Friday, 16 December 2016

Genius marketing behind Snapchat Spectacles

Snapchat Spectacles has been trending this past month for a number of reasons. For those of you that have not heard of them, I would recommend that you search them up right now -- especially if you are big on your Instagram game. In short, it is Snapchat’s first hardware product that they released initially on November 10 of this year.

They are a pair of regular sunglasses that acts as a normal pair with the addition of a one-touch recording camera on the edge of the frame that shoots in a circular video format. It is then synced to your phone through Bluetooth where you can upload the recording on your Snapchat account.

The product itself is a great move forward from Snapchat but for me, it is how they have been marketing and distributing them that is getting all my attention. The Spectacles aren't available generously at any given one time — but instead, you might have to travel half way around the country to get your hands on them. At this moment, Snapchat Spectacle is only available in the US. So what is making Snapchat’s rollout strategy so good?

Image source:

Artificial Scarcity

The US based company are creating artificial scarcity — everyone loves exclusivity and Snapchat is doing just that with limiting the supply of Spectacles to a specific location, one place at a time. The only place that you can buy Snapchat’s first hardware is through Snapbot, an interactive vending machine that pops up for 24 hours before it disappears — just like their snaps. You can track where the Snapbot is via a map on their website.

Perceived Demand

Minutes after a Snapbot location is shared, videos and photos of hundreds of people lining up for their spectacles emerge online — Followed by snaps of many happy customers but also disappointed customers that didn’t get there in time before the vending machine sold out. The $130 Spectacle then sells for thousands of dollars online, making it one of the hottest products on the market at the moment. It seems that we are clearing Snapchat’s warehouses of Spectacles, when in fact we are probably only buying a few dozen.

Earned Media
Not only are they getting free press from their users taking snaps of the enormous line at the Snapbot locations, but also from traditional media outlets — the press has covered all Snapbot locations to date.

Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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