Make it appear just on black !!

What comes to your mind when you think about Guinness, one of the biggest beer companies? Black? Soft bubbles on the top? Well, yes. both are good characters of Guinness. One day, Guinness brought original promotion idea out to people as using one of these characters – the most powerful character, quite different than other beers, black.

Once QR code was used as very popular marketing tool but the popularity and effectiveness were getting week. However, Guinness came up with the brilliant online project of advertising and branding and got people’s interest with the combination of black and QR code which is made to link social media like Facebook or Twitter directly. These are steps. First, when you fill the glass with Guinness and it reveals a QR code. Second, scan the code with your smart phone and it tweets about your pint, updates your facebook status. After that, you can download coupons and promotions. The most important and interesting with the online promotion is this phenomenon appears only in the case you fill the glass with Guinness-black beer. When the glass is empty or filled with ordinary beer, the QR code is unreadable. When it is filled with Guinness, the black liquid completes the code and brings you into a lots of dynamic content & social media benefits.


As for branding theory which is written by Greg Stine, the 4th principle is “differentiation is Key.” Even if it’s hard for company to have any other different characters sometimes, it should make one up. It could be real one once after you implant the thinking in people’s mind even though it seemed to have nothing common with the product or company. The theory could seem banal but it is always truth in marketing and branding. Guinness already has differentiation than any other beers about the color according to the principle and it maximized that point with QR code and social media.

Nowadays, all companies keep trying to achieve sustainable competitive advantages in the market. Moreover, the ripple effect of social media grows up. Guinness’ online promotion shows how they could get tremendous advantages and success with branding in social media. It didn’t make any followers because they just used their original, exclusive character. Make differentiation than other companies and spread it using social media and then definitely you can get amazing effects from it even much more than you expected!


References (Theory) (Article)

This entry was posted in Branding in social media. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Make it appear just on black !!

  1. mikejlemon says:

    Interesting post Suyeon! I think Stine’s principle that you mentioned, “Differentiation is key” is extremely important in successfully branding your company, yourself or your organization. It reminds me when we had our guest lecturer Ville Lahtinen (Outo Wear) when he mentioned that a successful brand strategy is to be different. Do you think being different is the most important aspect in having a successful brand? I really liked the way Guinness developed a unique advertising of their social media using the combination of their black beer + QR code. Sticking to their values and strategies keeps the company unique and different than the rest of their competitors. Kiitos for the post!

  2. mmirck says:

    Nice to see that they really could come up with something original, creative and unique, but also do something modern and new, and still link it very well to the brand. I think what they did with that QR-code is really clever because it emphasizes the uniqueness of the brand and the product. On the other side, it could be tricky when it can only be used by Guinness beer, while people like to use things differently. However, they managed to differentiate in a really nice way!

  3. cayuelajimenezalexandre says:

    Well done, nice job Suyeonr.

    Now, I would like to have one in front of me while I am writing my comment (the power of branding attraction). I use to drink some beers without be an expert about it but it’s true that the fact the beer is dark put them in another category and we clearly distinguish Guinness from the others beers. Even if the color is the main argument to explain Guinness differentiation, the caramelized flavor can be also be added in the explanation.

    Guinness has been also very clever using the QR code with the black beer, give the feeling of something new and innovative and people like it and more when you can get some promotions. Most of the people are proud to drink Guinness beer and they can for many reasons.
    Guinness before to be implanted in London were producing in Dublin, at the brewery of Arthur Guinness in the late 18th century so Guinness is related to Ireland culture and Ireland Culture is related to very good quality of beers. People had a surname for Guinness “ A meal in a cup” because the beers contained less calories than some juices or the milk and because Guinness contain a good amount of healthful antioxidants than you can find in some fruits and vegetables and help to “shown to help slow the deposit of bad cholesterol on artery walls.”.

    A good variety of Guinness beers with a very good quality with a differentiation from others beers in the market and a successful branding campaign and Guinness is one of the most successful beer brand in the world. Just be creative and find a differentiation from your competitors and you can boast one day to have a sustainable competitive advantage if you are managing it well.

    Do you know in how many countries are sold Guinness Beers?
    More than 100 and brewed in more than 50 countries!

  4. KiHoonKim says:

    Very interesting post! SuYeon.
    In fact, the QR code is decreasing in marketing methods. But I learned from your post that the important thing is not a method. Because only Guinness Stouts can describe QR code, it doesn’t matter what technology method they use.
    Also, automatically posted on customers’ SNS, they can save money for advertising.
    but more efficient any other advertising. I also agree that key word “Differentiation is Key”. Not only in the business field but also all of the fields that exist competition, Differentiation can get competitive advantage compared to competitors.

  5. silkema says:

    Very interesting post Suyeon! It so amazing how people can come up with these original ideas! Really amazing that it only showed when you had Guinnes beer in the glass. But as you pointed out and can see new innovative, unique, original ideas are the key to succes! They really differentiate themselves from other beer brands. I also think this way of ‘branding’ suits their consumers/customers, so they really though it true and that is probably another way to be successful. Sometimes I think It is so hard for all these companies in this world to think of new original, unique, innovative ideas everytime. How are they doing that? How can they be successful everytime? The answer to that is probably that there are a lof of creative, unique minds in this world, who can come up with a lot of unique, original and innovative ideas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s