Brand Storytelling and Snapchat

It’s hard to believe that Snapchat is 5 years old.

Like any normal 5-year-old, the app is out of the terrible two’s and developing a strong sense of self, learning how to play with others and starting to challenge authority.

Its strong sense of self

With 10m users per month in the UK (Instagram has 14m) it certainly needs to be taken notice of. If you think Snapchat is just for 15-year-old school girls you are wrong.

  • Snapchat has an even female/male split
  • 77% are over 18
  • 44% of that 77% are parents.

Snapchat does not want to sit with the other hipster ‘social media app’ clique in the cafeteria thanks. It would prefer to sit on its own as a ‘camera company’.

General manager Claire Valoti stated that it’s a camera company focused on “playful creation”. Distancing itself from the likes of Instagram which focuses on discovery. It’s about taking people back to their childhood doodle board. It’s for this reason that the app opens on the camera, immediately inviting you to be creative.

Playing with others

Moving away from its original USP of private disposable moments between friends, the focus has shifted to ‘Snapchat stories’.

There are three types:

  • My stories: Personally curated collection of Snapchat moments viewable for 24 hours
  • Live stories: At ‘of note’ live events the Snapchat team will collate Snapchats from multiple user perspectives distributing as one story, giving the viewer ‘the full picture’.
  • Publisher stories: Publishers such as Mail Online create and publish their own stories giving their professional view point for users.

Challenging authority

They took a huge gamble turning down Zuckerberg’s offer of $3bn to sell in 2013. They turned it down as they felt they had an ‘edge’.

Their edge is apparent in their latest NPD ‘Spectacles’.

Have you ever tried to take a picture of your friend on a bike while also on a bike? DANGEROUS NIGHTMARE. The solution is their new product ‘Spectacles’ set for release in the US next month. These sunglasses record what you see in a circular lens and upload it wirelessly to your phone. The CEO Evan has said these Spectacles are a ‘toy’ and ‘fun’ to bring people more into the moment. At £100 price point, it’s one expensive toy that’s for sure!

What this all means for advertisers

Snapchat is doing the right thing by focusing on product development which enhances the user experience first.

However, this does mean its proposition to advertisers is not there yet.

You have the option of branded lenses, filters and videos. These have shown strong results for the likes of PepsiCo and Disney, however, limited targeting options mean that it still feels a little mass market and ‘stuck on’. You are not yet able to enhance such a personal creative space with something relevant for the user.

My prediction is that with the enhancement of targeting options, personalisation and relevancy will increase, making the integration and ultimate payback for the brand much greater. Watch this space…


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