POV: Pinterest for BrandsPrepared February 8, 2012The Purpose of this POV:The purpose of this POV is to inform brands how they can use Pinterest to create a new consumer touch pointfor social commerce, to raise brand awareness, and shape brand positioning.Summary:The #1 driver of consumer purchases is word of mouth recommendations from friends, and Pinterest holds thepower to drive authentic “word of eye” recommendations in a way that is changing the landscape of socialcommerce. The landing page for Pinterest is an endless visual stream of subtle product recommendations fromthe very people who influence your purchasing decisions – friends and strangers with good taste. This meansthat there is an endless opportunity for your brand and its products to be seen by Pinterest’s 11.7 million unique 1monthly users as endorsements from friends in the form of repins.Pinterest enables users to “pin” images found around the Web into categorized collections, or boards. Think of itlike an interactive, shareable scrapbook. Pinterest can capture the brand essence, personality, inspiration forproduct design, or company culture through visual boards. It could also be used to organically grow your brand’sreach through an influencer re-pinning strategy, to further engage with fans through themed boards, and toinspire consumers to action, perhaps through a “best board” or a “most pins” contest.Currently availably stats show the average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared 2to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook . Pinterest is most popular in North Eastern states, among 3females (estimates range from 58% to 70% female), and with visitors ages 25-44 (59% of visitors) .What You Need to Know about Pinterest 1 Tech Crunch, “Pinterest Hits 10 Million Monthly Uniques,” February 7, 2012, http://tcrn.ch/z59HNt2 Id at Tech Crunch3 Heather Dougherty, “Pinteresting Trend in Social Media,” Hotwise, December 22, 2011, http://bit.ly/sdFHNt
When you use PinterestWhen you visit or use Pinterest, there are five main touch points for the experience. Please see images beloweach description. The touch points are: • The Landing Page: The landing page for Pinterest is a stream of visual images from people and boards you follow, so the default state of Pinterest is social. To find other pinners, click the Everything drop-down menu and leave a filter Boards by category. When you see a pin you like, you can Like it, leave a comment, or Repin it to one of your own boards (remember to give credit to the original Pinner). If you find a board you particularly like, you can follow its updates or visit the Pinner’s profile and follow all of his or her boards. Like Twitter, it’s an open network, so users don’t require permission and you don’t have to follow people back.
• Pinterest Boards: Pinterest users create boards around various themes, and pin images they see online or re-pin images from other users on Pinterest. Pinning can also be a really valuable tool for people with a specific purpose in mind. For example, new homeowners are turning to Pinterest to find inspiration for home décor and furnishings, and many brides-to-be are replacing their three-ring binders with Pinterest boards filled with hairstyles, dresses, and flowers.• Pinning Images: To pin items to a board, users must add the official Pin It Button, a simple drag- and-drop browser extension from the Pinterest website. When users come across an image they like, they simply click the Pin It Button and select the corresponding picture. Then, they assign the pin to a board and add a text line, such as, “This is the perfect everyday red bag.” Once pinned, the images hyperlink back to their original online source.• Social Sharing Features: There are multiple social networking opportunities on Pinterest. You can tweet or share your pins to Facebook to help expand your network across all three platforms. You can also tweet and “Like” other users’ pins, which shares the item as a tweet or as an image in your
timeline. This also helps increase online WOM recommendations for specific products, and maximizes the potential for getting in front of a new audience in a more authentic way. • The Everything Page: The Everything Page is a constant visual stream of literally every up-to-the- minute pin.How Pinterest Can Be Utilized by Brands1) Create a social commerce touch pointWith 11.7 million UMVs and counting, Pinterest presents an opportunity for brands to expand their audiences by
going where the masses are. Consumers are always a step ahead of brands and its important for brands tofollow behavior rather than dictate it. Your brand’s presence on Pinterest will create another consumer touchpoint and a way to be discovered by new people. The visual Pinterest boards would help invite new people intothe fabric of your brand by setting a mood or encapsulating a lifestyle, helping users to imagine how yourbrand’s products, services or culture fit their lives.2) Grow influencer networksBrands can leverage Pinterest to find influencers with whom to engage. You can expand your influencernetworks by following influential Pinterest users and boards, and repinning items to our own Pinterest boards,giving credit to the influencer. Brands may also choose to engage with influential bloggers and have them curatea board on their Pinterest page. Ask Ogilvy for advice on who to follow and repin, and who might be right toengage offline or on another brand platform.3) Identify and engage super fansPinterest may also be a way to identify natural brand advocates or “super fans.” You can search for your brand’sproducts and discover who is most frequently pinning about your products and engage with those people.Surprise and delight super fans by rewarding them with products they pin to their boards. Eventually you maycreate a fan-curated board that allows super fans to add their pins.4) Increase brand loyalty by sharing your brand’s culturePinterest is a fun, inspirational and highly visual atmosphere and your brand has