Charismatic Case Study: BUZZFEED

Charismatic Case Study



Any avid social media user knows Buzzfeed. The independent digital media company is famous for its personality quizzes and its free-spirited editorials. And while some consider Buzzfeed a product of millennial culture, the website has cemented its relationship with older generations with its snappy news articles and pieces like, “35 Facts That Every ‘Golden Girls’ Fanatic Should Know.” 

How does this global, cross-platform network maintain a positive reputation while remaining a media company at its core? Here, we’ll be checking out ways in which Buzzfeed exemplifies the charismatic brand archetype.

  • Buzzfeed’s content is easily accessible, with its desktop and mobile websites, smartphone and tablet apps, and profiles on every major social media platform.
  • The company cultivates a light and cheery vibe, which is rare for any media outlet. While the typical media website fixates on the bad stuff that’s going on in the world, Buzzfeed mostly focuses on more optimistic subjects, like what TV shows are being renewed and how many shelter dogs have found permanent homes in 2018. 
  • Buzzfeed keeps its content short and sweet. Today, most consumers would rather take a five-minute personality quiz (“What flavor doughnut are you?”) or read a one-page news article than struggle to skim through a long thinkpiece.
  • Buzzfeed sorts its content by the mood it evokes, using the labels “LOL,” “WTF,” and “OMG.” This represents a new way for consumers to customize their personal Buzzfeed experience.
  • The tone that Buzzfeed writers use is very casual–reading a Buzzfeed piece almost feels like hearing from a close friend. A brand with the charismatic archetype strives for familiarity and relatability. 

Other brands with the “charismatic” personality type are The Onion and Sonic. What core similarities do you see between these brands and Buzzfeed?

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