Instagram will Make You Billions and Keanu is Still Confused

picture taking woman

Amazon paved the way for purchase of any physical good without requiring the physical presence of the buyer.

Facebook created a network for anyone to communicate with anyone and to create a sense of identity in a digital way.

Apple gave the world photography for the masses and the platform to distribute it to other channels.

Instagram was purchased for a billion dollars because Instagram converted people to adopt a new and regular habit to take and share photos at a rate higher than any other network before it.

While there are truly hundreds of factors the largest I believe can be summed down to this sentence.

A photo can create an intensely emotional response while at the same time requiring only minimal invested effort.

What does this mean for technology and ecommerce startups or companies of any size?

The brand that creates the strongest personal and emotional connection wins. (a.k.a.-makes a billion bucks)

For a startup looking to take on a billion dollar CPG industry category, how can one figure out how to create a strong personal and emotional connection associated with a product/brand experience?

With Diamond Candles we have scratched the surface in a meaningful way but there is much more to be discovered and done. Automating and scaling the encouragement of creating user generated photo and video content that shares an experience has been our case study and play ground.

One of the tools that has hugely helped us so far with this is Olapic. They power our photo gallery pages and our product page photo widgets. They also power some other exciting brands as well that I have pulled some screenshots from below.

Olapic represents what I believe to be the new wave of social, mobile, hyper targeted brands. Why does Proctor and Gamble have 10 ish detergent and soap brands? Because they couldn’t have 100;  there is not enough shelf space to fit them all.

Barriers to entry for selling online are at an all time low (Shopify, Etsy, etc.) and contract manufacturers are increasingly becoming willing to work with newer players on smaller batches to diversify risk.

Kickstarter is kicking butt and taking names.

Does this infographic below blow your mind? It sure did mine the first time I saw it.

You ready for it my friend…

There is no shelf Neo

— Bald Spoon Boy

What is to stop ‘Yummy Chewing Gum Company’ to create literally 100 brands. One that resonates most with single white 27 year old working professionals who regularly practice yoga and one that works for 48 year old first generation italian immigrants who prefer the Jay Leno show as their prime time show of choice?

Some Examples:

Diamond Candles Olapic Photorank galllerynastygal olapic photorank gallerydiamond candles olapic photorank backend

Diamond Candles (fyi- super biased), Free People, and Nasty Gal.

diamond candles olapic photorank admin screenshot

Olapic Backend for Diamond Candles

The challenge that Olapic solves is low friction multi-channel collection and structuring of photo content.

The challenge that lies ahead for Olapic and anyone else that can get the low friction collection part down is then how do we maimize measurable incremental value out of each piece of content.

Are ecommerce growth hackers measuring and iterating on increasing user generated content participation at multiple touch points across the product lifecycle?

  • For each piece of content are systems set in place to be amplifying that content, beyond even organic distribution with tools like Facebook sponsored stories?
  • Do you know each shared photo that is distributed via network x brings an additional $y in revenue as well as resulting effects on lifetime customer value (LFCV)?

Beyond the user activation and engagement elements of participating with a brand and creating and sharing content, which easily have measurable and causal relationships, does the company of the future not have any paid direct marketing in the same way that an Instagram or Pinterest isn’t running PPC campaigns and media buys?

It’s an exciting time for new brands to create new things that people care about and encourage those people to share that excitement with people like them.

What companies do you think make the cut with doing some interesting things, particularly physical product good companies?

Photo Credit: kk+ via Compfight cc

Want to read more?