Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brands and blogging, a couple of my case studies.


Lindt the chocolate people have opened a new store. No doubt they have an entire marketing strategy to promote this store and support their business, but part of this strategy is including blogging.

Lots of people (marketing or otherwise) are asking why Lindt or other brands would be heading into the blogging arena. So here is a little reason why and how it can work. I haven't spoken to them this is just what I have seen and noticed. And no, this is not sponsored, more like a case study kind of thing, you know?

It starts with an event, held at the new Lindt store, the blogger who attended wrote about what she saw, later she had a giveaway of some Lindt products. Singular Insane has a number of followers on facebook, twitter and her blog, all heard about the Lindt store opening and many entered to win the giveaway.

Guess who won the Lindt?

Yes, my hips.

The Lindt delivery arrives, it is the most exciting thing to happen to me this week.

I tweet my happiness, I add some images to Instagram and they are retweeted on Twitter where I also posted it. I get more comments on my image of chocolate on Instagram than any other of the over 100 images I have posted.

I then tweet that Lindt should send Tiff and Ivy some chocolate in the hospital where Ivy is very sick. Lindt are ahead of me, this has already been done, I am told this by @Frogpondsrock who has another 1549 twitter followers that now learn that Lindt are sending out more baskets of goodies.

So in just a couple of weeks, at minimal cost, Lindt chocolate get their name out and about, shared online, and discussed, for just the cost of the product and a person behind the scenes keeping an eye on the twitter brigade. A decent advert in the Metro papers is at least $10,000, sure it gets greater coverage but it doesn't allow for conversation and engagement with the direct consumer.

Well done to the luckiest Marketing people in the world at Lindt, clearly all that chocolate they must get to eat allows for clear thinking!


My other case study is this.

My Mum has decided that retirement is just not for her, instead she decided to open a clothing store in the local town, I helped her set up her facebook page and she said she had a few items that she hadn't sold even a single item of. We put them on facebook, and trying to do the ethical and correct thing we linked to the brand whose clothes they were.

The items got sold and headed off from regional Victoria to all over Australia. My Mum doesn't even have a mobile phone, she still hand writes out and then faxes or 'photo stats' the orders. So sending out a facebook message to all of her 30 followers was a big deal.

The clothing company sent her a nasty letter, they requested she never link to them again and told her she is also unable to use images of the clothes again in her marketing, especially on facebook.

She was a little stressed about the letter and the following discussions with them. Thus, she cancelled her order for all their summer stock and wont be stocking them anymore. Sure, she is just one client, but  another little Aussie kids clothing brand just got a few thousand dollars in orders instead, and they are more than happy for people to share them on facebook, display their images (they even give you a CD with the images to use) and are supportive of small businesses marketing their products.

Have you seen or taken part in any decent or not so decent social media marketing activities?






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27 comments:

  1. a perfect example of someone who gets how social media works and uses it in a positive way... and someone who had no clue and therefore will only ever have a negative experience with it!
    I've been in a similar place when I emailed a company and asked if they had an image I could use in a post where I was linking to them. They replied and a curt, you may not use any of our images and you may not link to or talk about any of our events unless authorised. Their loss.

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  2. very interesting. Im still fairly new to the whole PR thing. I was scared of sending an email to a company that could help me with a blog post i wanted to do. They got back to me very quickly and thought it was a great idea. To tell you the truth i was suprised but after reading your post about how many people it directly reaches i guess even a small blog like mine still reaches a lot of people directly. Thankyou for sharing!

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  3. I'm glad you wrote about Lindt, Claire. I've been amazed at how well they work with bloggers and feel really lucky that they have chosen to work with me earlier this year. And all because of a few tweets and an email.

    At the cafe opening I actually got to talk to the marketing person for Lindt and she said that they have a deliberate strategy to work with bloggers rather than traditional media. They get that "word of mouth" is a far more powerful tool than glossy mags or celebrities.

    And they're also incredibly generous. While not paying in cash, they reward us bloggers very well with chocolate.

    I hope you are enjoying your goodies and thank you for the link.

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  4. WTF is wrong with people is all I can say? They need to be taught a lesson in "Being a normal and reasonable person 101". Congrats on your Mums new business!

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  5. Lindt are sending breakout chocolates
    For real? *squee*! I love that chocolate!

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  6. I love companies like Lindt who get it! It's a perfect fit, bloggers aren't going to say we love something as important as chocolate unless we actually do!!!

