Friday, February 5, 2016

Branding to a T(ea)

Thanks to the internet and social media, we are now able to keep up with each of our friends (or enemies), family and peers; sometimes too well. Through these multiple media channels, you are able to read on Twitter that someone ate a bagel and then check Instagram to see the same person posted a photo of her entire brunch (including the bagel) with a fun n’ flirty caption and filter. We feel the need to post about each and every part in order to form our own ideal personal identity online. Just like companies create and share their brand, we make ourselves into a brand and sell this image to our followers. The most popular way that we have started to brand our identities is by taking selfies. One theory suggests that we view ourselves through other people’s perceptions of us, called the Looking-Glass Self. We are able to share an idealized version of ourselves and make others see us how we want them to. 

Health and fitness has become so heavily emphasized in today’s society. There are thousands of diets, equipments and pills out there that swear that you will lose weight. With the increased desire to achieve the “perfect” body, consumers are willing to try and spend whatever it takes to attain this image. One brand that has recently become extremely popular is Fit Tea. This product is detoxifying tea that increases body metabolism and energy levels. Their Instagram is comprised of selfies of people holding their mugs of tea or the Fit Tea bag. This company has gone from being a small unknown business to taking over the Instagram world by utilizing the power of the selfie.

Celebrities love taking selfies with their Fit Tea.Vanessa Hudgens, Ed Westwick, Sarah Hyland, Ross Lynch, Tyler Posey and Danielle Campbell are just a few of the celebrities that have posted selfies with their Fit Tea on Instagram. Each of these celebrities are physically fit and publicly promote a healthy lifestyle and by posting selfies with this brand, then the brand becomes a part of that image. We see the brand and we see the people in the selfies using the product and we like the way they look, so we think that if we also use that product then we can look like them. It’s selling an ideal lifestyle.

The best celebrity to post a Fit Tea selfie, in my opinion, was Khloe Kardashian. In the past year, Khloe has gone through an impressive body and lifestyle change. With her new book, talk show and body makeover reality television show Khloe has become a respected and impressive health and fitness guru. This is the selfie that she posted to her Instagram profile.

 The caption reads “Missed the gym yesterday and this gave me all the extra help I need!! @fittea keeps me healthy and gives me that glow I love, especially when I’m getting ready for #KocktailsWithKhloe! Being healthy is a lifestyle!!”

Fit Tea does not only repost selfies of celebrities, their Instagram profile contains a range of individuals from all walks of life. They encourage users of Fit Tea products to post pictures with their tea  and to share their own personal transformation photos. Because this is a product that helps lose weight, there are several before and after body transformation selfies. Seeing these selfies and reading their stories creates a sense of community through the brand. When there are selfies of everyday people with imperfections and similar body size and weight to you and you all share a similar goal (to lose weight), then Fit Tea becomes the bridge that connects each person together. There forms a support group through the brand to all reach your own personal fitness goals together, supporting one another.

Without their use of selfies, I would have never heard of this brand. Next time you are out eating brunch, drinking Starbucks, or out with your friends, snap that selfie! Don't underestimate the power of the selfie. Instead of being viewed as a basic “white” girl move, think of selfies as a strategic and powerful branding/marketing technique.

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