March 17, 2011

Sales: 1,000,000,000. Conversations: 0

I read a wonderful piece this week by a guy named Jonathan Salem Baskin. It was called The iPad of Air Care.

The piece was about Fabreze, an "air care" product from Proctor & Gamble that's about to hit a billion dollars in sales in spite of never having had a single "conversation" (i.e., social media interaction) with a single customer.

I urge you to read the entire piece, but I'm going to quote liberally from Baskin's post (and move some things around)
Febreze isn't creating entertaining "content" for its consumers to enjoy on YouTube, or allowing them to share on its Facebook site their personal stories about overcoming odor problems (I can't find an official-looking FB page for the brand). It hasn't outsourced product recommendations to its users, and I couldn't find a single customer complaint it fixed on Twitter...there's no global charitable initiative or contest to make the world smell better.
No, it's just doing the same thing that Apple does...  Selling products that people want to buy.
...I say P&G should pause and try to learn from Febreze's success... It's just as likely that P&G will decide that Febreze needs those very same social media distractions now that it's a big time player, so if we see some silly campaign (or launch of an official FB page) we'll know that it didn't make the right call. I'm sure there are lots of agency pitches on deck to do just that.
Is there an agency in the world that has the guts and honesty to tell a client that the most likely outcome of having a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a YouTube channel is a very large expenditure of time and energy and very little chance of seeing any measurable return?

Big thanks to Tore Claesson for this, even though he probably doesn't agree with it.

No comments: