How Fashion Companies Can Hack Consumer Attention Through Snapchat Geo-Filters

Snapchat has become a dominating force in social media. Just this month, Snapchat caught up to Facebook by raking in 8 billion daily video views, while boasting a fraction of the user base. The eyes don’t lie and engagement is currently through the roof for the young social media app. Consumers are truly interacting and not just endlessly scrolling through it, a la Instagram.

Recently though, Snapchat publicly rolled out what could be the most interesting service from a social media company yet: geo-filters. A Snapchat filter is analogous to other filters that have been popularized over the years, like those of Instagram. However, geo-filters are custom filters that are only accessible through being in a specific location.

The idea is that you create a custom design, through photoshop or illustrator, and pay to purchase a certain area for a given time. For instance, you could create a custom geo-filter for a wedding. This filter would only be accessible to those in attendance and would provide a novel way to commemorate the day through these images with the custom design overlaid.


Clearly these filters can be a great novelty, but how do they become a serious business tool? The answer is through hacking locations that correlate with a fashion companies demographic.

For example, Los Angeles fashion behemoth Nasty Gal, whose demographic are avid Snapchat users, could utilize this strategy with amazing success at the upcoming music festival Coachella.

Nasty Gal would create a custom geo-filter (similar to the one above — but probably better designed and less obvious) for the event, and then pay to purchase the area around the event for the specified days. Then, the benefits roll in:

1. Authentic Connections: a custom geo-filter at Coachella would mark a brand, that many of the festival go-ers like, reaching out to them in a way that feels real. It makes it seem as if the brand is where they are, which creates a sense of shared values.

2. Raises Brand Awareness: if someone isn’t previously aware of the brand it is a great way to garner awareness in a new and fresh manner. The additional benefit comes in through the aforementioned shared values, which once again makes it seem like you and the brand think alike by being at the same event.

3. Influencer Marketing: every time someone discovers the filter, uses it, then reposts to one of their various social media outlets, it serves as a personalized recommendation from that user. This phenomena creates micro-level moments of influencer marketing.

4. Coolness Factor: this technology and ability is new and therefore allows for the first movers to reap the benefits. Executing this strategy before it becomes utterly pulverized by marketers makes the brand standout as cutting-edge and hip. They’re communicating and acting as their consumers are, jumping onto the new thing before it becomes ruined by being overly saturated.

The above example for Nasty Gal and Coachella is one potential use case for such an endeavor. Others could include custom filter for company events, creating custom filters to discover at rival stores, even filters hidden throughout a city that contain custom coupons that brand loyalists can discover and use. The possibilities are endless and present interesting new ways for companies to interact with their increasingly sophisticated consumers in the social media age.

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