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  7. I've never won anything in my life - but I won a Lindt hamper at Digital Parents Bloggaroke. Was a pretty cool thing for me :)

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  8. I think its a case of businesses who don't understand social media and how savvy consumers are becoming. For a start sadly there are still lots of businesses who still think twitter is telling everyone what you had for lunch?
    I would think many of them don't consider bloggers or their blogs as a tool to promote their product or service yet and that it makes them nervous because they don't have full control over the content. Hopefully they will figure it out soon otherwise they might just get left behind.

    It is great to see businesses being proactive and starting to work with bloggers. Now if we can move past being paid with chocolate and products and onto being paid for our time we will all win. Lets face it the brands are winning because they aren't paying to put that ad in the paper and they are still generating conversation and sales too. A person's word and their space is worth something surely? Plus my house is starting to swell with random products and an amazing amount of food stuffs that we can't eat quick enough.

    It is horrible to hear your Mum was dealt with in this manner, good on her for pulling the order!
    Congrats to her for starting up a business, I'm sure her new social media lesson will put her a cut above the rest. I hope she does really well.

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  9. A great post and real eye opener. Social media is powerful and bloggers are definitely a great place to spread the word of a product.

    Most definitely, businesses need to understand the value of bloggers. It's a shame some don't.

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  10. Actually, the Lindt and Ivy thing was done quietly, offline, and with no marketing benefit to Lindt, except to cheer Tiff up.

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  11. Love this post, Claire. There's so much education to happen but every step is helping the way forward!

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  12. I am still getting my head around how all this brand meets blog stuff works but happy to have you as a guide along the way Claire. It is great if there are companies that are really "getting" it and are able to work well and with some integrity with bloggers.

    And whether it happened online or offline I am absolutely chuffed that some chocolate from Lindt is winging its way to Tiff and Ivy after the week they have had. So a massive yay for that being organised Veronica!

    Mmmmmm, I feel like a bit of Lindt chocolate right now

    xx

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  13. Very interesting case studies. These are the kind of stories that other brands need to hear. Not just to convince them of the power of social media but how they can learn how to do it wisely and effectively.

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  14. Ummmm... can you tweet Lindt should send me some choc?

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  15. I think Lindt just know we are all chocoholics!

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  16. I think as Marketing Departments get more comfortable with social media they will use it as an alternative source of advertising and promotion. Social Media still needs to be approached with caution as it can make or break a brand or product.

    As a senior brand manager in a previous life it is the uncontrolled environment that would make me enter this medium with caution. Although it is kind to the marketing budget the integrity of the brand still needs to be maintained. At least in a printed medium a brand manager gets to control the target market, demographic and distribution.

    Although I feel social media is largely untapped & has huge PR potential it will still be slow steps by large marketing departments to entertain it as part of an overall marketing strategy.

    Great post :)

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  17. Love your observations, Claire, we are certainly on an interesting journey where bloggers and brands are both learning lessons regarding the best ways to move forward so that readers, bloggers and brands all benefit from these partnerships.

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  18. Clare, you are an utter guru. This is such a simple and succinct and easy way to describe the brand / blog relationship. Thank you!

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  19. Great post Clairey. I think more brands are going to need to get themselves across this, no matter how large or small. When they're rude to your mum, lots and lots of people hear about it. They're lucky you didn't name and shame.

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  20. Great read Clairey, very interesting, I was watching an address by someone on the teev the other night about twitter and how the news world is embracing it.
    And, I am in Horsham - not too far from your mum :)

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  21. Orange Lindt chocolate, did I know this existed?? YUM, guess what will be on my shopping list this week!
    xx

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  22. Sensational post Claire! I love how your observations show what genuinely engaging with bloggers can lead to and it's not being slick it's just understanding the community and getting connected (meaningfully) with them!

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  23. Great examples of what to do and what not to do. Companies so often miss the seemingly simple things like this, that can make a huge difference to their branding.

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  24. Great post Claire! Look how much love Lindt have been getting the last few days from your blog and tweet people. Great strategy on their behalf and hope we will see more like it. And only a few more weeks til their Christmas balls are everywhere!!!! x

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  25. I love working with brands who get it. Love these examples.

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  26. Thank you for the awesome two comparisons!

    What a silly company not to be nicer to one of their clients? (You should have named them!!) They obviously don't have the marvellous people at Lindt to do their marketing hey?

    And yes, this is the new way of advertising. Definitely. xx

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  27. Truly very clever of Lindt (who I absolutely HEART) and not so clever of he nasty clothes company...

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