Marketing Trend: User Generated Content

What is User Generated Content?

User generated content or UGC is when a brand uses content created by their community as an endorsement. UGC has been shown to increase customer loyalty and engagement as well as prove brands to be genuine. Think of UGC as a new branch of influencer marketing; users can post about a product and their peers and followers are not only exposed to the brand but get a firsthand review of products, services and brand ability.

UGC is coming up as one of the top marketing methods in 2017, and there are many big name brands that are using this method in addition to using their traditional marketing strategies. There are many successful examples of UGC in today’s market, but these are some of the most prevalent examples of UGC so far.


Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign brings the stunning photos taken by iPhone users to the world by placing them on billboards all over the world. The reach of this campaign even inspired the tech company to create their newly minted Instagram account, sharing even more “Shot on iPhone” images.  


The slogan “Share a Coke With” started in 2011, and has quickly become synonymous with the soft drink brand. Coke drinkers are sharing images of drinks with their names on them, sharing messages and more. The craze hasn’t slowed down after 6 years, especially after the introduction of the personalization option on Coke’s website.


Emily Weiss’ makeup and skincare brand has had a cult following for the last few years and with each new product the community grows even bigger. Glossier’s social media features their customers wearing and using their products, reviews and discussions,  the lifestyles that their customers lead and many posts show off the brand’s signature “millennial pink” color.


Action camera company GoPro is known for their stunningly cultivated Instagram page. But the amount of images on their page credited to members of the GoPro community far outweighs the images added by the brand itself. The company hosts giveaways using hashtags to track engagement with social media followers and does user features, where their instagram page is taken over by one group or person that posts their GoPro adventures for that day.

La Croix

This sparkling water brand had been around since the 1980s, but is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Social media accounts are full of posts from La Croix fans, and the craze even goes as far as Etsy, where you can find embroidery patterns, pins and other merchandise. There has even been a music video made that delves into the love for the sparkling flavored water.


One look at the Lay’s brand Twitter and you can see what the fans bring to the table. The “Do Us a Flavor” contest has been a yearly staple since 2012. Fans submit flavor ideas hoping theirs will be the winning flavor and earn $1 million. This contest has added to fans engaging and a community following that rallies around the unusual (and oftentimes delicious).


Instagram worthy drinks are just the beginning for the Seattle founded coffee company. Customer designed cups, “regrams”, and even the occasional customer designed drink all create a brand that is inclusive, creative and fun.



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