So I was eating breakfast this morning with my wife. I went to grab the ketchup for my home fries and realized that it wasn’t just any ketchup bottle. It had a contest on it.
Curious me decided to see what the contest was all about. I went to the Heinz contest website, showusyourheinz.com, and found hundreds of pictures, some very creative, of happy people holding a Heinz Ketchup bottle.
Subsequently I went to their Facebook page to find this post that basically asked chosen participants to share their picture with friends on Facebook.
This is a prime example of leveraging social connections to build interest and a true connection with a brand. When you go to the showusyourheinz.com website you will see their theme, including the pictures they chose, is around being happy. This is what they want customers to feel when they see and use their product. The whole point of a brand.
In this case the contest prize was the initial incentive for people to take the picture and upload it to the website. The second part was engaging the participants in a way to get them to share their picture, with the Heinz brand, with their friends. This is an excellent example of how to make an impact with a larger community without spending additional dollars to reach them directly.
When you wake up your loyal customers by engaging them in the right way they will sell for you. Keep in mind, not everyone is going to participate, but that doesn’t matter. It is the loyal customers that publish on a regular basis. This group of people most likely has an active community around them, given the fact that they are already active in social media.
The key here is to make your loyal customers active. Oh, and just sending your email newsletter doesn’t count. You need to engage them in a way that satisfies an emotion need for them. In this case, the emotion is around winning and having your voice heard.
Now keep in mind that if you want to engage your loyal customers and get more of them to participate, sometimes you need to offer several opportunities.
Here is example of what I’m talking about…
As you can see, Heinz engages their community in several different ways and stresses a great level of importance it. Let’s face it, ketchup is a commodity and commodities, for the most part, are boring. But take something like ketchup and find fun and relevant ways of engaging people around it and now you have a community that will continue to grow. They will also most likely become customers of your product.
The quick take away here is to start thinking of ways to engage those loyal customers you have. Think of your loyal customers right now as ketchup bottles 🙂 If you don’t squeeze them, nothing happens. They have probably the greatest ability to make an impact, but you need to think of ways to engage them to involve their very own community (i.e. friends, family, collegues, etc.).