In their new book, ‘ (published by Penguin), the founders of Innocent share some interesting insights about social media.
Today Innocent has a blog, films on YouTube, plenty of Flickr groups, Facebook fans and Twitter feeds. The founders say: ‘they’re all new ways in which we can have conversations with people. We like conversations, because they’re two way and if they’re good, you learn stuff. Basically, if there’s a new way in which our drinkers want to communicate with us, then we’ll get involved.’
Innocent, which has drawn criticism for its recent investment from Coke, has not been afraid to air its views and solicit comments from its customers on its blog. Blogging, Innocent says, has enabled the company to stay focused on its drinkers.
Innocent launched its Veg Pots in 2008 but did not foresee the reaction they would get from vegans on their blog. Vegans, who they thought would like their Veg Pots, started posting comments compalaining about the presence of honey in a couple of Veg Pots. As honey comes from bees, vegans could not consume a Veg Pot. In direct response, new recipes were developed by Innocent in response to the feedback and a new range was launched. ‘Just by being porous and listening, we turned a negative into a product improvement’say the founders of Innocent.
I’m a great fan of Innocent’s social media approach and the way they are using social media to connect better with their customers. They have grasped the fact that customers will talk about them through social media whether they like it or not, and that not conversing, not participating, is not an option. Customer loyalty is not a fixed commodity and I think that customer loyalty will be built increasingly on how companies listen, respond and carry out conversations through social media.
Obviously you have to filter and condense and interpret the data you receive and be smart about what it is telling you. As Innocent says, ‘find the nuggets of pure gold that you can realistically action’.