Our 5 Favorite Brand Stories from 2013

Being a brand in the digital age is tough. Whether its being the first to new platforms, organizing and executing for “real-time marketing” or just being funny on social, companies have a lot to live up to these days.

Our favorite brand stories from this past year highlight these challenges — and offer some marketing guidance from unlikely sources, like comedians and street artists and a certain frowning feline. Here are five editors’ picks from Digiday:

1. Grumpy Cat: From Feline Meme to Brand Purrrfection
“In just under a year since having her photo first uploaded to reddit, Grumpy Cat has morphed into a full-fledged celebrity – and profitable brand. She is the new face of Friskies and has graced the pages of The Wall Street Journal and landed on the cover of New York Magazine’s ‘Boom Brands 2013’ issue, which estimated her net worth at $1 million and growing.”

2. The Banksy Guide to Modern Marketing
“Whatever your thoughts are about his art, Banksy is undeniably a brilliant marketer. In the ADD age, he flirts with controversy and polarizing topics in a smart way.”

3. The Louis C.K. Guide to Marketing
“If there’s one thing that’s apparent from C.K.’s messaging and his approach to his products, it’s that he respects his customers. Marketing emails from him are rare, the checkout process for purchasing material on his site is simple and easy to use, and he’s completely transparent and honest about where the money is going.”

4. #Brand #Hashtags #Will #Never #Die
“Hashtags have been around for almost six years now, and while you might think their ubiquity would render them less effective as a marketing tool, many brands appear to believe otherwise. Brands are still gung-ho about using hashtags for organizing conversations and pushing campaigns.”

5. Brands Try for Some Personality 
“[F]or brands to sound human and make sure every word they put out on social media is approved and fits in with the brand voice is clearly the opposite of how humans talk and use social — unless you are some kind of personal brand nazi. But brand execs don’t think being human is impossible.


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