In addition, the app has so-called geofilters for sale. Whoever is at a certain place can use very specific filters in addition to the regular ones. Which reminds us of a development in stationary retail where customers use the store’s app on their smartphones when shopping to receive in-store discounts. Men’s Wearhouse (an American chain for men’s clothing) created a Snapchat picture template that allows users to invite a prom date – the date of all dates – to the graduation ball. With yes/no response boxes to tick, of course. Just in time for “Promposal Day” on 11 March, the geofilter was released at 18,000 high schools. Men’s Wearhouse showed an engagement rate of 48 percent. And then, of course, companies can also run classic ads on Snapchat. A full-screen video in vertical format, ten seconds long, that – depending on the direction in which the screen is swiped – delivers more information on the product and brand. The positive numbers for Snapchat are above average, five times higher than the normal click rate to be exact, than for similar apps and websites.
It’s hard to say exactly why this is. Perhaps it’s the fascination with the moment that makes Snapchat come closer than competing platforms. One thing is clear: the usual advertising on Snapchat doesn’t work. Companies have to adapt to the format. On other channels, one can often do the same thing as always: Simply pack the poster from the analogue ad onto the digital pin wall. With Snapchat, everyone needs to reflect on how they can make their brand work in ten short seconds. Even traditional brands suddenly move away from the tried-and-true.
Snapchat has an exclusive character. Even though it basically is not an exclusive app.
Up until now it has always been: Keep new fashion collections under wraps until the models stride down the runway. Only then was it possible for the public to see what the new season would bring. At Burberry it’s been done in exactly the reverse way since 2015: A new collection emerges by first being shown to the fans on Snapchat. Bit by bit, the English fashion company reveals what it has designed. Only at the end does it present on the big stage. CEO Christopher Bailey says: “Digital is a fundamental and integral component of our company. It is simply part of the way we think.” And the way Burberry really makes use of the Snapchat platform. Snapchat becomes an exclusive club of the initiated because of the non-users who don’t even get to see the videos. And naturally, also because in 24 hours, as already mentioned, it’s gone.
The clothing line Free People does a similar thing by preparing a short preview for its fans and giving them a, so they say, unique peek into the company. “We don’t always reveal everything at once”, says marketing manager Kathryn O’Connor. “That way we have our fans’ full attention who first have to open Snapchat to find out everything.” Like basically all social media channels, it’s about strengthening the relationship between seller and customer. In a way that fits the brand. Because, no matter how cool Snapchat might be and how different the approach is on the platform, even the nestling of social networks can’t get around the generally valid rules of (internet) marketing.