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Edgy Brands: How to Be Sassy, but Keep It Classy, on Social

Nick Rogers

Mar 1, 2020

For most brands, the social strategy involves just two things: responding to customer complaints as quickly as possible and pushing company announcements. What does it take to do more—and stand out on social? Edgy brands hook audiences by showing off personality. Is your brand ready to take the leap? For extra inspiration, see examples of top social media campaigns by nonprofitshealthcaretourism, sports teams, government agencies, and television shows!

What does it take to stand out on social media?

Great content? Celebrity influencers? Adorable animals?

Today, people are becoming more and more wary of inauthentic brands and content on social media. The strategies that once worked a few short years ago are quickly becoming outdated.

Looking at recent social media trends, it’s clear that brands who are clearly winning in terms of engagement and publicity are the ones that show off their personality. Edgy brands do it with a little sass. That’s why we’ve rounded up 3 awesome examples of brands that know how to take it to the edge—capturing the hearts and minds of audiences in the process.

3 Awesome Examples of Edgy Brands that Got Sassy, But Kept It Classy

When brands share their personality on social media it captivates the collective internet. What makes it so compelling is that it showcases the fact that there are real people behind the content. Plus, it adds some humor and delight to the otherwise monotonous posts that typically make up our feeds.


One of the most successful examples of an edgy brand on social media over the last two years is none other than Merriam-Webster (yes, the dictionary).

The official Twitter account of the Merriam-Webster dictionary has become a viral PR sensation.

Merriam-Webster mainly utilizes Twitter to share interesting insights behind words that we all use every day, which is on-brand in terms of personality:

But where Merriam-Webster really shines is when they use the power of words to comment on current cultural events with perfectly timed and relevant Tweets:

Merriam-Webster’s social media team understands the art of subtly “commenting-without-really-commenting” on current events by tying their content into the context of word definitions. This has led to thousands of mentions, tons of engagement, and an incredible amount of social media reach in 2018:

Merriam webster analysis social reach


If you’re looking for an edgy brand that throws down on social media by being funny and just flat out strange in every way, look no further than Denny’s.

They’ll make you think twice about what the limits of a successful social media strategy look like today.

Denny’s first gained popularity with a Twitter meme that tricked audiences into repeatedly zooming into an image:

Diving deeper into their social media presence, the Denny’s personality shines through in all sorts of ways. For example, the description on their Twitter profile reads:

“Yes, we’re fine. No, we’re not the Krusty Krab. Welcome to America’s Diner.”

The social media team behind Denny’s is quirky, sassy, and not afraid to be a little edgy:

They also understand their target customer on a deep level:

Most importantly, Denny’s isn’t afraid to comment on important conversations on social media. For example, the time they got in on the running joke of 2017, when everyone was talking about different ways to copy Snapchat Stories:

Again, a little personality goes a long way, particularly for America’s favorite diner, Denny’s.

Hamburger Helper

Hamburger Helper doesn’t hold back when it comes to being both sassy and smart on social media.

Everything from their profile cover photo to their brand description is on point in terms of showing off their “meaty” personality:

Hamburger Helper Twitter feed

And in the age of savvy brands cracking jokes on social media at the expense of random strangers, quite possibly the last brand you’d ever want to be schooled by is a food brand that can’t even be labelled as real “food.”

But that’s exactly what Hamburger Helper does on a regular basis. For example, one guy named Chris thought he would Tweet about the ease of making Hamburger Helper:

Little did he know that Hamburger Helper was lurking around the corner:

Just like that @helper received more than 75,000 Retweets, 279,000+ Likes, and more than 77,000 comments and were cemented in social media history.

Not to mention all of the people that took the opportunity to jump on the train:

The takeaway: You don’t necessarily have to burn your customers on social media (in fact, I wouldn’t recommend it), but a well-timed tease just might be what your social media account needs.

Key Takeaway for Edgy Brands

If you read this article and your initial takeaway is to go and start roasting people on social media, please don’t do that. Only some brands can successfully pull it off.

Instead, identify what strengths your brand possesses in terms of personality. Then, let your true voice start to shine through on social media. Talk and respond to people like a real human would, not like a spammy brand robot.

Whether it’s through humor, intellect, silliness, or even sass, every brand has something to offer.