When brands go dark: What happens?
As a branding strategy, "going dark" may sound like something that happens only in horror movies.
However, "going dark" is a smart marketing tactic used to create buzz and attention around a new product or service launch. But what exactly does it mean to go dark? And how can you use this strategy to help promote your brand? Let's take a closer look.
In this article, we'll explore what "going dark" means and why it might be right for your business.
What is "going dark"?
It refers to a company's decision to distance itself from social media or other digital platforms. When a brand "goes dark", it means they stop posting content on its website, its social media pages, and anywhere else online where they have an active audience.
The tactic can be used by any type of business that has a large online presence, but it's most popular with brands in the tech industry which can use it as a way to drum up excitement for new products or services before revealing them to the public at large.
- Before Apple introduced its first iPhone in 2007, the company stopped updating its website — and even took down its entire store page — leaving only one link that reads "Get Ready" (and which linked back here). Over time this became one of the most anticipated moments in tech history: The launch of Apple’s new flagship product!
Why would a company go dark?
This can be done because of three main reasons:
- Branding strategy. An established company may want to create a sense of mystery by going dark, or it could be using the pause as a way to rebrand itself and get people talking about its new image.
For example, when Google announced that they'd be changing their logo in September 2019, they also made it clear that there would be no explanation for their decision—and people were both intrigued and confused. This kind of thing tends to spark conversations among audiences who are paying attention and make them more likely to engage with a brand in other ways.
- Marketing strategy. Hiatuses can help brands promote new products or services by creating anticipation around upcoming launches while still sticking with established messaging and design elements that viewers associate with an established brand (which gives them greater confidence). This can also be done without going dark if companies want something more low-key than simply not posting on social media for months at a time—they can just post less frequently until the launch date arrives without making any changes whatsoever!
- Competition/market research/testing new products: Taking breaks from posting content can provide an opportunity for companies to conduct market research and test new products. Using these breaks to gather data and assess the market can help companies make informed decisions about their products and improve their marketing strategies.
Potential downsides of going dark.
There are a few potential downsides to going dark.
- First, you may have difficulty staying relevant. If you've been doing a lot of marketing and social media in the past, you will need to find other ways to stay top of mind for your audience.
- Second, going dark can cause a loss of customer engagement and interaction, as customers may not have any new content to interact with. This can lead to a decrease in customer loyalty and retention.
Is going dark right for your company?
Going dark is a great way to encourage your audience to anticipate the launch of something new. If you're hoping to build suspense around a product or service, going dark can help you establish a sense of mystery that will keep people interested until the big reveal.
It's also worth considering going dark if you're trying to make a big change in how your company operates—whether that means making significant changes in how customers interact with your brand or shifting focus from one part of the business model to another.
If you want more information about whether this strategy could be right for your brand, reach out through our contact page!
Going dark as a branding strategy may not be for everyone. Learn more about the importance of branding and how it affects customers before deciding
Going dark can be a powerful branding strategy. But it's important to know the risks and consider how your company will respond if things don't go according to plan.
As with any marketing tactic, you should test this out with a small group of customers before moving forward with an entire blackout campaign.
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