This post is part of an assignment for my Global Branding course at WU.
pokito is a “pocket-sized” reusable cup” funded on Kickstarter that was designed by Andrew Brooks and developed in London, UK. It’s “an eco-friendly cup that adjusts to three sizes then scrunches up when you’re done. Ditch disposables: get a pokito!”
Though the project has surpassed its pledge goal of £12,000 by almost five times, from a quick overview of the company’s online branding, there is much to be desired. They have a plethora of social media channels, too much I would say at this early stage in its existence, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, and Google+.
I don’t see why they would need a Snapchat, Tumblr, or Pinterest at this point, or even at all since those platforms are not vital components for the social media strategy for a consumer product like this. Snapchat and Pinterest require much more constant activity and content creation that is not promotional for the product itself. I’m not sure what pokito could really do on Snapchat. Tumblr is very anti-corporate so it would require pokito to have a strong brand image that it could communicate through sharing and creating content that is related but not promotional of pokito cups.
This brings me to the issue with pokito’s online presence: they have weak branding. The product’s attributes, benefits, and PODs are clear (environmentally friendly, convenient, versatile, high-quality), but the pokito brand is not. They insufficiently cater to a variety of interests and niches that could apply to the cup’s product users which include coffee drinkers, adventure-seekers, busy people, travelers, and environmental enthusiasts. That’s a lot of target groups; too many for the initial launch of a new product, even if the practicality and versatility of the cup could appeal to all those audiences.
To more effectively target these target groups, pokito should segment them into two groups: busy coffee drinkers and adventurous outdoors lovers. They already appeal to these two groups somewhat on Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr with posts themed around traveling, beautiful scenery, coffee, and adventure but there is little integration among these more creative platforms. Instagram should be the main focus since it’s easiest to acquire organic reach using that channel. A curation of inspirational content like travel photography, coffee and food photos, and nature shots should be the main strategy in order to provide value to viewers, create interest in the account, and gain followers which can then be converted to purchasers by sprinkling in pokito cups in these situations occasionally in the feed and forming links in consumers minds between pokito and convenient traveling and mobility experiences.
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As for Facebook and Twitter, pokito currently uses the platforms as update machines. This is fine for Twitter since the short tweets are sufficient for communicating milestones in the life of the business thus far, but Facebook followers want valuable content from the pages they subscribe to. Consumers aren’t interested in the business success updates so much as relevant and useful information or entertaining content. Facebook can be leveraged as the main source of sales promotion communication and a mixture of business updates, useful information about traveling and coffee/work, and pretty visuals. Twitter can also include fun, personal updates about pokito or simply authentic messages from the owner about topics related to pokito in order to provide stronger branding and a personalized image.
Lastly, just for best practices in general, pokito needs to better utilize the tools provided in the platforms it chooses. Instead of using link posts on Facebook, pokito posts a photo and the URL, which is visually unappealing and disruptive to the consumer experience. Instagram posts should always be tagged and posted more frequently. Call to actions should be included in more of their posts across all platforms, especially Instagram since actively engaging in the community will increase reach. Also, responding to comments immediately is paramount. Overall, pokito needs to determine its voice. Who are they besides a practical product? What value are the bringing to the consumer aside from the pragmatism of a reusable, collapsible cup? How are they improving lives? If pokito can answer these questions and determine a persona they wish to adapt online, they will be far better off in terms of awareness, engagement, and sales.