Emojis and Brands – The Perfect Partnership?

Emojis and Brands – The Perfect Partnership?

Some ideas are dumb; granted. But all big ideas are dumb in the beginning. It takes a leap of faith to see them. A leap which most people would rather loudly lampoon than take.

Emojis are just one those ideas. And emojis weren’t helped by the fact that they perceived as juvenile. However, any marketer who still thinks of them as such in 2015 is missing a trick.

Anyone unfamiliar with our society would likely observe a people constantly buried in their portable computers with awe and respect. They’d probably assume we were preoccupied by some urgent task and not the type to let such matters slide. Why else would so many walk around so frequently distracted by the piece of metal in their hand? 

To learn that most people are just sending other people with these shiny devices 7 second long infinitely looping videos accompanied by ‘laughing-with-tears-face’ or ‘eyes-scrunched-tongue-out-face’ would probably come as a disappointment. And that’s because it is. We’d all rather we spent our time learning to beat the dollar futures market or teaching ourselves Japanese. But we wouldn’t actually. Because we don’t.

Juvenile or not: people like emojis. And when people latch on to something in this way brands and hence marketers must follow or risk falling behind.

The problem with using emojis is that it is an inherently risky practice. It’s highly likely that you’ll come across looking like an uncool uncle.

Just slapping in the snow emoji when talking about Christmas is not enough. And if you’re a big brand with an older clientele then this is likely to be perceived as desperate by anyone with even a vague claim to the term ‘millennials’.

However, like most things that are high risk, emojis are also high reward. An appropriately used ‘peace sign’ can endear your brand to a certain audience in a way that words no longer can. This sort of meaningful communication is the very goal of marketing itself.

Some people like to dismiss emojis as a fad. Of course they’re a fad! Why would anyone still be sending ‘girl-in-red-dress’ in 10 years when virtual reality is already possible today?

The point is that they’re the fad right now. If you’re a brand that prides itself on remaining timeless then you’re probably best-advised not to include the green frog in your next newsletter however tempted you may be. But if you’re a marketer trying to connect with any sort of young generation then you better start taking this seriously.