Last night was the May meeting of the Social Media Club of Detroit. This was my first meeting that I was able to attend and I’m so glad that I did! The team brought in Gary Wohlfeill (@moosejawmadness), Creative Director at Moosejaw, a local outdoor clothing company that started in 1992 in Keego Harbor, MI and now with 7 stores total (including Chicago).
My first thought…wow, they get it.
I’d like to give you my takeaways from the meeting last night. If you want the full recap, click here and read the notes Nikki Stephan (@estrellabella10) took and posted to SMCD Facebook page. (Thanks Nikki!)
One of the first things Gary went over was the 3 key things Moosejaw focuses on to determine if what they are doing is good enough:
- Be notable – the stories that customers tell all their friends about
- Engage customers – it’s second nature to the company, they have been talking back to customers for years
- Orchestrate the brand voice
Moosejaw wants to talk to their customers. Every marketing effort is focused on ensuring conversations begin with them. It could be a funny text message…”I think my housekeeper wants to kiss me, can I do that? Text me back and I’ll add 114 Moosejaw points to your account for help”…41% of recipients responded. It could be a poll or survey. Anything that will start a conversation.
More than anything, I walked away believing that brands need to have a personality. Moosejaw likes to have fun with their customers. They are generally willing to try anything to spark a conversation. The web today allows for conversations to happen, even with a brand logo. The trick is having that brand humanize itself. People relate and converse with other people. If you can get your brand to take on a personality, that allows relationships to be built.
It also helps that they have a loyalty program that rewards customers and gives them every opportunity to earn more points so they can redeem them for merchandise.
And one other thing…Gary responds to every e-mail he receives from a customer. His thought is that if the customer took the time to write to him, he owes it to that customer to give a reply. Yes, it’s time consuming but it shows that Moosejaw cares about the customers.
This is beyond Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. This is their strategy. Every decision involves the customer in some way.
So my thoughts automatically shifted to Buick and GMC. Can we as a company take what Moosejaw has ingrained in their business culture and apply it to our business? Do consumers see the personality of our 2 brands and can they relate to them? Do we need to re-think our marketing and advertising strategy and adjust it so that customer experience and conversation is first and foremost at the front of everything we do?
I think yes. Customers now have more control than they ever have. The social web and word of mouth can be more impactful (both positively and negatively) to purchasing decisions and brand health. So why not take care of the people that buy our products and give them a reason to talk positively about you?