Social media has the ability to change the whole conversation about a product – for better or worse and Whirlpool knows this first hand:
“In the past, the only reason people had to engage with Whirlpool was when they had a product complaint. Whirlpool wanted to change the conversation and give consumers a reason and interest to engage with the brand beyond the product.”
Whirlpool successfully changed the conversation about their products using a social media campaign that evoked emotion and instilled a sense of importance and acknowledgement to the every day, mundane chores that must be done to help ensure a happy, healthy family. We all must store our food, cook the food, and then clean our dishes. We all must clean our clothes and in this day and time, most of us use household appliances to help us accomplish these tasks. Whirlpool’s target audience is primarily women and men who do the household chores of cooking, cleaning and laundering. In their research, they discovered that the consumers had lost sight of the value in accomplishing these tasks day after day, year after year. With this in mind, Whirlpool created a campaign to bring to light the importance of cooking healthy, home cooked meals, keeping your kitchen and dishes clean as well as keeping your laundry clean and fresh for the family. It brought out and showcased the inherent value in caring for the family through these everyday, seemingly mundane tasks. This reached the target audience and struck a chord with them – many of whom felt under-appreciated and unacknowledged in their daily chores.
Whirlpool’s campaign successfully changed the conversation from simply product complaints, to showing the value of caring for your home and family. They accomplished this by creating a dedicated microsite with the campaign “Every Day, Care.” They encouraged consumers to tell their stories of the care they give and receive every day. The campaign was very successful and won a Shorty Award in the Social Media Tool category saying, “Real stories from real people flooded the brand’s earned, owned and paid channels – from promoted social posts on Facebook and Twitter to television spots and everything in between – and inspired a broader wave of consumers to get in on the conversation.”
The campaign saw a 6.6% growth in sales. While the campaign has been successful, however, Whirlpool still has many complaints on their Facebook page, but virtually every one of them is addressed by Whirlpool. The customers are asked to call, or message them with their phone numbers or they put links up to something that is relevant to the complaint.
Whirlpool has continued the campaign by creating smart appliances that can be used through an app and calling it Care Smarter. People can use the app connected to the appliance with Bluetooth to control the appliance. This meets consumer needs of doing household chores more efficiently.
Whirlpool created and executed a successful digital media campaign and hopefully they can resolve the issues that consumers have with the products themselves so that there are not so many negative complaints. This will hinder the brand in the long run.