Branded Content Analysis: Sprinkles Cupcakes
Who knew you could market with cupcakes? Sprinkles Cupcakes did. Sprinkles is a cupcake shop and bakery that takes the all-American cupcake and elevates to a level of French patisserie. That French spin on an American classic comes through loud and clear in the company brand and marketing as well as in the cupcakes themselves.
What I See
What do I see when I salivate over Sprinkles’ marketing campaigns? Lots of delicious cupcakes, of course, but it’s never overwhelming. Sprinkles’ campaigns tend to focus on one specific cupcake tied in to one specific thing. Sometimes that thing is a holiday. Sometimes it’s an event. Sometimes it’s a pop-culture reference. Each individual marketing effort made by the bakery focuses on one thing, but, just like their cupcakes, they do it oh, so well.
So many brands fall into the trap of tossing a bunch of information and content into a campaign to try to reach a broader audience, but in many cases that can backfire by overwhelming the audience and turning them off from the content. Sprinkles’ approach of removing clutter and focusing on one exceptional cupcake at a time, acts as a natural draw for the audience. “A slime cupcake? What is that?…must click through to the website to find out!” And Voila! up go the click-through rates! Glamourous Instagram photos? Share that with your friends ASAP! “The Halloween cupcakes are back?!? I’ve been waiting a year for those!” Tap. “Placing my order online right now!”
This clear, uncluttered, less is more approach to content marketing is completely on brand for Sprinkles. Their cupcakes are made with simple ingredients and decorated with simple designs. The retail bakeries are full of natural lighting and open space, removing exterior distractions and allowing the cupcakes to shine. Both the clean and simple designs of the cupcakes and the clean and simple designs of the bakeries are similar to the way a French patisserie showcases delicacies. Those same clean and simple elements are carried through to their email campaigns and social media posts. There is no unnecessary content or images to distract from the topic of that specific marketing piece.
Just look at their Facebook feed, doesn’t it look yummy?!
Here is a quick glimpse of their Instagram grid, I just love the variety of their posts – each one on brand every single time!
What I Love
What I love most about Sprinkles (from a marketing perspective; don’t ask me which cupcake I love the most!) is how they are on brand, all the time. Clean, crisp, and clear are all terms I’d use to describe their brand. The colors are bright and cheerful, as a cupcake should make you feel. The use of simple colored circles to create the Sprinkles logo is reminiscent of cupcakes themselves and is repeated over and over again in different formats throughout the company’s marketing platforms.
The cupcakes are the center of attention, as they should be. Sprinkles knows their audience is here for the goodies, so that’s what they deliver.
It’s an approach that has paid off for the bakery. Sprinkles launched in 2005 in Beverly Hills. Today, it has 31 locations across the country! That’s impressive for a bakery that started out with a single type of menu item. Since that time, the bakery has expanded to also offer ice cream, cookies and brownies, layer cakes, and dog-friendly “pupcakes”. Gift boxes, catering, events, design-your-own cupcakes, and mini-cupcakes round out the bakery options.
Sprinkles takes what they do well, cupcakes, and they use that as the core component of every marketing campaign. What is your company known for or what does it do well? How can they be used to build your next marketing campaign?