an opportunity to engage fansin new and creative ways. Consider creating boards that align with product or service themes, for example,West Elm categorizes its boards by colors from its design palette, such as “Aquamarine.” Or create a board thatreflects your company’s dedication to a CSR initiative. Or, compile pictures of everyday fans and influencersengaging with your brand, such as a board that features pins of people across the globe wearing a retail brand’sclothing.5) Host contests for further engagementPerhaps you can host a contest for fans to create the best Pinterest board with your products, and reward thewinning fan with items from her board. Or, invite other users to co-create boards on your page around certainthemes, and reward the winning team with product or a brand experience. For example, a travel brand can askPinners to create mood boards that reflect a destination like the French Riviera, and then reward the winningboard with a trip.7) Inspire repins (and purchases) through bold visualsAs mentioned earlier, the #1 driver of consumer purchases is word of mouth recommendations from friends, andPinterest holds the power to drive authentic “word of eye” recommendations through a repin endorsement. Toaccomplish this, you’ll want to make sure that you have high resolution, professional quality, close-up photos toleverage. Photos of products should be taken in a way that enables the viewer to imagine herself wearing theproduct, engaging with an item, or taking part in the setting. Photos should taken in a way that makes themstand out in the visual stream that is Pinterest. For example, a bold-colored photo or a gray-scale photo mightset itself apart from the photo stream.8) Promote your culture first, products and services secondThe trick with Pinterest is to leverage the “soft sell” and promote your brand culture over the products orservices themselves. Pinterest is committed to maintaining a non-promotional atmosphere, and the hard sellcould get you kicked off the platform. So to create the right atmosphere, think about what your brand has to offerand what the images say to people and what you want to ask, for example: • A cable brand: “Do you like innovation? We’re innovative too, and here’s a photo of our engineers making the first-ever live-streaming television app for iPhone we made.” • A fashion brand: “Do you like bold, basic colors? We love everything bright and bold, and this painting by Matisse captures our upcoming line’s color scheme.” • A home furnishings brand: “Do you enjoy a clutter-free living space? So do we, and here are three books that talk about a clutter-free home.”
• A credit card company or bank: “Do you imagine yourself living a lifestyle of luxury? Here’s a picture from the beach in the Virgin Islands where you could be right now.”Through play and inspiration, Pinterest might just empower you to become the architect of your brand’s culture.Brands on PinterestNordstromBusiness type: Fashion specialty retailer of clothing, shoes and accessories.Nordstrom has a dedicated social team that curates its Pinterest boards. The boards showcase seasonaltrends and different product categories. It also just started a board dedicated to its in-house spa andsalon, as well as a board with photos from inside various stores.West ElmBusiness type: Home furnishing company that designs products for modern living.West Elm uses Pinterest to curate design inspiration around specific trends, like modernist, colorblocking, stripes, etc. This is a great way to visualize trends for customers, who can then click through tothe West Elm site and purchase products that fit their chosen aesthetic.GapBusiness type: Online RetailerGasp has a few different Pinterest boards including products from their current like, a board featuringdenim icons (think Michael Jackson circa 1985 in stone washed jeans), and “Everybody in Gap” – aboard that allows anybody to pin images of themselves or others wearing Gap.Williams-SonomaBusiness type: Retailer of gourmet foods and professional-quality cookware.Williams-Sonomas boards focus on ways to use its various products."Real Simple" magazineBusiness type: Print publication that provides creative, practical and inspiring solutions that make lifeeasier.Living up to its name, Real Simples boards focus on making readers lives easier. It provides easy hairideas, a months worth of meals, etc.Whole FoodsBusiness type: GrocerWhole Foods Pinterest boards provide inspiration for all things food, such as seasonal cooking, hotkitchen decor, and food as art.Shop It To MeBusiness type: Online personal shopping portal/flash sale site.Shop It To Me uses Pinterest to post curated-style inspiration from around the Web. It also has a boarddedicated to its flash sales.Frequently Asked Questions 1) Can I create a brand profile on Pinterest? You need to request an invite first, and see if Pinterest accepts your invite. If you decide to create a brand page, there will likely be an approval process from Pinterest. Also note that you will not likely be able to post your products if you join as a brand, but rather, will be limited to posting items that speak to your brand’s essence. 2) What if I want to use an employee as the Pinterest profile? That’s fine too. If you select someone from within your company to host the account, try to find someone who has an eye for the brand aesthetic or culture to share images and photos that reflect the brand’s essence. This person would also have the flexibility to post photos or images of the brand’s product themselves.
Consult your Ogilvy rep to determine the best approach.3) Does Pinterest cost anything? No, joining Pinterest is 100% free. You may want to invest hours and money into developing a Pinterest strategy, time for collecting visual assets, and time for pinning.4) I want to get started today. What do I do? Your Ogilvy team can set up time with you to brainstorm ideas, strategize with you and walk you through the steps to develop a timeline and execute an action plan. ###