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VITAMINWATER ‘CONNECT’ING WITH ITS CUSTOMERS THROUGH FACEBOOK

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ABOUT THE COMPANY

Introduced in 2000, VitaminWater is a brand of Glaceau which is a privately owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company. Based in Whitestone (New York) the company is into manufacturing and distribution of various lines of enhanced water. VitaminWater is the most famous out of its four product lines – VitaminWater, SmartWater, VitaminEnergy & FruitWater.

OBJECTIVE OF THE CAMPAIGN

In 2009, VitaminWater was a fairly active brand on Facebook. It had over 400,000 fans and the page was often updated to inform and interact with its growing fan base. Acknowledging the growing power of Social Media, the company wanted to engage with its existing and potential customers through facebook. Unlike most of the other brands present on facebook at that time, the company’s objective was not limited to brand awareness but one step further and also targeted at increasing the brand engagement on facebook.

CAMPAIGN STRATEGY & IMPLEMENTATION

In order to achieve this target, the company launched a “flavor creator lab” on facebook. The idea was to engage facebook fans through a 3 step competition to co-create a product flavor through polls, quizzes and games. The fans could choose from what flavor they wanted to what the product should look like and what the it should be called.

The three-month campaign started from what should the product flavor be. The brand experts came out with a whole lot of possible options for the flavor for the fans to choose from. More buzz a particular flavor attracted, the higher its rating went on facebook. The fans then voted for their favourite flavour amongst the 10 most popular ones.

Engaging with the fans even more deeply, the company enabled its fans to design a label for this new flavor that was chosen by them. The fans (individually or along with their facebook friends) could use the app and design a label where they could decide on the design, colour etc. The winners were then chosen by a panel of brand experts to come out with the winning design. The fans even had a say on what the name of this new product should be.

1082038523During the course of the competition, the company gave out a series of prizes and even gave away a grand prize of $5000.
As a result of this completion, the company launched the winning black cherry & lime flavor drink “Connect” in 2010 and enjoyed a great welcome. To honour the facebook channel as tool to co-create this flavour with its fans, the company also included the facebook logo on the pack. The company also gave away 100,000 free bottles of the new flavour to the first 100, 000 fans who signed up for a coupon.

RESULTS

This campaign was a great success and was measured keeping in mind the two key objectives of the campaign – Brand Awareness and Brand Engagement. The results were as follows:

  • Brand Awareness: In just one month, the company’s facebook fanbase increased from 400, 000 to 981,000. This was huge jump in such a short span of time – a whopping 145% increase.
  • Brand Engagement: Approximately 10 percent of its fans participated in the competition. The average time spent by each participant engaging with the application was roughly seven minutes.

LEARNINGS

Amongst the first few companies, VitaminWater was very smart to choose facebook as the tool for this engagement campaign. It enabled them to “connect” faster and more effectively. They understood that social media was the next big thing when it came to being where their customers were, hearing what they were saying and making them feel that were not only heard but also appreciated.

By making the fans co-create the next flavour to be launched, the company instilled a sense of ownership in the customers for this new product. After all, this was in a way created by them! Even from the customers end, they are far more likely to hear from brands they feel a sense of affinity towards. They are more likely to buy a product they feel a “connect” with. In this case, the campaign straight away resulted in almost one million potential customers for this new product who had been an integral part of this product journey.

With the growing relevance & popularity of social media, it becomes very important to ensure that you engage with your customers regularly and completely. Lot of brands don’t fully leverage this medium and make it as just another channel where the customers can be addressed. They are just in the race to increase the number of fans. These channels can be best utlised by taking with your customers and not to your customers. The brands who realized this difference have come a long way in terms of leveraging social media as a perfect platform for regular brand engagement.

Photo Credits: mymodernmet.com, coca-colaproductfacts.com

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