Who wants a relationship with a bar of soap? Social media opportunities for CPG ~ Brand Mix

Monday, September 26, 2011

Who wants a relationship with a bar of soap? Social media opportunities for CPG

If you start from the premise that no-one wants a relationship with a bar of soap and that social media is all about relationships, then how can CPG brands ever hope to effectively participate? That's the question I explored in an article just published in The Hub (Here's the writer's cut (i.e. longer version).)

My conclusion-- there are some social media activities that every brand can do but, the deeper the level of branded relationship, the more options are viable. Sticking with soap; sure if you are selling a plain bar of  soap then your social media opportunities are limited. But if you're Dove and you built a deeper relationship based on a strong sense of purpose, there are a lot more options.

Even the most miserably anti-social, functional product can take advantage of social media. Consumers are always interested in coupons and social media is becoming an effective way to distribute them. But, at the other end of the scale, brands like Coca-Cola, Doritos or Red Bull have legions of passionate fans who will willingly participate in relationship-intensive activities. Where most CPG brands go wrong is acting as if they have a strong relationship with their consumers when, in fact, they don't.

Those CPG brands that wish they could more fully participate in social media but find themselves wanting in the relationship-with-their-customers department don't have to settle. They can upgrade their status and move up the relationship ladder if they are determined and committed.



Kaleb said...

It's funny you talk about soap and in particular Dove. Because I've noticed a real change in the way Dove communicates with its audience over the past couple of years.

For me it started when they put out the Youtube clip of the girl getting 'made up'. Obviously Doves angle here is to appeal to the 'every woman'.

I like the campaign but my sig other hated it. She thought it was shallow and obvious. What does she know though right? She's the Smirnoff brand manager here in NZ - so while her opinion is valid, she is hyper-aware to a brands motives.

However, looking at other soap brands in the market Dove have given the others a bath and I think it is because they are selling the experience first with the benefits second.

Zoe said...

Hi Martin – thank you for an insightful and timely post. I came across this article about Method a couple weeks ago: http://www.fastcompany.com/1778869/building-a-belief-brand. I think it ties in well with your point about establishing purpose behind a brand that goes beyond the product itself.

Zoe Geddes-Soltess
Community Engagement, Radian6

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