showers its customers in love and shares inspiring stories daily.
How do you convey a scent through an Instagram feed? Well, let Diptyque show you: with candles flanked in flowers, and herbs set in cosy scenes.
Stone Island is a family business headquartered in Milan that creates fresh jackets in high-performance fabrics—and they never scrimp on the details. The brand has a fan-run community Instagram account with 70k+ followers. Need we say more?
These companies are unwaveringly true to their brand. Here’s an analogy: When you’re out in front during a race, the best thing you can do is look forward. If you look back to see where your competitors are you risk losing your balance. It’s the same concept when it comes to building and sticking to your brand’s aesthetic. Boldly be who you are, and don’t let competitors shake your resolve.
This leads us to the ever-present question of consistency vs creativity. There’s a balance—yes, it does exist—between nailing your typical aesthetic every time and keeping it fresh. Understanding what makes each of your content pillars successful and someone else’s less successful is a good place to start. That way you can dig in to what exactly it is that makes certain content work better than other content.
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