In case you haven’t heard, Tide is getting into the dry cleaning business, while Mr. Clean is now vying for your car-washing business. Caitlin McCabe argues that such forays into the service industry from large brands are a result of of social media:
Social media has showed us the importance of having a story. With television, you had 30 seconds to a minute to tell a story so we were conjuring up quick and simple stories for viewers. After that, people went on their merry way. With social media (and I’m not talking just online here, social media is really the way connecting is going on nowadays) there became a major emphasis on stories. Even long stories like the Johnny Cash Project where people uploaded their Johnny Cash portrait to become part of an ever changing collective view of the man in black. You can follow stories about how car companies come up with new designs or how clothing is chosen to become part of fashion shows. The story is huge.
So what’s the story on a simple product from a major company that makes a billion products?
…from a marketing standpoint this makes sense as well because the brand will own the story from start to finish. Mr. Clean doesn’t have to send video crews to some other car wash in order to do “behind the scenes car wash” videos, they can just film their own. People can check in on Facebook and Foursquare to an actual location. The addition of a location will undoubtedly boost their online buzz a million fold.
Will brick-and-mortar locations increase word of mouth and social media cred? How much will these initiatives strengthen the existing CPG brand? Could they dilute the brand as well?