The Rise of Instagrammable Products
Millennials’ preferences and behaviors have long been leveraged as signposts for companies’ digital marketing strategies. Recently, however, businesses advertising on social media have stepped up their millennial-oriented merchandising game by developing whole lines of so-called “Instagrammable products”.
Put in simple terms, Instagrammable products are products that are aesthetically pleasing and created specifically to be photographed and displayed on Instagram. They are often brightly colored or interestingly shaped and appear attractive in any type of shot.
The very invention of such products proves how prominent Instagram has become among retailers. No wonder: in September 2017, the platform hit 800M monthly active users, 25% of which are those with one of the biggest spending powers of any generation, the millennials.
On top of that, Instagram can boast amazing visual capacity, centered around high-quality photos and videos. The network’s diverse photo filters can effectively upgrade the look of any object, let alone one that’s been purposely designed to immediately catch the viewers’ eye.
Given all these benefits, it doesn’t surprise that some savvy companies decided to tailor their offering to perfectly match Instagram’s capabilities.
Among the more famous ones to do so was Starbucks who invented the now iconic unicorn Frappuccino — a multi-colored coffee drink which quickly went viral on social media and even earned some major press mentions.
The beverage became especially popular on Instagram, where its pink-blue creamy layers looked particularly bedazzling. The unicorn Frappuccino aficionados have so far published more than 170,000 Instagram posts bearing the hashtags #unicornfrappuccino, #unicornfrap, or #unicornfrappe, spreading the word about the drink and proving that Starbucks’ strategy was right on point.
GLAMGLOW, an American skin care brand, seem to have taken a page from Starbucks’ playbook. Last August, the company made headlines when they released a glitter-infused face mask, GRAVITYMUD:
The mask has quickly become an Instagram hit, and GLAMGLOW decided to take the formula up a notch by developing another extravagant face product, this time full of star-shaped sparkles.
To stir up even more Instagram buzz this time, Glamglow used a designated hashtag, #GLITTERMASK, in their product’s name. The result? Over 3,000 #glittermask Instagram posts.
What’s interesting about Starbucks and Glamglow is how cleverly they acted on the “Instagrammability” trend. Both companies selected their already existing products and amped up their look to be a perfect fit for Instagram. As a result, Frappuccino and the GRAVITYMUD face mask’s popularity went through the roof, most likely together with their producers’ revenue.
Instagrammable products are rapidly spreading across industries who are trying to appeal to the young, appearance-oriented clientele. The products are largely diversified and include anything from emoji-patched designer clothes, tabletop accessories, wedding props, garden screens and furniture to pool toys and water bottles.
And if this wasn’t enough, there’s a whole new trend emerging — Instagrammable restaurants. Food entrepreneurs were quick to realize the potential of attractive looking meals to take over social media and decided to spark more online conversations around their businesses with the help of specifically designed spaces.
For example, Media Noche, a Cuban restaurant from San Francisco, is getting plenty of attention on Instagram thanks to, among others, their elaborate floral-patterned floor tiles. The tiles were deliberately chosen by the interior designer to make the whole look Instagrammable — a trick that enabled Media Noche to appear in countless Instagram posts published by their guests and local influencers.
Places such as Media Noche show that it’s no longer just about owning visually-appealing things. Now, young consumers are looking for Instagram-worthy places to get fully immersed in the characteristic aesthetics of the platform. Their behavior testifies to the huge tastemaking influence of Instagram that has gone way beyond the online sphere and entered the “real world.”
The rise of Instagrammable products is tangible proof of the maturity of today’s marketers. Not only are they savvy in using Instagram for marketing, but they also have a great understanding of the millennial consumer.
Given the success of Instagrammable products in raising brand awareness and generating demand, it doesn’t surprise that so many businesses are taking Instagram-first approach when designing their offering.
The question is: will product quality remain the same with all that colors, sparkles, and emojis?