Social media spotlight: Asda to introduce social media recommendations to product packaging
Brands blurring the lines between life on social media and physical reality are seeing encouraging results. Honda saw very impressive engagement with its Vine campaign, Kellogg’s created considerable conversation with its real-life ‘Tweet Shop’ and retailer Nordstrom pulled in the punters after it slapped Pinterest ‘seal of approval’ stickers over its in-store merchandise. Now British supermarket Asda is launching an initiative it no doubt hopes will be just as successful.
Its Chosen By You range has long been held in high regard by Asda fans; the reasonably-priced, family-friendly range purports to be selected by genuine Asda customers and road-tested by real-life consumers. Now the brand is giving this authenticity extra clout by adding real social media posts about its products to packaging and point-of-sale displays.
Customers are invited to tweet and write Facebook posts about the range using hashtag #ChosenByMe, and the best will be added to a hub page on the Asda.com website, before being selected to appear on packaging, with the customer’s permission. Already, the hashtag has been used thousands of times across both networks by fans keen to have their say.
Head of Asda social media, Dom Burch, told Marketing Week that the initiative is designed to make customer’s relationship with the Chosen By You range more ‘emotional’, and to help bridge the gap between the store’s value range ‘Smart Price’, and premium selection, ‘Extra Special’.
“We’ve had Chosen By You for the last four years and it’s helped customers re-evaluate Asda food and that unloved bit in the middle [between Smart Price and Extra Special]. We are trying to take that to the next level and be more overt about the best parts of it. We are hoping it will be more emotional as the [blind taste testing and market research that goes into selecting Chosen By You products] can seem quite clinical.”
Burch added that: “Pam from Peterborough talking about how our key lime pie is #todiefor, says it far more credibly than if we said that ourselves.”
Of course, how credible a cherry-picked statement – selected by the supermarket itself – can be is open to debate. Also, it’s not enough for Asda to simply slap stickers on its products saying ‘Tom likes this!’ or ‘Charlotte’s favourite flavour’. Certainly while this would foster brand advocacy in Tom and Charlotte, it would do little else to encourage other shoppers to the range. As Marketing Week’s Lara O’Reilly says, the on-pack ‘reviews’ would offer more value to customers if they took the form of hints and tips: ‘Peri-Peri chicken – a perfect extra pizza topping’, for example.
The concept is a credible one – Asda is demonstrating its products have real-life endorsement from real-life shoppers, and we all know what currency reviews have in this digital world. However, such reviews must add value and worth, else customers won’t take the time to read them, which misses the point of the scheme entirely.