Sony got Pinterest-edby Veronika Bikova
By Olga Shostak, Veronika Bikova, Bonny van der Pols and Soraya Steen
To think of something different, to be innovative is something difficult nowadays. Marketers are desperately looking for new ways to make it to the top. It is not about which media you are going to use anymore; it is about how you are going to use media and what the media has to offer you in order to be the best of the best. First, marketers need to carry out some research.
But to use a website, called www.Pinterest.com, which only has to offer you pictures and a place where you can store them? Interesting you might say or to be precise “pinteresting“. We decided to take on a journey through the Internet and the website itself.
Not many people are familiar with the website, although it has millions of users. But if marketers are determined to develop their strategies with the help of Pinterest, well let’s just say that there are many ways in which the website can be helpful.
The idea of the website is simple: if you have pictures to post and share you do not need your board and pins. You can use Pinterest, but the minute you create your profile you get to see tons of users and tons of pictures which are already there. You can pin your own and repin the ones that you find there. Honestly, we do not have a single pinned picture. All that we have pinned are actually repins. The website is full of creativity and people can get lost in between. They can spend all day searching and browsing through the pictures.
So, we got interested in how this can become a marketing research tool, how marketers can use it for their own board, where they can pin their ideas, findings and results (to say it in an old fashioned way). Internet happened to offer plenty of information on this topic.
In order to explain better how Pinterest can become a research tool we are going to use an example from Sony Electronics. First step, Sony tried to search whether people are already pinning about it, what are they pinning and their opinions. It turned out that not only products were there: advertisements, logos, pictures of Sony taken with Sony cameras, etc. you name it. Then the company decided to focus on three things: drive sales, increase brand affinity, grow the Sony community. Then they decided to develop their own boards with pins and repins. They started to repin even pictures from their fans. Next step was encouraging the company’s employees to start their own profiles, to create boards, to follow and to be followed. This case was a complete success, because Sony has a lot of employees and the traffic was major. This was one way for the company to see which product, promotion, etc. was working and which was not. Third step, add the “Pin it” button to their Sony Store website. It is easier for the consumers to just press one button while they are on the Sony website. Thus, they do not need to go to Pinterest first and then pin the picture. Simply, they can just Pin it. The next step was gaining a wider audience. Sony nowadays, created a Strategic Mix of Boards which is not strongly related to the products. Boards related to fashion, interiors, cuisines, lifestyle, art and sports helped to attract non-users and not so technical people.
Here we came to the fifth step, where the company is thinking more about its differentiation. An art director put a lot of Sony cameras together in the shape of a heart and then a photographer took a picture of it and all that represented something like a signature for Sony. This gained a lot of positive reaction. Up till this moment Sony gained a lot of experience and got to know a lot about its fans and audience. Seemed, that the research showed positive results. So the final step for the company was to promote its Pinterest web page on other channels. Sony Pinterest page was everywhere: Sony Blog, press releases, e-mails and other social platforms.
In the end, it turned out that Pinterest was a successful market research tool for Sony. Here we can probably say that Pinterest found Sony, because people there at the company suddenly decided to check what is going on and how the consumers perceive the brand. This is a very smart way to get to know what people think about you and about your brand. Thus, it may help your company grow. This is an example how the website can turn into a “listening“ tool for the marketers in general. This is an encouragement for them to continue being innovative and keeping it up in order to reach a larger target audience in creative ways.
Link to Sony’s Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/sonyelectronics/