The new service launches next quarter. It’s crucial to company success and will revolutionize the lives of your customers. Only one problem: It isn’t sexy. Fashion and entertainment industry marketers can count on the interest and excitement of those industries to aid their efforts. But what about the rest of us?
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It can be a challenge to create content for products and services that are less than super sexy — and maybe even a little bit boring. Sometimes you have to think outside the box.
Here’s a look at how the appliance manufacturer Whirlpool lifted sales and boosted purchase intent scores with its “Every Day, Care” campaign that makes the ordinary, extraordinary.
Face Your Marketing Challenges
The first step to overcoming any issue is admitting you have one. We all love our businesses, and we hope our customers love us, too. But if you find your customers have a hard time visualizing how your product or services improve their lives, and your sales or growth isn’t where you need it, it might be time to try something fresh.
That seems to have been the case for Whirlpool. Ad Age points out the appliance industry has long been focused on product feature and customer rating stats — what Whirlpool’s John Hall called “cold metal” marketing.
It’s an inconvenient truth — as useful as they are, dishwashers aren’t sexy. Neither are chores. Even a pile of freshly folded laundry is fairly boring, if we are being honest.
Yet Whirlpool’s campaign has proven that marketing for washing machines and dishwashers doesn’t have to be boring. And it isn’t. They did it by focusing marketing efforts on results, experience, and their customers. You can do this, too.
Market the Results
Just what are the “results” of an appliance? Is it really just sparkling dishes or fluffy towels? Is there anything more to it than that?
Of course! Whirlpool realized that for their customers, the “results” of a great appliance could be less obvious but no less important for customers:
- More family time because of a quick dinner cleanup.
- Easier prep for the next soccer practice.
- Less overall family stress and conflict over chores.
Those are some results worth talking up.
The Takeaway: What about your product or service? Deeper results, beyond what’s obvious, can get you away from boring and show your customers that you can deliver results they will care about.
Market the Experience
But what if your product’s results still aren’t particularly sexy? Is part of the experience something worth championing? Possibly. Back to Whirlpool.
Part of Whirlpool’s campaign was time sensitive, debuting just before the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day holidays. With an #ItsAllCare social media push, Mobile Marketer observed how the campaign got customers to “take a closer look” at “unique acts of kindness” family and friends did for each other.
It was another unique approach that went beyond products and results. We’re no longer talking about appliances. Now we’re talking about raising a family. About children giving thanks for their parents’ sacrifices. About family life itself.
The Takeaway: Ask yourself about the experiences your services and products make possible. What would be harder for your customers without your help? What’s easier or more meaningful thanks to your business? Use the answers to help market the experiences your products and services make possible.
Market the Customers
Even if you don’t feel the destination is exciting, or that the journey is worth celebrating, there’s still another way you can market a boring product:
Celebrate the everyday heroes of your story — your customers.
Whirlpool’s “It’s All Care” initiative was a multi-channel effort. While the brand created owned advertising spots that racked up 120 million views online, Whirlpool also asked fans to:
Snap a photo or take a video of some of the unique ways that people express care for each other, ranging from someone’s mother dancing with a mop to a father doing his signature pancake flip for the family.
The idea was a hit with customers, who shared and engaged with the brand’s content while adding their personal anecdotes and memories.
The Takeaway: Don’t forget your biggest marketing advantage may be millions of appreciative customers. Look for new ways to give your customers that opportunity to express themselves as part of your campaign.