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Brands That Are Snapping It Up

Hillary Gawlik.

There it is again, that little ghost popping up on your screen telling you that you have a snap. You get excited because you don’t know what it will be. Is it a snap from your girlfriend saying good morning or is it a video of your little brother doing the wobble? You never know, but you have only 10 seconds to enjoy that moment of happiness before it disappears forever.


Snapchat was designed to capture a funny moment or to show someone that you thought of them today. The app, created by a few college classmates at Stanford University back in 2011, was initially popular with high school aged students but its user base has grown to include people in their 20's. Snapchat users generate roughly 200 million snaps per day and according to Forbes, Snapchat is now a $860 million dollar company.

Seeing Potential For Brands

New apps and social networks are a dime a dozen and come and go so quickly, it's tough to know whether it will be popular for a month or if it'll become the next big thing everyone would be using. I've been using SnapChat since 2012 and I love it, so i'm excited to see recently that brands are starting to take notice of all the opportunities Snapchat can provide:

  • A personal connection with consumer and brands
  • Ability to give first glances of a new product
  • Announcing contests and openings
  • Offering coupons and promotional codes
  • Introducing new employees
  • Low costs

With opportunities come challenges, and these are a few brands face:

  • Images and videos only last up to 10 seconds
  • Responses are not easy to record
  • People have to add the company's Snapchat account in order to receive snaps
  • Not as easy to find companies or people on the app
  • Not a shareable media

Taco Bell Is Getting Personal

Taco Bell was one of the recent brands to start using Snapchat. In May, 2013 they told their followers on Twitter to add them on Snapchat. They sent those who added them deals and pictures of their food making customers who added them feel like they are receiving special information and attention.

“We want to make someone’s day everyday with our social channels,” said Tressie Lieberman, Taco Bell’s social media and digital lead in a recent article published in Adweek. “It feels extremely special to get a Snapchat. It’s almost like we pick up the phone and give them a call.” What better way to show a customer that you care, then by making it personal?

Following Suit


Not only are there food brands snapping, but also car, sports, and clothing brands. They are sending everything from updates on a new car to racy photos of models. These quick pics are personally interacting with the customer unlike other forms of social media. The yogurt shop, 16 Handles, is said to be the first company to use Snapchat as a marketing tool.

Is Snapchat Right For Your Brand?

Determining whether this is a platform that can add value to your brands marketing efforts really comes down to your target demographic. If your brand targets a younger, and more spontaneous demographic then Snapchat may be a good marketing tool. Fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff made some noise in the social media world by using Snapchat to debut some of her runway looks to her contacts minutes before they hit the actual runway at New York Fashion Week.

But while it's a fast moving app, getting your brand started on Snapchat will take some time and effort. We are seeing many brands tackle contact acquisition by using Twitter to ask followers there to add the brand on Snapchat.


Also, being that this is a newer app and does not have a traditional way of sharing online like the other social media formats, brands who wish to join will need to dig even deeper for the creativity they'll need to make this a successful marketing platform for them.

Does your brand have what it takes to be on Snapchat?

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