UPDATE 1/17/2010: Chris Carson has pointed out that the Wisp social media strategy doesn’t seem to be driving much engagement, at least not on Facebook. The Wisp Facebook page currently has a meager 95 fans, and no content posted by either Wisp or the fans. Maybe the brand’s “stealth” strategy is just a little too stealth?
At a social media panel discussion at the CMO Leadership Forum in midtown Manhattan, panelists discussed best practices for brand engagement via social media. One case study was presented by William H. Lunderman, VP of global strategic brand design for Colgate-Palmolive Co., who said that his company has a counterintuitive approach when it comes to leveraging social media for marketing initiatives. “We try not to let consumers know that we’re involved in social media,” he said. “We want them to think they’re the ones who are chatting and talking about different products.”
Colgate-Palmolive’s “stealth strategy” vis-à-vis social media was a critical best practice when it came to launching a new product, Colgate Wisp, a mini toothbrush that was launched last year. “If there is a Facebook account, it truly belongs to the consumers, not to Colgate-Palmolive,” said Lunderman.
The bottom line: the Wisp generated an “impressive” $44 million in sales after only seven months in the marketplace.