Social media case study: BLENDTEC
Blendtec, a company that sells a product line of mixers, blenders and grain mills, provides an example of excellent social media usage for business.
Its landing page is by itself highly catching, welcoming visitors to a YouTube video that reveals the ‘behind the scenes’ making process of a blender: http://www.blendtec.com/. The video ingeniously shows the calculations, lab, technology, team and minds behind the product, while a strawberry is making itself ready to get blended within.
The inventiveness of the video instantly gives a life to the product, even before the viewer has had time to navigate the website and find out more. This video, also posted on the social media platform of YouTube, was able to reach more than 9000 viewers, thus enlarging the company’s viewer base enormously.
The company also has a blog that it uses to offer extra content to its customers and page visitors. For instance, it gives out different recipes that can be made with the various blenders, as well as insight on the company’s work ethic and operations, or compilations of the best smoothie books. Thus, the company uses this interactive platform to really focus on giving extras to customers and viewers, rather than just promote its blenders straightforwardly.
On top of this, the company is connected via Pinterest, where it shares colorful pictures of its product line, of juices after being blended and of recipes, among others. It also uses Facebook, where it has created a community around Blendtec by involving the audience in different ways such as asking them questions about recipes or the most consumed fruit in the world, for instance. Twitter is also used by Blendtec to send updates to its customers about recipes of the week, new videos and other contents available in its online organism.
While all these social media tools are resourcefully used by Blendtec, the medium that has been the most effective for the company in leveraging its competitive advantage is a video channel called ‘Will It Blend?’ http://www.willitblend.com/.
By using YouTube to create these videos, the company has developed a series of short videos showcasing the founder and CEO of Blendtec, Tom Dickson, undertaking different experiments in the company’s test lab in order to evaluate the Total Blender’s efficiency and show what it can achieve.
Under a ‘don’t try this at home’ warning, Tom Dickson blends, in different videos, an iPad, an iPhone, a skeleton, glow sticks, super glue and other items that are not the usual recipients of blenders. During the filming, Tom Dickson adds comments such as ‘don’t breathe this’ and other funny remarks that turn the video into a comical show. After the items are completely crashed and smashed, the experiment concludes with a ‘yes, it blends!’ caption.
These videos thus not only show the product’s effectiveness, but they do so in a way that is entertaining to the audience, just like a mini-comedy show – raising the company’s online profile at the same time.
Moreover, they allowed the company to reveal its fun and creative side, next to its innovative and competent one – traits that consumers typically like to be associated with when they make a buying decision.
Will It Blend? became a sensational phenomenon online that increased the company’s viewership tremendously. The video blending the iPad, for instance, had more than 15 million viewers on YouTube, the one featuring the iPhone reached more than 11 million views and there were more than 9 million who viewed the one with the glow sticks. These are all phenomenal numbers that show the power social media can have when used efficiently.
The company also used Facebook to create a Page especially dedicated to its Will It Blend? concept, and to create a community around the video channel. The Will It Blend? Facebook Page has reached more than 100,000 ‘Likes’ so far.
To conclude, Blendtec’s strategy of using the product within a series of comical entertaining videos not only triggered more interest and viewership for the product and company, but also turned customers into fans who enjoy the company’s ethos and like to follow it online to keep updated with new interesting videos and content.
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