March 21, 2017

Does How Customers Identify Your Products Matter?

Dirt Devil has seven categories of products. Each of those categories has up to 28 different products within it. So it’s not enough to say, “You should buy a Dirt Devil.” That will only confuse the customer when they go to the website or march up and down the vacuum aisle looking for the recommendation. If there are dozens to choose from, how is the customer to know what’s best for her (or him)?

As Malcolm Gladwell so eloquently explained in a now famous TED talk, at one point in time, customers wanted choice. Diversifying it’s product offerings made Ragu a mint. Then there’s more recent examples about the paralysis of choice that indicates too many and customers will not buy anything.

We looked at some conversation research around the Dirt Devil brand and discovered that while we cannot pinpoint a correlation between too many choices and hard sales data in online conversations, we can observe how Dirt Devil customers refer to the products they use.

Dirt Devil Conversation Research - Products UsedWhile the categories led the way — indicating consumers are more apt to describe their Dirt Devil in broad form — there were several attempts at identifying specific product names and models. AccuCharge and SimpliStick were among the top six results of product identifiers in our research. That could speak to strong branding for those products. But why don’t others emerge? Does the brand divide its marketing among different agencies or marketing initiatives? Is that why some standout and others don’t?

Online conversations my not tell us the answers to those very specific questions, but a hearty conversation internally might.

And is it more beneficial to have everyone referring to Dirt Devil stick vacuums as such rather than in hodgepodge ways of reference? One hundred people shouting praise on a Dirt Devil stick vacuum is probably more beneficial than 24 complimenting the SimpliStick while 15 talk about the Power Stick and nine refer to the Power Air Stick, right?

This exercise is not to imply that Dirt Devil has a branding problem or unnecessary confusion among consumers about what products they offer. It is simply a way to open a dialog about the Paradox of Choice and whether or not branding initiatives could or should solve for it.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing is up to 200 times more effective than advertising, according to the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association. Shouldn’t your brand’s conversation focus then be on unifying how people talk about you so you can deliver a more consistent wave of conversation when they do?

It’s certainly good food for thought and something you’ll never get a grip on unless you’re studying the online conversation about your brand. If you need help doing that, drop us a line. We’d love to help.

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