Case Study

Facebook Using Stickers to Retain Members

Many people question the effectiveness of using decals, stickers, and other printed materials in marketing strategies because of the evolution and popularity of the Internet. Why use printed decals when everyone and seemingly everything of value has moved online?

Photo grid of a man putting stickers on his face.

There's something about stickers that attracts and unifies groups of people. Look around. Stickers are everywhere. People place them on cars, guitar cases, stop signs, the walls of their homes, and anywhere else people might see them. Whether it's a serious political campaign or a fan showing his love for a professional sports team, decals are still used in a seemingly infinite variety of ways.

This summer, stickers reached a new level of popularity after Facebook announced the newest addition to their chat feature: stickers. Yes, that's right, the company with revenue upwards of one billion dollars has resorted to what some may refer to as "child's play" to help build their brand and increase sales. If you're doubting the effectiveness stickers could have for your business, what do the executives at Facebook know that you don't?

History Repeats Itself: Online Stickers Rule

Facebook isn't going out on a limb by investing in this project because they're wanting to try something different. Incorporating stickers into online chat platforms has already been wildly successful. First made famous in Asia through Line—a messaging app that included a sticker option—the application reported upwards of $15 million in revenue in Q1 of 2013. Incorporating stickers into Web-based chat has clearly been effective in the past, and when Facebook saw that, they jumped at the opportunity to include the feature for both current popularity and future profits.

Stickers are offered in "packages" based around a current theme, topic, or even a particular movie or subject. This summer, Facebook featured a package of "sponsored" stickers from Despicable Me 2 that users could share in order to help promote the film. Getting packages of stickers sponsored from other companies, as well as offering unique packages of stickers for a small cost is a potentially reusable strategy. Given the large number of Facebook users, it would almost certainly be a hit. However, there's also an argument that Facebook isn't looking for short-term financial gain, but rather is using these stickers to gain long-term influence in the eye's of a target market.

A Bigger Marketing Strategy

Facebook may be trying to do a better job of attracting the next generation of youngsters with these stickers and other personalization features that could be included in both the desktop version of Facebook and its mobile messaging app. However the targeted boost in revenue probably wouldn't come from sticker purchases by Facebook users, but rather from an increase in ad sales due to the fact that the social network can prove they give advertisers the most targeted and personalized set of data.

It'll be interesting to see how Facebook chooses to use their stickers in the future, but the simple fact that one of the most popular social networks in the world has chosen to invest in stickers shows their marketing power. We love stickers, decals, and all types of labels as much as anyone, and it makes us happy to see stickers being prominently featured by other companies and in other industries. How does your company use stickers? Could you better market your brand with some high-quality decals? Let us know. We can help.

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