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What Brands Can Learn from Instagram

Kerry Guard • April 9, 2012 • 2 minutes to read

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 18 hours, it's likely that you've heard the news that Facebook is set to acquire the mobile photo genius company known as Instagram for a cool $1 billion (cash plus stock).

So What Does This Have to Do With Marketing Your Brand?

Glad you asked! For your reading pleasure, here are three great lessons that brands can learn from the Facebook acquisition of Instagram.

1. Forget the KISS Analogy: Make Your Product 'Stupid Proof'

Using the Instagram app on your mobile device is a four step process:

  1. Open the app
  2. Take a photo
  3. With a single tap of the screen, apply a crazy cool filter that makes you look like a photo journalist
  4. Drop a caption on the image and share with out to all your social networks (Instagram will geo-tag the location all on it's own)

That's it!

You want your product or service to be 'stupid proof' so your audience is able to a) use it themselves, and b) sell it's use to their peers.

At the same time, you don't want to make it so 'stupid proof' that it's a useless product or service. Which leads to item #2 ...

2. Make Your Users / Customers Look Like Rock Stars

With one simple product feature, photo filters, Instagram gave the ability to take quality pictures through a combination of different 'lenses' to the masses.

If you were one of the early users of the app, I'm sure you began noticing the picture perfect photos being uploaded by friends on your social networks and wondering 'how the heck did they get that on camera????'

With one simple feature, Instagram allows everyone to become a photography rockstar on their mobile device!

3. Focus on Key Features / Benefits to Your Customers

In line with Instagram making itself 'stupid proof', the founding team focused on doing a couple things really well:

  1. Take professional-looking pictures
  2. Make those photos extremely easy to share out to all your social networks

I have to say it one more time ... That's it!

By focusing on doing a couple things really well instead of producing a large quantity of average products, features, services, etc, you're able to build a loyal brand following that will spread those key features to the masses.

What Will Your Company Learn from the Instagram acquisition?

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