Crystal Light Case Study: When Brands Overpower Social Media

Lately I’ve been keeping my eye out for brands that are making a dive into social media, so I thought that I’d share one brand I came across a few weeks ago: The Kraft brand, Crystal Light.

I actually came across this effort in a very organic way. I was looking for social networks which skewed toward active women, and Crystal Light’s new social network entitled “UPumpitUp” came across my radar. Endorsed by Mandy Moore, the site greets you with a very polished flash intro to introduce the site as a place to:

“meet up with friends, inspire each other to do more of the things that make us feel great, and help share that feeling with others”

Here is my actual experience as a user of the site:

1) The site is emotionally frustrating. From the start, my computer has to load the ever lengthy flash intro from Mandy which is so large that I only can view small video fragments while the rest of my computer freezes. Now, I’m sure this isn’t everyone’s experience, but I found this quite ironic for a site about “overall wellness”.

2) Mandy Moore is not me. While I tend to like Mandy Moore in movies, I’m not sure I respond well to her in a community about sharing day-to-day challenges. This approach may work better in traditional advertising, but not so much in social media.

3) The site isn’t personalized. Now, I realize that Crystal Light wants the site to remain “branded”, but the icons below are all I have to choose from to “Express my individuality”. Do these remind anyone else of the Lisa Frank or Trapper Keeper designs? While I hold those dear to my heart, I think my picture would suffice.

However, with this being said, I did find that the site has quality content inside. Members create challenges like, “I need to schedule more time with my friends” and then other members connect around this challenge to share insight and tips in how they are also trying to tackle this challenge. As a woman, this member-to-member exchange is very powerful and inspiring. Additionally, the site also provides a desktop widget member’s can download to list challenges and track progress.

Overall, I think that this is a prime example of a great concept that needs some improvements in its usability and execution. Though a flash intro of Mandy is cute the first visit, it overshadows the quality of content being developed within the community itself. In order to make this a successful social media marketing effort, branding needs to move a few steps back in order to allow members to take ownership of the site and build a community over the long-term.

Ignite Social Media