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Lessons Learned: #AlexFromTarget

by | Nov 6, 2014 | Brand Management, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing

If you have been paying attention this week, you will know that a picture of a young man working at Target, Alex, has been going viral.

#alexfromtarget has really taken Twitter by storm this week, and it is amazing what having the right connections can do to influence people.

As we are watching this young man now grapple with what is fame, we can learn some things about marketing.

#1 Real life is still awesome…share it!

This all started with a simple picture of this young man working at Target. It appears he did not even know his picture was being taken; he was just doing his job. Rather, this was just a real guy, with a mediocre picture taken in a real setting.

What this tells us is that for the right audiences, and in the right context, the polished version of media is not always the best approach. Rather, just being real connects with people. When you make that connection, great things happen!

Also, do not always push the marketing message. Look at this photo again. There are two HUGE brands who are getting a lot of attention from this. Yes, we all know Target is getting a lot of attention. However, so is Starbucks. Simply having the presence in the picture is awesome…it made me want a Pumpkin Spice Latte (yum!).

#2 Knowing the right people helps.

Face it; we all know it is not what you know, but whom you know. The girl who originally tweeted this picture is connected to some other girls, who are connected to some other people, who are connected….well you get the idea.

Especially is Social Marketing, if you know the right people, those who have influence in the audience you want to reach, your message will go much further. Take the time really look at your audience. Find those people who have a large influence, and develop a relationship with them. When you have a solid message, you will not even have to ask, they will just pass it along, and you will sit back and watch the magic happen!

#3 Brand consistency is huge.

This seems like a “duh” statement, but it always bears repeating. Alex has appeared with Ellen, on her show and for a book signing. In most of the photos we have seen crop up, he is in the infamous red and khaki uniform for target team members.

I saw a picture of him in “normal” clothes, and you might not recognize him. Some of the best-known “personal brands” have understood having a consistent brand image is imperative. This includes Mari Smith and her all turquoise wardrobe and Scott Ginsberg and his every present nametag (apparently including tattooed on his chest). The point is, make sure you are being consistent with your brand image.

Enjoy watching this young man try to navigate his unexpected stardom for the next week or so, but be sure to learn the lessons this has to offer.


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