To What Extent Does 'Meme Culture' Affect a Brand's Image and Sales?

BY PRIYANSHI PATEL

We often mindlessly scroll through social media on our phones, but if we took time to analyze our feeds we can observe certain trends. Recently, we have been exposed to a lot of memes which someway relate back to certain products and companies. These memes and posts actually indirectly affect the way you view the brand and it changes your perception of the value the product, or brand, holds. This can either work well for the company or it could blow up in their face but either way, it does popularize them.  

Most recently you must have seen these memes on Apple’s product Air Pods. Positioning them as something only elite people have, this product has really taken off in the market for young adults. Air pods have successfully become Apple’s best-selling accessory yet and this popularization through excess visibility of the product can definitely be credited for its increase in sales. It is not uncommon for memes to start surfacing about the latest Apple products, previously there have been jokes made about how iPhones are so unreasonably priced and that it is pretty inaccessible to buy, but with the more obtainable price point, Air pods have increased in demand due to their attractive perception and affordable pricing.

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Even though AirPods were released in 2016 they didn’t become popular until later in 2018, it was trended and hyped up as the perfect Christmas present. The sales for AirPods increased drastically once people realized that it had social signaling, it usually meant that the person who was wearing AirPods had more of Apple’s products which they could connect it to. It also shows that they are willing to pay $159 for a pair of earphones which indicates wealth.

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You may have also observed a similar trend with the product ‘Alexa’ by Amazon. In general, Amazon’s marketing strategy towards the product has proved to be excellent as seen through their increasing sales numbers. Alexa has marketed itself to be very accessible and is trying to create a household name with it. People recognized this and there were various memes shared about this product. It started by a tweet “This is so sad Alexa play Despacito” and then later it was modified and had many version of it. This leads the viewers of the brand to associate the product as relevant and desired. The search for the product increased and so did the popularity of the product.

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To sum up, we see how memes and the pop culture affect the way in people perceive a brand and how it can help in positively branding your product. Since the brand image and perception of customers is one of the most important assets that a brand can have it is really important that these things work out well for the company.

Neha Saboo