Will Online Social Networks Help Rebuild Skittles Brand?

How far would you go to build your brand? Would you turn your website’s homepage into a snaphot of what people are saying about your product via a twitter feed if you knew it would generate buzz and make your website go “viral?” That’s what the marketers of Skittles were banking on when they launched their new homepage. Check it out.

In just a few hours, Skittles has became the number one topic discussed on Twitter, a social networking community that reaches over 4 million users monthly. Skittles is also integrating other online social networks. The “Friends” navigation button links to their Facebook fan page and their “News” page links to their YouTube page.

While Skittles has already generated some earned media about their new creative campaign to build their brand and be transparent, will this tactic increase sales? Is using Twitter even the right target demographic given that 47% of users are between the ages of 18-34 and 31% are between the ages of 35-49? For example some of the tweets have nothing to do with the actual candy but are using the Skittles hashtag to promote their own
campaigns or ideas. “Pro Iraqi Refugees need your help. Click here to sign the petition:  #Skittles. [Please RT!), or  “WFMU Fundraising Marathon now underway. Tune in: or pledge at #Skittles.”

Other people on twitter are just talking about the creativity behind the campaign from a marketing and branding perspective and question how long the buzz will really last. At the end of the day Skittles needs to sale candy and make sure it does not fall off of consumers radar. Will turning their website into snapshots of their online social networks do the trick? AK