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10 Companies Winning The Instagram Branding Game

With over 1 billion active monthly users, it’s not surprising that companies large and small want to perfect their Instagram game. The key to a good marketing campaign can vary, but those that rise above the rest all stand out in a sea of images with creative, memorable branding that makes you learn their name and appreciate their brand, often before you know anything else about them. These 10 companies, representing a large variety of markets and business sizes with vastly different marketing strategies, all have one thing in common: each one is WINNING the Instagram branding Game. 

Lilly pulitzer @lillypulitzer Fashion Brand

A fashion brand known for using bright and colorful hand painted patterns to create unique floral designs, the LP Instagram page showcases what they do best. Images alternate between vivid pattern close ups and smiling models, each picture invokes a tropical feel and captures color palettes featured in the signature prints. The settings alternate between destination beaches and white picket fences, creating a marketing visual that at once alludes to both luxury and attainability, creating a broad appeal. 

LEGO @lego Toy Company 

LEGO’s Insta feed proves to be as colorful and innovative as the products they sell. The company takes full advantage of the platform’s ability to create content in multiple visual formats, frequently posting videos and clips to model their products and create excitement. Bold and primary colors are abundant throughout their feed, easily catching the eye on a casual scroll. LEGO goes a step beyond advertising purchasable sets by displaying creative builds of their bricks, encouraging outside-of-the-box play and giving toy fans inspiration and a reason to follow. 

Starbucks Coffee @starbucks Coffeehouse

While the franchise may need no introduction, it certainly knows how to capture the attention of an audience again and again. Starbucks Instagram account has a focus on recreatibility. Its images largely feature simple photographs of their drinks being held against beautiful, inviting 

backdrops. These images capture the creative imagination of IG users, encouraging copycat images with hashtags to ingeniously increase their reach. 

Nike @nike Footwear and Athletic Apparel 

Nike’s approach to their feed is unique. Their merchandise is rarely directly featured and their images aren’t overly bright or catchy. Instead, the primary focus of their images are portraits of everyday athletes and megastars, posted with an inspirational quote to encourage perseverance and passion. The messaging is so powerful that you almost miss the Nike swoosh located subtly on the clothes of the photo’s subject. Their approach is subliminal and motivating, and it pays off in followers. 

Glossier @glossier Makeup Brand 

A relative newcomer to the makeup game, Glossier built it’s subtle makeup brand up with the help of an excellent social media game. Their feed stands apart from brands that flaunt dramatic looks by showcasing simple, fresh-faced looks on a wide range of models. They go one step further to stick in your brain, subtle featuring the brand’s signature pink color creatively throughout their flawless photos. 

Chipotle @chipotle Restaurant Chain 

Most restaurants take the expected approach to social media – fantastic images of mouthwatering cheese pulls, mile-high desserts, and delicious presentations. Anything to entice followers to stop in for a bite. Chipotle employs a completely unique tactic. You won’t find many snaps of burritos stuffed to the brim or mountains of guacamole to tempt your taste buds. What you will find are memes. Chipotle cleverly ‘memes’ themselves and creates funny, endlessly shareable images that make users smile and pass along the giggle, creating a unique restaurant experience and living up to their brand promise to “cultivate a better world”. 

GoPro @gopro Technology Company 

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#GoProLiveit Event Spotlight – ‘Ride It with the Williams Brothers’ 🚴🏿‍♂️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Take a ride. Catch a vibe. This weekend, put foot to pedal with #GoProAthletes @nationsnumber1beast + @juswilliamz on a two-wheel trip of your choosing. Register through the link in our bio, then share a pic or vid of using #GoProLiveIt—we’ll donate $1 to our featured charities + you’ll be eligible to win big gear bundles 🎁 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We’ve also teamed up with @Strava, the must-have fitness app for runners + cyclists. 🏃‍♀️ Tag your workout partner below for the opportunity to each score an annual subscription. 8 are up for grabs 💪 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #GoPro #GoProHERO8 #RoadBike #Speed #Strava

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Few companies showcase their product with quite the same punch as GoPro. Vivid, bold destinations with a focus on adventurous destinations flood their Instagram pages, exciting viewers to want to go out and get in on the action. The best part: each image is taken using a GoPro product. What better way to showcase your company than to have it in action in every single frame? 

Kuii Drinks @kuiidrinks Beverage Company

This beverage company knows that a good product in the right lighting will sell itself. Their relatively new instagram campaign focuses on images of refreshment and fun, bringing their coconut drinks front and center. Young adults and exciting backdrops bring the viewer in, and the placement of each bottle shows off their beverages as a luxurious essential. Throw in their immersive and well designed website, and this brand knows how to make us thirsty. 

Candytopia @thecandytopia Attraction 

Like much of the candy they sell, this candy shop’s page is all about bright, bold, rainbow colors that jump out at you. Whether you are looking at massive artworks and dreamscapes made entirely from their edibles or happy people standing in a sea of marshmallows, all of their images are fun, outside of the box, and loudly stand out from the crowd. 

Sloomooinstitute @sloomooinstitute Slime Shop 

This small, local slime shop made a big name for themselves on Instagram by smartly appealing to two distinctly separate markets. First: the slime itself. Their colorful creations catch the eye of young-at-heart slime lovers everywhere, demonstrating exactly what they make and who they are as a company. Sloomooinstitute goes a step further with Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos. The internet phenomenon creates a calming, relaxing sensation in the viewer from certain sounds and images. Sloomooinstitute creates videos to appeal to this niche audience, featuring an earful of sounds from slime pulling, stretching and cutting to bring in the additional audience 

John White is the founder of Social Marketing Solutions. He has contributed over 200 articles to sites like Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, and Influencive. When he's not tweeting, John enjoys being a dad to his two amazing daughters, playing tennis, and eating Mexican food.

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