A Social Media Brand Case Study: Mark Cosmetics

It’s rare to find a company that seems to be doing it right on all fronts when it comes to branding for digital media. Most companies know they need to be doing digital marketing, but many don’t have a clear vision and strategy. Or some are doing great with technology but lacking in visual cohesion – or the other way around.

One clear recent exception is Mark cosmetics, the younger division of Avon targeting high school and college-aged girls. Just like its more famous older sister, Mark utilizes reps to sell their product. But the “Avon Lady” has taken on a whole new meaning in the brave new world of social media – particularly with a younger audience. Young women are socializing in entirely new ways, and Mark seems to understand this concept all the way around.

What makes Mark’s campaign a strong one is not simply that they have a presence on social media sites – it is how they are using sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube in synergy, much like a successful traditional brand campaign. The visual expression of the brand is thought out and prominent in all digital touchpoints, with a fun, energetic, and youthful feel.

We know that women are looking for more from their product purchase today with so much competition and smaller disposable incomes, and it seems Mark is addressing this by adding educational support via social media. The brand offers useful tutorials both to aid their customers in making purchase decisions and to give them tips on how to use the products after the purchase, all available on the brand’s YouTube channel. Consistent messaging and strong visual branding is also reinforced via custom MySpace and Twitter pages.

To support all this, Mark has also used technology to repackage the traditional shopping cart and direct mail catalog. They were one of the first companies to launch a shopping cart widget within Facebook, where users can talk to each other and shop all in one place. The company also has a free iPhone app so customers can browse products before they make their purchase. Says Annemarie Frank, head of e-commerce and digital media for Mark:

“We found that e-mail blasts have a 10 percent open rate. E-mail is a like dinosaur to them.” Avon plans to introduce additional applications that will enable representatives and Facebook friends to create online wish lists to share with friends (and parents) and product promotions that will pop up on the site’s new feed.

With Mark’s formula of clever integration of technology, strong visual brand consistency, and understanding of their audience, we feel that Mark has created a digital campaign that is truly “on the mark.”