Do you believe in good luck or hard work? Maybe success is a combination of both. There’s no denying that many variables factor into a brand’s success or failure. Among some of these: luck, political climate, economic health, marketing and viral exposure. An “overnight” success may tell you it’s hard work and coffee. Let’s take a look at a few examples and analyze the mystery for ourselves.
Vero: The Next Big App?
As recently as the first week of March, the new social media app Vero quickly went from unlisted on the top charts to Number 1 on the list of Mobile App Downloads for both iPhone and Android. The reason so many people flocked to the app are pretty obvious. Vero founder Ayman Hariri promised completely free accounts for the first 1 million users only. This paired with a chronological feed and lack of ads, Vero seemed like the perfect replacement for heavily-complained about Instagram.
However, Vero wasn’t ready for the sudden spotlight. Despite the fact that the app launched in 2015, the sheer number of users signing up at once caused the app to be riddled with bugs in the system and bogged down servers, refusing to load on users phones.
Marketing or luck?: Marketing with a bit of luck. The company was smart to market their services as anti-Facebook and Instagram, with no ads, only for the first 1 million sign-ups. They were lucky to have users spread the news via word of mouth on Twitter most recently.
Four Loko Forever
If you haven’t heard of Four Loko, it’s as silly as it sounds. Basically: it’s a fruity malt beverage blend of alcohol and caffeine in a convenient soda can. Its creators discovered a need for the refreshment when they saw fellow college kids mixing caffeine and alcohol to keep their buzz going at parties. Risky college-aged consumers flocked to the dangerous formula (12% alcohol), delicious fruity flavors and seemingly insane reputation. Within a year, the company was selling their oversized, highly concentrated cans like crazy.
Unfortunately for Four Loko, the FDA intervened to research the “safety and legality of their products” after more than a few instances of dangerous and harmful, even deadly, situations caused by the drinks. Four Loko was forced to change their recipe and gradually the drinks were stocked in fewer and fewer stores.
Marketing or luck?: This seems like luck, hence the reason they weren’t quite prepared to respond to the legal and health ramifications that befell them. College kids tend to spread trends quickly and rather organically.
Sugar, Bears and Hairs, Oh My
SugarBearHair, a gummy vitamin which touts healthier and more beautiful hair for its consumers, rose to fame via Instagram… and the Kardashians. Khloe, Kim and Kylie Kardashian posted photos of themselves consuming the teddy bear shaped Tiffany blue gummies and within weeks, Instagram users took to their own Instagram pages to post similar photos with their new “miracle pills.”
It’s unclear whether the Kardashians (and other celebrity endorsers) actually used the products, though positive reviews from most buyers state that the product was surprisingly not terrible. But are these cute vitamins still around? Users are still posting Instagram photos of the products as recently as 15 minutes ago.
Marketing or luck?: In this case, it was marketing. Whoever landed the Kardashian clan deserves a raise.
Overall, it seems the key ingredient to overnight success lies in fulfilling a perceived need in the growing marketplace. Either that, or you need to rely on a high brow celebrity to tout your product. But marketer beware, an overnight success does not always mean lifelong success. In fact, it’s very rare. You must carefully plan for the unexpected, like digital bandwidth shortage or federal and legal interference and be prepared to handle even the most “loco” of situations. This takes thoughtful contemplation and an organized strategy, which is something that trumps luck and goes hand in hand with marketing.
And when all else fails, hire a Kardashian.
Want to start a conversation? Let’s chat about an overnight success that stands out in your mind. Tweet us at @cca_creates.