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Marmite’s secret online ‘Marmarati’ community draws out their most loyal fans
Marmite show how brands can boost engagement from their most devoted fans by recognising them as such through dedicated ‘elite fan’ communities, though they risk drawing increased focus on the marketing around these sites rather than their brand or products.
Marmite, the popular love it/hate it British condiment, has always traded on the idea that it drives extreme loyalty from fans of the spread, and hatred from non-fans. Expanding this idea online, the brand has for the past few months managed a “deliciously secret society” called The Marmarati, designed for the brand’s most devoted fans to “spread the love for the Noir Elixir.” The Marmite Facebook page is also a mix of regular and Marmarati-focused posts. WaveMetrix looked at replies to these posts to investigate whether passionate Marmite fans are more attracted to posts about The Marmarati, or if there is no difference.
WaveMetrix social media research reveals that the Marmarati posts drive more comments from those who consider Marmite a ‘classic’ brand and who say they have “always used it.” However, they also drive consumers to focus more on Marmite’s marketing itself. This suggests that niche communities for your most devoted fans are an effective means of getting these fans more engaged, but can draw more attention to the fact that you are actively seeking to engage them.
Marmarati posts draw more comments from consumers who consider Marmite a ‘classic’ product:
- Both Marmarati and non-Marmarati posts draw a similar amount of buzz relating to Marmite’s brand values: ‘Delicious’ leads overall, with many fans commenting that they “love” the spread because it is “yummy and rich”
- Non-Marmarati posts draw more comments relating to the ‘quality’ or ‘versatility’ of Marmite: Many consumers respond to more general posts about the product by saying simply that it's "the best", or mentioning their favourite Marmite recipes and combinations such as “Marmite and peanut butter” or “Marmite in spaghetti bolognaise”
- However, Marmarati posts draw more responses associated with the ‘classic’ brand value: This suggests that the idea of a Marmarati secret community attracts more hardcore fans, who say they “can’t live without Marmite”, “can’t imagine life without it” or that “generations” of their family have “enjoyed Marmite”
Marmarati posts draw consumers to focus more on Marmite’s marketing, vs. normal posts:
- Normal posts on the Marmite Facebook page have a stronger product focus: Consumers discuss the spread’s “great taste” when responding to normal posts, but hardly discuss Marmite’s marketing. Marmarati posts also generate significant product discussion, though they lead fans to focus more on the marketing behind the Marmarati, saying it’s an “interesting promo” and they “will join the Marmarati.” While this marketing buzz isn't itself a bad thing, it does dilute the focus of what is otherwise a community strongly centred on the brand and its products