10 Dec

Sharpie found a way to make its product an outlet for creativity. By using a series of several engaging tactics, Sharpie promoted themselves through digital content that spoke to a generation of artists and youth.  The new catchphrase announced in 2011 “Uncap What’s Inside” revealed the new direction the Sharpie brand was heading in. Sharpie wanted to connect with its users on personal authentic level. New product lines that included more color and new features allowed for Sharpie to brand itself in this new creative light. Overall Sharpie has great social media presence as a brand. I am choosing to highlight two of strongest outlets that consumers responded to the most.

Sharpie made a strong presence online by showcasing what the new products could, what Sharpie users could do and by using that moment to create a DIY community.The Sharpie blog played a key role in securing brand loyalty and retention through showcasing customers creativity. Other outlets Sharpie used for this included Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They shifted focus to their customer creativity. Sharpie used their blog as a call to action. First, they began to  stories about their customers generating buzz on conversation online. Second, they  use their blog to continue to inspire creativity which is promoting use of the product. Blog posts also featured creative uses of Sharpie’s products for designs on paper cups and handicrafts created interesting visuals and digitally tangible examples of the brand’s product in action. Guest bloggers ranging from fashion experts and artists, funny posts (such as a picture of a staff-made Sharpie King Cake in honor of Mardi Gras), and video content such as a Valentine’s Day short film on love make the Sharpie blog the strongest component to its website.


One of the most successful strategies Sharpie implemented online was the creation of a Sharpie Community.   Sharpie invited their community to engage through art challenges where users voted for the best submissions. The strategy reached out to the DIY community who thrived off the creativity and authenticity Sharpie promoted. With invocations such as “Start Something!” and “Show Your Stuff!” Sharpie’s online tone is inviting, conversational and proactive.

The Sharpie community and blog a perfect example of using online conversation to build a brand name and following. If a product as common as permanent marker can stand through digital content then the possibilites are limitless in the world of branding online. Sharpie identified a niche audience that would take advantage of the its product benefits. It gave the Sharpie a feature beyond just trying. It gave Sharpie an identity.


4 Responses to “Sharpie”

  1. Danielle Vath December 10, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    Honestly Sharpie sounds like it would be a great place to work. I think its great that they were able to bring such a creative product like a sharpie marker into the social media space. Of course its one thing to have people to talk about how great sharpies are in online forums but having contests to showcase people actually using them is brilliant.

  2. tessamorelli December 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    I really enjoyed your post about Sharpie. I have noticed a lot of points that you highlighted about the company through out the past year. Its commercials have become more fun and interactive as well. From a consumers point of view it is very obvious that Sharpie has taken on a new image. I use to view its product as an office supply tool, now I look at the company as a whole. I very much agree that Sharpie has taken a simple marker and turned it into a product used to inspire creativity.

  3. Blake McCullough December 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    I’d never given it a thought but Sharpie has big social media potential. If content is king, then I’m sure Sharpie has it in spades with the amount of art that they could publish.

  4. mauraquinn December 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    I’ve always really liked Sharpie’s campaigns. They find a creative and fun way to share their brand and give off a fun an edgy image for something that could potentially be quite dull. I really agree that Sharpie does inspire creation, which is important in this type of product.

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