In the last 24 hours I’ve happened upon two excellent examples of SM strategies and tactics. One excellent because it’s good, one excellent in its badness. First, the bad.
Swiss Army Knives by Victorinox have a pretty loyal following (and if you’ve ever used a genuine one you know why). Their primary Facebook page has some 30,000 Likers (and pretty good engagement as well I’d note).
What’s interesting given all of this is how they’ve fallen down re: their Twitter account. I won’t even address the number of followers (I’m not sure when they launched), but here’s what I’ve got a problem with – they’re trying to get to 3,000 followers with a contest rewarding the “first 3 to hit our goal” with prizes. Prizes work – no doubt about it – but this type of contest – where you can see where you are in the reward process would actually slow down getting followers. If you saw there were 2990 followers and wanted to win, you wouldn’t begin to follow – you’d sit and wait until people unaware of the contest started following the brand.
At present there’ve been fewer than 20 followers in the last 24 hours…during a contest…of a global, well established and loved brand.
On the other hand, had the contest be structured along the lines of “all of our followers will get a discount code for 10% off a purchase when we hit 3000 followers” not only would people begin to follow, they’d tell their friends to speed the process along. Further, in the long run it would be a bigger financial win for them as well – eventually those people will buy something and even if all 3000 use their 10% coupon it still means they’re buying directly from the company (and not a distributor/retailer who would take a cut).
Now the good. This one is R-Rated, so fair warning.
The “Transparency of the Week” award goes to K-Y Intense Effect (special thanks to Isaac Pigott for picking up on this one). Like any good site it features product details, information from doctors, etc. But front and center – literally in this case (it’s the first thing you see) – are compiled reviews. Not testimonials – reviews – both good and bad (and in this case there happens to be a lot of bad).
Why’s this a win? Simple – while it may not create sales what it does do is ensure anyone who sees the site and buys the product is not underwhelmed. It eliminates buyer’s remorse. Assuming they know feedback on the product isn’t great and a majority of the folks won’t like it (but it’s still not worthwhile to pull from the shelves) which would you rather – a consumer who avoided a ‘bad’ product because of the company’s full disclosure or a consumer who felt tricked and would question trusting the brand again? That it’s K-Y and are the de facto brand in this space certainly doesn’t hurt either – they can rest on their laurels and enjoy the satisfaction of creating a new product while keeping their core business and reputations intact, even if the product itself wasn’t a smash (or squishy) hit.