TRESemmé gives a "Fresh Start" when an unexpected date arrives (above) and Alberto Culver’s dry shampoo is now number one in the category with Q4 2010 retail sales topping $7.7 million.
Alberto Culver is more than a global beauty-care company, it’s an online savvy brand that launched its first private online community, My Beauty Café, in 2007. When research showed that women wanted hair rejuvenation on days when they didn’t shampoo, the brand had turned to Communispace, a leader in online consumer insights communities founded in 1999.
The Omnicom-owned firm has created more than 400 communities for major brands including Kraft, Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab, Hallmark, Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline. Communispace also recently won the Forrester Groundswell Award in the “Business to Consumer, North America” Embracing category for their work with Alberto Culver.
“Fresh Start is a great example of how were able to listen to the consumer and user throughout the creation and refinement process, resulting in real brand and category growth,” said Cynthia Nelson, Senior Manager of Global Hair Care for Alberto Culver in a Communispace/Forrester case study on the My Beauty Café launch.
“We have been able to leverage our hair care beauty community on so many fronts — from early-on identification of needs and getting deeper into the female hair care psyche, all the way through to packaging and communication optimization for initiatives going into market.”
“Communities enable our clients to have a continuous connection to their consumers,” stated Diane Hessan, CEO of Communispace, a recipient of five consecutive Forrester Groundswell Awards. She added to brandchannel, "It's not the case that companies should only talk to their fans. Sometimes you want a community of people who are occasional customers — or even non-customers. It really depends on what the companies are trying to accomplish."
InterContinental Hotels Group, comprising nine brands in 100 countries and serving over 130 million guests annually, is another Communispace built fan community and IHG’s Nick Ayres used it as a case study at the recent BlogWell San Francisco conference.
Ayres’ big ideas include:
• Start with a group of your most passionate fans.
• Ask for feedback, and show customers when you use it.
• Start somewhere, not somewheres.
“Numerous studies demonstrate that 70-80% of all new products fail. Lack of relevance, lack of differentiation, inappropriate pricing and muddled messaging all factor into a brand’s struggle when launching a new product,” wrote Julie Wittes Schlack, SVP of innovation and design at Communispace.
“Crowdsourced co-creation, in which a broad pool of consumers is invited to suggest ideas and/or respond to specific design challenges, has been widely adopted by marketers… Private communities act as alternatives to public customer ideation sites.”
We have both Communispace and Alberto Culver to thank for time saved on those non-hairwash days.