First BzzCampaign: Ristorante Pizza
Well, it’s official. Several weeks after hearing about bzzagent.com in a meeting at work, and signing up that night might I add, I got my very first invite to the “Ristorante Pizza BzzCampaign!” I have to admit, it’s quite a rush—getting your first campaign invite. The e-mail is like a little burst of happiness added to life’s inbox (or, your day). Instantly, I wanted to tell everyone I knew with a passion for marketing and social media (bzz bzz bzz!)—but I settled for my dad and two colleagues of mine who had participated in previous years’ campaigns.
I told my dad at dinner, “It’s all about WOM, these days.” His Boomer eyes looked at me like I had three heads. “Word-Of-Mouth,” I plainly clarified. “I’m assuming it’s pronounced WOMMM,” I said in a deep, drawn out, almost robotic tone. And then I went on to briefly detail my newfound obsession (i.e., bzzagent.com).
My colleagues, on the other hand, said they got some really cool BzzKits, coupons, and free products/samples to try. (Sidenote: Free anything is one of the greatest incentives for action and or spreading awareness). And that it was fun and easy to do. Naturally, I was sold on the idea of being in on the viral action, and so conveniently, interoffice WOM persuaded me to give the part-time BzzAgent occupation a try. I can’t wait to get my kit in the mail and see what goodies I get! As someone who has never purchased frozen pizza—and, being 75% Italian, prefers to make her own dough/pizza from scratch—it will be interesting to chronicle my experience with the Dr. Oetker brand. So be sure to follow along via my blog and twitter (@Krystina_Lynne).
The Marketing Magic of Exclusivity
The fact that all campaigns are by invitation only, makes your task as a BzzAgent seem exclusive. “They chose me.” And what 21st century consumer, might I ask, does not live on the thrill of customization and unique user experiences? Let alone, expect and demand the ability to customize the “standard” and make it their own. Think about an iPhone or iPad without an App Store—with one default ringtone, one background image, one case, one everything. You get the picture, though I admit, it’s a painful one to paint (insert subtle apology here).
Fact: Without the element of customization offered by the product, there would be nothing to set your iPhone/iPad apart, internally or externally. And the same goes for any other product or brands we interact with.
Truth: We seek options, we desire ownership, and we value individualized experiences.
When it comes down to it, exclusivity is in high demand. It’s exciting and rare when it’s free (e.g., a BzzCampaign invite), or part of the purchase, and even when it’s not, consumers are still willing to pay a higher price for it (e.g., designer handbags). Either way, there’s a great marketing opportunity there. While I’ve digressed somewhat into the nature of brand exclusivity, I found something interesting to note.
Being a BzzAgent, even without having received products or samples, is an exciting role in itself. So, while the company’s primary goal is to create buzz about new and existing products through WOM marketing, they in return generate buzz about their company and its initiatives. And so the WOM strategy ultimately comes full circle—generating buzz for both the company/its website and the products they endorse through targeted campaigns. Hey, that’s not a bad deal by any means. If anything, it says a lot about the power and tactical effectiveness of WOM marketing. And at the very least, I’m excited to be a part of it!
Stay tuned my little bees—and keep busy until my BzzKit comes!
I’m lovin’ Fage* Greek yogurt. Delicious taste, unique flavor variety, and more important are the health benefits compared to your traditional non-fat yogurts: less calories, less sugars, less carbs, and more protein.
You may or may not know the Fage brand. That’s because it’s not quite as mass distributed or commercial as your classic Chobani, which a notable majority would associate with Greek yogurt in a name-brand recognition test. Tissues—Kleenex! Greek yogurt—Chobani! You get the picture. (And for the record, you’d be in a one-person minority if you said Puffs for tissues. The only Puffs worth knowing are arguably those Cocoa ones. But per usual, I digress…)
What I want to note about Fage is the product’s packaging. On every container it says “Fage—pronounced: Fa-yeh!” (Exclamation point included). My question is, does the marketing strategy behind it work? And I would have to argue yes. It does. Every time I grab a pack—and preferably it’s cherry-pomegranate—I’m unobtrusively called to read the subtly placed text in the “power left” corner: “Fage—pronounced: Fa-yeh!” To the point where the brand name, and critical pronunciation of it, of course, stick. It gets me talking about the brand. I grab a snack pack at lunch. My rapid reply to the “What’s that?” across the table? “Fage Greek yogurt,” feeling compelled to elaborate, “F-a-g-e. But it’s actually pronounced Fa-yeh! They put it on the package too.”
Most probably don’t care to master the pronunciation of a brand of yogurt, but for me, the fruit-at the-bottom of this post lies in the brand’s marketing strategy.
A simple note about pronunciation on the packaging gets consumers talking about the brand. And what company wouldn’t want that? To build brand buzz that puts Fage on the eye-level shelf, if you will, and distinguishes it from Chobani.
I think there’s a great opportunity here—especially since I personally haven’t seen a Fage commercial since…well, ever. Although, after a little research, I found that in early March 2011, Fage debuted its first series of TV advertising in North America—taking its plain flavored yogurt to a new level: “plain extraordinary” (via Mullen, ad agency). I’ll give the commercial props on its overall design, as some of the graphics are aesthetically pleasing. However, I think Fage could put a little bit more extra in the ordinary by focusing its advertising campaign perhaps on the pronunciation of the yogurt, instead. The goal? Make the brand name stick. A humorous approach could work, if comedic messaging resonates with Fage’s primary target market. And on that note, I wonder what type of consumer Fage is actually trying to reach—since determining who to target typically comes before the how. I’d say the demographic is 20-35 year olds, at least: active, health-conscious consumers, with an interest in more nutritious alternatives to common, every day snack foods. Admittedly, an educated speculation.
So what is my point? Maybe to you this is just a nonsensical rant about yogurt. But you’ve made it this far, so hear me out. Yes, Fage tastes better than Chobani, and is more nutritious and delicious. That’s a #fact. But to me, this is more about a brand with an opportunity to leverage its existing marketing strategy in order to take brand awareness from plain to plain extraordinary. Through a more modern and targeted ad campaign, Fage can generate a viral product hype, connect with its target, and gradually expand its reach.
A refined marketing strategy will not only engage people in Fage, the healthy brand and tasty yogurt choice, but moreover encourage consumers to trade tradition (i.e., Chobani) for taste and 21st century product appeal. There’s not much more to say than “Fa-yeh!” to that.
*Curious to see what the word “Fage” meant or stood for as a brand name, I Google’d it. Turns out, it’s an actual Greek word and acronym: “FAGE, pronounced fa-yeh, is an acronym and a pun. First the acronym: F for the the Filippou family that owns the company, A for adelphi, the Greek word for brothers, G for the Greek word for dairy, and E for the word for corporation. Thus, FAGE = The Filippou Brothers’ Dairy Corporation. Now for the pun: in Greek, fage also means ‘to eat’” (via thenibble.com).