rules of engagement
Posted by Abe Sauer on August 24, 2011 09:59 AM
On Saturday, Aug. 27, Sharpie will takeover YouTube's homepage. The marker maker is currently calling for submissions of "drawings, doodles, poems, pics, ANYTHING started with Sharpie!" The gallery is filling up, too.
Shapie was clearly paying attention to all of the noise about how "customization" is the new brand development and consumer targeting keyword. Where the brand was focused on celebrity endorsements with David Beckham three years ago, Sharpie is now putting its brand in the hands of its best spokespeople, its fans.
Hats, shoes, shirts. Sharpie's marketing team has caught on to how its products are being used and they are running with it. Recognizing the opportunity, the brand has released a new line of "Stained by Sharpie" fabric markers. And in an interesting development that springboards off the growing tattoo culture, Sharpie appears to be a favorite for "temporarily" inking ones body parts. In the brand's gallery, numerous intricate "sleeves" can be found alongside other skin art.
Not waiting for its fans to come to it, Sharpie is using social media to find them and expose them to its growing community. Sharpie has over 42,000 followers of its Twitter feed @Sharpie, which it uses to perfection, promoting and linking various creations done by Sharpie users, from customized wallpaper to "the girl who had sum senior pictures taken w/ @Sharpie markers." It's the kind of social media leverage that exponentially strengthens Sharpie's brand community by, essentially, making a brand ambassador out of any Sharpie user.
Played correctly, a complete takeover of the YouTube homepage could be exactly what the Sharpie cult of customization needs to springboard to an even wider level, and could help parent Rubbermaid beat estimates… for another quarter.