written by: Li Sum Yui, Katie

In the era of digital media, it seems that every brand want to make the most out of it, especially social media, to outperform other brands. Social media provides a platform with large group of audience and is highly interactive. Even so, is social media really a fast and easy way for brand building?

On 17 October, 2016, Swatch uploaded a 5 minute video on its Facebook page. It is a micro film about a young designer who represents the “think of out the box” generation and his boss who represents the “conservative” generation. The message it wants to bring out is “No change, No Chance”, which relates with their new product line “System51 Irony” . The company is using the story to showcase how revolutionary and non-traditional their products are.

Overly assumed that the 90s could resonate

Swatch no doubt is a revolutionary Swiss watch product in the 1980s, especially within the context of industry practitioners. Their success story in watch making and marketing paradigm shift has been widely promoted and recognized. The video on Facebook is used as a communication tool to reinforce such brand image in the younger consumer’s mind. However, there is an assumption of Swatch being well-known as a revolutionary brand outside the practitioner context of the watch industry. The 70s/80s generation may know about their history, but general consumers from the 90s may not be as familiar with their brand story. If Swatch is going to target the 90s, they may need to adjust its assumptions to this specific group of target consumers.

Moreover, when further examines whether the video successfully generates consumer interests online, it is found that the number of views (260K) and likes(2,195) are not exactly encouraging. Brand building is not just saying how good you are. It is also telling your target audience why they need to buy your products instead of others. If they simply say the watch is revolutionary instead of telling them buying revolutionary watch is good for them, it may not be enough to drive sales. After all, the ultimate purpose of advertisement is to drive sales.

Lastly, a caution in the use of social media is the easy distortion of focus by the public. When looking through the comments of the video, the focus of the dialogue is heavy on the story itself rather than the product. The sharing skews towards the generic sentiments of arguments in the workplace. As a result, not much connection is generated to the big idea of “revolutionary product and design”.

To conclude, using of video in social media to tell a brand story is widely practiced in the evolving marketing communication showground. 100most is an example showing the possibility of brand building utilizing the social media. Brand building is a tough task, story-telling is not as easy as writing a script. It is about telling the right story to the right people with the right idea. As such, the channel of distribution on the digital platform may also be one of the key factors to note. I keep thinking what would happen if the Swatch’s video is shown on 100most’s Facebook page. Yet, that would be another story.