Info: Grab a Sharpie & Start Something.
In general, I prefer to follow people on Instagram versus brands. Although I guess the term “brand” can be up for interpretation, seeing as how a lot of the “people” I follow are professional photographers or bloggers. All of whom have their own brand, which means their Instagram feed could be considered marketing. But in this case, I mean brand in the traditional sense, and I gravitate towards those who don’t blatantly advertise their products or services, and instead do something creative. One of the best examples of this is Sharpie.
As a designer, I would expect Sharpie to have a creative feed. After all, I think I own every single one of their markers! But an average consumer might not know the brand beyond their classic black markers used for labeling CDs, or something else equally utilitarian.
Instead of just posting photos of their products or traditional advertising, Sharpie uses their markers and pens to tell a story by creating original artwork (I especially love their typography), which is then shared on their feed. This allows the consumer to see what is possible if you buy their products. Super smart! They also engage with their audience by asking questions in their captions or in the image itself. Sharpie uses an in-house team to create the artwork, sketches and doodles, but they also feature other artists work which I really appreciate (and of course give credit and share social links).
“Sharpie’s overall social media strategy is to showcase the work of our fans to inspire others to get creative with our products. Our approach on Instagram is to share original content we create in-house — content with a distinct POV that plays to the clever, more comical side of Sharpie’s brand equity.”
Whitney Kelly, Associate Manager of Social Media and Public Relations
I’m glad I’m not immune to advertising and marketing, even though I work in the industry. Because Sharpie has definitely captured my imagination and makes me want to run out to my local Staples, stock up and start drawing!