Thursday, March 26, 2009

Roadside assistance

If you've ever worked as a brand manager on big commodity categories such as paper products (toilet paper, paper towels) I can only imagine you had few levers to impact sales. Price of course was a lever, as was product efficacy (adding layers of softer tissue) and if you were lucky, you even had an advertising budget. But how many loyal customers could you really gain and, was an emotional connection even in the realm of possibility?

But now in the digital age, you can have fun with phone apps and connect with your customers. Proctor & Gamble's Charmin brand has sponsored a free mobile utility where you can find a spot to "SitOrSquat" anywhere in at least 10 countries and growing. You can download the app onto your Blackberry or iPhone. It helps locate public restrooms and provides ratings based on their cleanliness and other amenities.

A great example of a brand in a commodity category redefining their core purpose to play a more important role in the lives of their consumers - the AAA of nature's calling, if you will.

Charmin can now be your trusted guide in times of need. And isn’t that the test of a loyal friend?

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