Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Lightbulbs in a Blender

I just read a fantastic case study from Ankesh Kothari's Marketing Hotsheet:

BlendTec is a company that makes industrial
strength blenders for consumer and commercial
use. One day last October, their CEO thought of
trying new ways of testing their blender

He gathered some wacky products to blend.

* Marbles
* Full cans of coke
* Rake handles

While he was testing the blender strength,
another employee of his got an idea: why not
video these tests and put them on youtube.com ?
That's what he did. But he didn't know the
stupendous response the videos would receive!
Within a month, his video series of blending
weird things was viewed more than 5 million

Soon BlendTec created a whole new website and
called it
willitblend.com. They started
posting more videos of blending weird products
over there - with links to the blender used in
the videos.

The whole campaign was a huge huge success - and
all it cost them was $50 and a digital video

What I find most interesting is the use of a "consumer" marketing tactic (YouTube videos) to help market an industrial product. To paraphrase Clausewitz, B2B products are still bought by people. Bloodless marketing programs like yet another white paper download are tired. B2B marketers need to think more seriously about adopting consumer tactics to drive awareness, and dignity be damned!

And if you're a B2B entrepreneur, you can use the fact that you don't have to answer to a stodgy marketing and legal department, and really go for it!

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