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Instagram: your new go-to branding and experience platform?

20 September 2019 3 min read

From colourful street murals in Penang’s George Town and Singapore’s Haji Lane and hidden places that were recently restored, to aesthetically pleasing food items at cafes such as Merchant’s Lane in Kuala Lumpur and Coffee Cartel in Bali, it is common for social media users nowadays to carefully hunt down insta-worthy spaces when curating their holiday destinations.

Last month, UK-based travel company Hoppa ranked Kuala Lumpur and Singapore seventh and eighth respectively on the list of the most Instagrammed food places worldwide. And no doubt, consumers in both cities are often on the hunt for Instagram-worthy moments.

Instagram: The new branding platform?

Dominic Mason, managing director, Sedgwick Richardson said that Instagram-worthy experiences is a “viable approach” to place branding, and other complementary approaches such as events and activities can enhance Instagram-worthy experiences and make them more meaningful and memorable for consumers.

Similarly, Mason said that Instagram should be part of a bigger cohesive brand experience, one that builds participation and co-creation, such as the IAmsterdam installation which was a prominent destination marker for approximately 14 years. The installation, however, was removed in 2018 by local authorities in Amsterdam as it is too individualistic. According to The Telegraph, local authorities hope to promote diversity, tolerance and solidarity instead of emphasising that everyone is individuals in the city.

When it comes to breathing new life into old or forgotten places using Instagram, Mason said local authorities or marketers can leverage on the cultural and historical authenticity of these places and either recontextualise or reframe them for Instagram. The agency, for example, is currently working with E&O Hotel in George Town to leverage its “Instaworth” and draw more tourists.

Nonetheless, Mason said that the success of a brand would not solely be based on how “Instagrammable” it is. “The strategy shouldn’t be based off Instagram, but more on leveraging new technologies and making it relevant to building wonderful brand experiences,” Mason said.

Brand longevity and sustainability require relevance over time

Dominic Mason
Managing Director, Southeast Asia

Mason added that there still needs to be substance to whatever has been created to ensure longevity, to turn the instant into the intransient.

Click here to read the full article written by and originally featured in Marketing Interactive.

Dominic Mason
Managing Director, Southeast Asia
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