Facebook brand strategy / positioning case study

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Facebook Brand Strategy Analysis
Facebook
ABOUT

Category:
Media & entertainment – social media; Electronics & technology  VR & AR devices

Owner of the brand:
Facebook, Inc.

Key competitors:
Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter

Brand essence

Giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Brand values

Innovation, openness, connectedness.

Brand character

Warm, human, friendly, welcoming, for everybody.

EVIDENCE
Comments
1

Given its business model, Facebook constantly strikes a balance between building a compelling brand proposition for itself and serving as a white-label background for other brands. Until a few years ago, it was mostly focused on the second aspect. However, with the growing popularity of other, more distinct social media brands, such as young-skewing Snapchat, visually-driven Instagram (also owned by Facebook) and professionally-minded LinkedIn, Facebook realized it needed to start communicating its values and personality more effectively to differentiate itself.

2

The major change in Facebook’s brand and communication strategy came in 2012, when the company launched its first image campaign[1]. Its main objective was to build a more emotional perception of the brand and convey the message that Facebook stands for much more than mere technology. The main themes communicated at that time were openness and connectedness, which are still at the core of Facebook’s brand strategy (as well as expressed in the company’s mission statement[2]).

3

Facebook is still the biggest and the most mainstream social media channel. As such, it doesn’t alienate any mainstream marketers (unlike other social media channels which are more specific with regard to the audience they attempt to target) and is able to attract the largest number of brands, publishers and creators, who, via Facebook, want to build reach and communicate with mass audiences.

4

Facebook’s external brand image is enriched with the elements of the company’s employer value proposition (EVP), which is slightly different than the image presented to consumers. Facebook’s EVP is bolder and places a stronger emphasis on themes such as effectiveness and speed. In the past, the company also prided itself on its hacker culture. At that time, Facebook’s corporate website said: “Facebook is defined by our hacker culture – an environment that rewards creative problem solving and rapid decision making. We encourage people to be bold.” Currently Facebook doesn’t use this wording anymore.

5

Facebook’s focus on strengthening relationships between people, building a sense of belonging, and creating a worldwide community where everyone is equal are characteristic components of the brand equity based on the Regular Guy archetype. However, the narrative typical of the Creator archetype is also apparent in Facebook’s product and marketing efforts – the brand is dedicated to innovating, creating new experiences and enabling self-expression.

6

Dominant colours: blue and white.

Tagline
Most important campaigns

1. “Memphis – More Together, Facebook Groups” (2019)

2. “World Of Hopes” (2018)

3. “Friend Request” (2015)

4. “Our Friends” (2015)

5. “We Are Not Alone” (2014)

6. “The Things That Connect Us” (2012)

Official brand statement:

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.[3]

Interesting facts:

Facebook’s first name was Thefacebook, located at thefacebook.com. The name was changed to Facebook in 2005.[4]

The first celebrity with more than 100 million likes on Facebook was Shakira, and the second  was Cristiano Ronaldo.[5]

Must-reads

1. ClickZ on Facebook’s plans
T. Litsa, “Facebook Unveils Its Plans For 2019: What’s Next?”, ClickZ, Feb 2019,
https://www.clickz.com/facebook-plans-2019-strategies/224713/

2. Forbes on Facebook’s long-term strategy
S. Denning, “How Facebook Handles This Crisis Will Be A Critical Turning Point”, Forbes, Nov 2018,
https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephaniedenning/2018/11/19/why-facebook-is-facing-a-critical-turning-point/#3d8f01312bef

3. Ad Age on Facebook Live campaign
A.-Ch. Diaz, “Facebook Live Turned To Its Own Users For First Ad Campaign”, Ad Age, Oct 2016,
http://creativity-online.com/work/facebook-3-2-1-vignettes-teddy/49596   

Sources:
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