Social Media Elitism…too cool for school?

There has been  a lot of talk recently about the increasing importance of social media influence. Marketers are now using social media to do what they have been doing for decades, that is, using the medium to create some exclusivity around a brand. Exclusivity, in most cases means being able to reject a user on the merits of their frequency, and quality, of engagement. Is this smart marketing or a way to just to create enemies of the brand.

Jasu (www.jasu.com) is an online retailer that requires you to score a Klout score of 40 or more, if you have less than that, literally, ‘your money is no good here’.  Fair enough, we know the score,    the same sort of deal as when the plastic blonde at the door of the hottest night club  gives you the ‘sorry guys we are full tonight’. Only to open the gates to every man and his dog three months later, with the cash register sounding, Ka-tsing!. I dont think Jasu will work.  With a nightclub, perception is created around the fantasy about what is inside the club; the ambiance, the people, the architecture, the cocktails etc. With Jasu, you can actually go on the website, see the clothes, but you cannot buy. There is no mystique about blocking my path to the check out.

Similar tactics are used by Grey Coupon mustard whose Facebook page is coined the Society of Good Taste. http://www.facebook.com/greypoupon. Now it can be argued that this campaign is right on brand, that is, “only for  fans who are identified as having “good taste” can “like” it on the social network.

The app “searches and judges users’ profiles based on their proper use of grammar, art taste, check ins, book and movie selections, and so forth, and gives them a percentile score based on their refinement. However, if the algorithm detects poor taste in music or text-speak, for example, they could be rejected. Those who do not qualify will have their “like” deleted, and be asked to refine their profile before trying again”. (Advertising Age, Are You Refined Enough to Be a Fan of Grey Poupon’s Facebook Page?, September, 2012).

article/creativity-pick-of-the-day/refined-a-fan-grey-poupon-s-facebook-page/237159/?utm_source=digital_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage

I did have a go at this because I thought it was a great creative idea. Until I was rejected for not being refined enough. Now, I admit that at times I may lack a bit of proper social etiquette, but I have traveled extensively, lived and worked in Europe and Asia, I have read Doestoyevsky, Miller, Milton, Kafka and Hemingway, studied Arts, I know how to pick a nice Bourgelais, smoked many Cuban cigars  and do like a spot of tennis (old chap). This may sound a bit like sulking, but damn it, I should be allowed to be a fan on the Grey Poupon Facebook page!.

The culmination of emotions will hit a zenith at the supermarket when I meet face to face with my tormentor. Will I be driven to purchase like some love lost puppy looking to reconcile? Nope, I will just go the next best looking french mustard and call it a day.

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2 thoughts on “Social Media Elitism…too cool for school?

  1. Great post, Frank!

    Personally, I see Jasu’s and Grey Proupon’s approach simply a way to get people talking about their brand. Both are gimmicks, new ideas, both quite newsworthy, and they worked to generate some buzz about the brand. I don’t think this will be sustainable in the long term – once we see a few more brands doing this, the strategy will lose its novelty and stop working.

    By the way, I went to the Jasu site last week to check out their range of products (no, really just to test out the “Klout barrier”), but they’d already opened to everyone. I missed the first two weeks when they were exclusively open only to those with high Klout scores. Or maybe they were open to everyone from day 1? They got their media coverage – that’s all they were after, wasn’t it?

  2. Thanks Wags, I can see the rationale with the buzz created, but I think once you are rejected there is no real motivation to come back, even though the Grey Poupon page asks you to keep persevering.

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