ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Coach values originality with Swagger Instagram campaign

Apparel and accessories retailer Coach is inviting Insta-famous personalities to customize pictures of bags in their own manner to celebrate consumer individuality. 

Uniqueness and diversity is highly valued in the modern world and Coach is using that to its advantage in the promotion of the Coach Swagger bag. Prominent Instagram users share photos featuring a Swagger bag, exhibiting each of their own differing lifestyles.

"It is very important for a historic brand like Coach," said Amanda Hromco, senior manager of social at Resource/Ammirati, Columbus, OH. "Any opportunity a brand has to increase its visibility is valuable, especially to stay relevant with younger consumers. 

"Social media is just one of the ways a brand can reach a larger, mass audience," she said. "While influencer partnerships aren?t new, what makes this approach different is allowing these fans of the brand to be the brand marketers by personally developing unique content that allows them to truly express themselves.

"By letting these influencers express themselves and show their personalities, Coach is enriching their partnership with these individuals by garnering attention from these influencer audiences and allowing them to see the brand in a new light. There is also an added value that when you give influencers creative freedom they will be more likely to remain engaged with the brand long-term."

The retailer has contacted Instagram users that have large followers for various reasons such as a lifestyle blogger, an artist and a famous photographer. Each Instagram celebrity photographs the Coach bag in an effort that encompasses her own personality.

Shouldering individuality
The pictures of the bags are shared across all of the retailer?s social media pages and are re-shared by the original person. 

This campaign is using an important ideal that Coach?s consumer values and the pictures attract the Instagram user. These Insta-famous personas sharing the photos out to their large follower base opens Coach up to greater audience as well. 

All of these tools combined benefit Coach?s promotion of the Swagger bag. These factors pull in the consumer and she becomes apart of the Coach world. 

The greater the images and social media posts are from a brand the more likely users will want to follow and subsequently open themselves up as targets for advertising. 

The first image Coach shared apart of this campaign was from a Chicago photographer featured wearing the Swagger bag in a subway station with her passport, headphones and camera hanging out of the purse. The photographer, Alina Tsvor has more than 84,400 followers on Instagram and the post on Coach?s page received almost 8,000 likes. 

Benefits and pitfalls
The picture from Ms. Tsvor on Twitter only acquired 62 favorites and 29 re-tweets, which shows that Instagram is a more practical medium. However, Twitter allows for a more seamless manner of sharing posts with only one click. 
Instagram requires the user to take a screen shot or download the picture and then upload it to his or her own account which is much more burdensome for the consumer. 

Any picture Coach has shared in relation to Swagger includes the hashtag #WhatsYourSwagger. 

The hashtag is not particularly helpful with this promotion considering it is not trending and only 293 posts have included it ? many of which are unrelated to Coach. 

Australian watercolor-illustrator Sally Spratt created a painting of the bag including a few of her favorite things such as flowers and Champagne. This post has over 10,000 likes on Instagram and can be found on Ms. Spratt?s Instagram as well. 

This is due to the fact that the illustration stands out from the other images and embodies a peaceful and beautiful way of life. 
The What?s Your Swagger campaign is similar to the social media-takeover, a growing trend in marketing for brands and retailers that produces high consumer participation. For this a brand or retailer will partner with a celebrity, personality or even another brand to hijack its social media accounts and post multiple entries from the brands? username and its page (see more).

Although Instagram is the clear leader in connecting to mobile users, brands should pay attention to Meerkat, a new live-streaming application. The app became a marketing sensation right after its launch because of its ability to connect brands and consumers in real-time without delay (see more).

Brands should incorporate Meerkat into social media campaigns but of course continue on focusing with Instagram. Coach is using popular individuals in an effective manner but when employing this type of campaign brands should be wary of how its done.

"While partnering with influential individuals can help a brand build instant creditability, validate the product they are offering and achieve broader exposure outside of their core consumer network," Mr. Hromco said. "You have to be careful. The consumer is smarter than ever.

"They can see right through when a brand has sponsored an influential person to work with them, and they aren?t taking the bait," she said. "That is why it will be just as important for a brand to add an additional layer and allow their customers to easily share their own personal adaptation of the campaign to validate the brand?s position and continue to build trust"

Final Take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York