Read on to discover:

  • Magic Spoon: The value of visual branding to evoke an emotion
  • Peloton: The value of community and power of influencers
  • Bumble: The value of insights to drive product development

Tiktok has about one billion active users, a number that is growing by the minute. In short, 60-second videos users can share their favorite recipe, hairstyles, life hacks, and day-to-day musings with the world. Tiktok is revolutionary in that ordinary people without an existing following can go viral with their clips shown to millions of users across the globe. This was the case when Nathan Apodaca uploaded a video of himself skateboarding while drinking Ocean Spray Cranberry juice and lip-syncing to Fleetwood Mac. Ocean Spray searches and sales soared so high that the brand took notice, capitalizing on its accidental fame and purchasing Nathan a car, skateboard, and all the cranberry juice a person could ever need.

When you hear about viral stories, like Nathan’s, it’s natural to wonder if brand’s need to go viral to stay relevant. After all, customers cleared Ocean Spray’s juice off of store shelves after the incident. However, research shows us time and time again that brand loyalty is much deeper and more predictable than any viral Tiktok could ever be.

Instead of asking themselves how to go viral, brands should instead decipher how to get customers to love them from the first interaction with great products and a little magic. Through 3 distinct case studies, we’ll learn about popular brands, what they are doing, and how they are using customer insights to influence everything from their visual brand to their community and partners, to their products.

Magic Spoon: The Value Of Visual Branding To Evoke An Emotion

Magic Soon is a high-protein keto-friendly cereal that sells for $10 per box. Yes, you read that correctly, $10. So, how did this direct-to-consumer cereal brand convince people to pay that much for a morning meal? “Healthy” cereal is not a new concept; however, how Magic Spoon added magic to the mix with ingredients, packaging, and marketing that spoke directly to their audience. Magic Spoon’s cereal gives its customers the nostalgia of eating Fruit Loops and watching cartoons on a Saturday morning, without all of the sugar and carbs. With flavors like blueberry, coca, frosted, and fruity health-conscious adults feel the emotional comfort of their childhood without breaking their diet. Beyond developing a great product, Magic Spoon also flipped the script on cereal packaging with colorful character-based boxes complete with adult-level crosswords on the back.

This departure in packaging stood out against the traditional earthy colored cardboard that lines major grocery chains’ cereal aisles. Ultimately, it is Magic Spoon’s ability to drum up nostalgia, offer a great product that matches the nutritional needs of its customers, and delight with fun packaging that drives their success in the cereal world.

Bumble: The Value Of Insights To Drive Product Development

If you have been single in the last five years, you’ve likely heard of Bumble. Bumble is a dating app that puts women in charge of their romantic lives. Bumble has all of the functionality of traditional dating apps with one stark difference: Only women can begin conversations. Modern women were tired of the misogyny in online dating and wanted to control who was allowed to engage with them, a concept that Bumble acted on. In addition to offering a great product, Bumble spoke directly to women in their marketing efforts. Bumble’s target audience wasn’t looking for “Mr. Right” to complete them; they simply wanted to find someone they liked while conquering their careers. With billboards that read, “Be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry,” and food trucks offering “hot noods,” i.e., noodles, Bumble cleverly took down all of the negatives associated with traditional dating apps. Today, Bumble has expanded its audience to include Bumble BFF for finding platonic friendships and Bumble Bizz for business networking.

Peloton: The Value Of Community And Power Of Influencers

Stationary bikes have been around since the late 60s, a staple of gyms across the globe and the most popular piece of home workout equipment for fitness enthusiasts. How did Peloton convince customers to spend nearly two thousand dollars for their product with standard exercise bikes available for hundreds of dollars? Peloton understood that many customers wanted to experience boutique-style workouts but didn’t have the time or the motivation to visit a studio.

They sold their bikes with screens that could broadcast intimate spin classes to rider’s homes for a small monthly fee. Beyond offering a product with great features, Peloton also focused its marketing efforts on building community through online groups and motivation among its users. Peloton customers feel that they are part of something bigger, which keeps them coming back, connecting with other riders on social media, and sharing their successes.

The Future Is Feelings

Brands like Magic Spoon, Bumble, and Peloton are successful not because of an accidental viral moment but because they offer products that their customers want with a heavy dose of emotional magic. Brands should tie their products to their users’ deep needs and desires to stand out against the competition. Combining the comfort of a great product and surprise enables brands to make their way into people’s lives and become indispensable.

Magic Spoon accomplished this with high-protein keto-friendly cereal that was reminiscent of the sugary cereal of Millenials’ youth, Bumble took dating apps and made them less misogynistic and female-focused, and Peloton built a motivating community around the familiar concept of indoor cycling. At the end of the day, your product should be the answer your customers have been searching for; they just didn’t know it yet.

With quantitative and qualitative data, companies can begin to understand customer needs and trends and ultimately create products that have features they want and ones that delight them on a basic emotional level. The Kano Model is beneficial for product design to allow product managers to determine which features dissatisfy, satisfy, and delight their audience.

To learn more about these brands, check out our FC Connect 2021 session, “Exploring Delight, Desire, and Needs with Brands,” with Daniela Cruz, Brand Lead at Google.