Google “people are our biggest/best strength” and “our best assets go out the front door every night” and you will get a googol of hits.
The concept might hold water in Human Relations, but in Marketing it is crap.
Every week another campaign launches somewhere, letting us know why we should care about some company’s product or service because “our people care.” We have told you why this concept doesn’t work, in a (un)heralded Marketing Profs guest post that slammed Nationwide, which spent mega-millions in early 2009 capturing “real” employees’ “real” customer stories. Real boring.
As we predicted, Nationwide shut the campaign down within weeks.
Here comes another easy target, with a slightly different twist. The Aunt Jemima brand management team has been so overwhelmed by response to a social media campaign – FEATURING THE COMPANY’S EMPLOYEES – it has decided to turn it into a TV spot.
Earlier this year, the AJ folks created a video series titled "Live from the Line,” featuring – can you guess? – REAL EMPLOYEES of its Tennessee plant. In concert with the video, launched on Facebook, was a coupon. It sold like, er, hotcakes. And the Aunt Jemima brand team has mistaken that for “brand engagement.”
So give that cardboard box of frozen starch, salt and carbohydrates a big hug next time you are in the grocery store – it was produced by people “with passion”…"who care.”
And, if you don’t have a coupon for it, I imagine you will put it back down in the freezer case.