Opinions And Ramblings By Adam Kmiec On All Things

5 Brands Succeeding Without Social Media

With all of the world seemingly in love with twitter and “social media” I thought it might be nice to ground us in a little bit of reality. Social Media can be fantastic. Several brands have found success by leveraging social channels like Facebook and Twitter. I’m a big supporter of the concept, approach, and strategy. I find myself encouraging clients to invest in social media. At the same time, social media isn’t for everyone. It just isn’t. This isn’t a crazy concept – TV, Direct Mail, and Print aren’t for every company either.

With that in mind, here are 5 brands that aren’t playing in the social media space, but still doing quite well:

The blue box says it all, doesn’t it? They rarely, if ever, offer items on sale. While other jewelry chains are closing up shop or shrinking down, Tiffany & Co. has remained strong. They have a brand with staying power, strong emotional bonds, margins that are insane, and limited expansion.

It’s kinda funny huh. Apple the brand people love to love is also one of the most closed off companies out there. They have products, hardware, and software that’s setup for the social media space. But, they’ve shied away from engaging people directly. Their forums are useless, email support poor at best, and you don’t see them sharing and dialoging with people. It’s not like there aren’t enough fans and owners with problems out there.  Yet, people flock to the brand.  They’ve created a situation where the consumer is willing pay between $300 and $500 more for an equivalent PC.

As a watch fan I gotta tell you Rolex isn’t a great watch. But, it’s a fantastic status symbol. That said, they’ve done very well and continue to do well. Watches are great splurge items. I should know; I’ve splurged on a few 🙂 You don’t see Rolex on Facebook engaging their staunch advocates…and believe me Rolex owners are true believers.

You gotta love Dolby. Their stock price has continued to grow and why not; they’re at the center point of the movie and entertainment business. BlueRay DVD isn’t just about amazing picture quality. It’s the audio as well. That audio, more often than not, is in a Dolby format. There are however people who will tell you that DTS is a better format and Dolby lacks the punch in sound. That doesn’t even cover the segment of the universe who sees Dolby as nothing more than a hype machine…churning out new formats and certifications to just generate cash. Seems like the type of situation perfect for social media huh? So why aren’t they participating.

Kinda ironic isn’t it. Twitter, the fad du jour is one of the least social companies on the internet. They’re one of the few start-ups (can we still call them that?) that are generating venture capital funds and who’s valuation continues to rise.  Have you ever tried engaging them for support? Sigh…it’s painful. Even if you @ the twitter staff, you’re lucky to get a response. They don’t develop apps, instead relying on the community to do it instead. The most social thing they’ve done is make the twitter API wide open. This has allowed people to build around twitter. But, beyond that, are they really invested in social media?

There ya go, 5 brands that are doing well, but who haven’t been playing in the social media space. Pretty damn cool if you ask me. Think about it.

Note: Interpretation about success was derived from data sourced via WikinvestNPD and Bloomberg.  The Bloomberg data is publicly available, but I don’t believe I’m allowed to embed/share data from NPD.