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Invisible Digital: Target & Missoni

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

As marketers, we say it all the time: “You need to have a dialogue with your customers.” But we don’t often act on it. Not when we use our Twitter and Facebook accounts to shout branding messages at our customers, not when we use text messages to interrupt their day and, ultimately, become just another one of the messages that just gets ignored.

That’s why my ears pricked up when I sat in the Boulder Digital Works Conference (@BDWCU) a couple weeks ago and listened to one of the speakers discuss how to become invisible as well asthe art of thinking small. It really hit home with me and made me say to myself, “Yes, yes, yes! All of these messages, tweets, and Facebook likes are just one more way I’m tuning out media at all levels.”

So how does a social marketer get noticed by becoming invisible? Take a look at Target. Yesterday they launched their Missoni Target line. Fashionistas the world ’round instantly recognize the cache that the Missoni name has. (In fact, I have a friend who covets her grandmother’s vintage Missoni sweater. How many sweaters of your grandmother’s are you waiting for in the will?) So if the product is the right fit, and the consumer demand is there, do you really need a large media blitz to generate excitement?

What makes this launch really interesting is that Target didn’t launch the line with any major launch parties or major media buys but through though more subtlepress releasesand creating an unknown champion for the line,Marina.Marina is nothing more than a blogging doll with a Twitter handle (@marinawithstyle) and Tumbler account. In what appeared to be a leak, Marina began blogging about the 400+ piece collection and other fashion-blog related material as early as April 5.

The posts drummed up plenty of recognition prior to the launch from Twitter retweets and pins on Pinterest, leading way to coverage from fashion blogs and in the mainstream press. One thing the posts cleverly left out was any Target branding (except to say that you can buy the collection at Target in early September). Target created intrigue and generated a meaningful dialogue surrounding the Missoni launch without shouting a “look at me” message at their audience. Proof to me that becoming invisible can make you visible in a social world crowded with brand messages.

Update: Today, one day after Target began selling the Missoni line, product has almost completely sold out in both physical locations and online.

-Contributed byMichelle Haska Subrizi

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