“Blending Experiences”

Last week in our PR class, we analyzed different type of campaigns. The one that captured my attention was the Will It Blend? campaign from Blendtec®, because the idea was original and simple.

Blendtec® is a small company based in Utah that manufactures family and commercial blenders. In 2006, the company was selling its high-quality commercial blenders for $400.00. However, but the brand was not attracting the attention of the general public. This lack of recognition showed in the company’s sales.

One day, George Wright, the marketing director, saw Tom Dick, the company’s CEO, blending a variety of items, such as marbles, metals, papers, to test the quality of the blenders. This gave Wright an idea for a new marketing campaign. He decided to videotape Tom Dick’s  experiments and share them with customers. With a budget of only $50.00, a series of videos titled “Will It Blend?” were created. The idea of the campaign was to demonstrate the unique power and durability of Blendtec® blenders. At first, the videos were uploaded to the Blendtec® website. Later, they became available on YouTube. Since then, the videos have been viewed over 100 million times, and blender sales have increased by over 700%.

Seth Godin defines brand as “…the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”

I think Blendtec® created both a story and memories. When I saw the videos the first time, I saw a man having a lot of fun. The setting of the video reminded me of the old style of cartoons. The idea that you can have fun while you are cooking is also shown on those videos. As Blendtec® says, “Blendtec incessantly seeks out ways to make customers’ blending experiences better.”

The way that the company developed its campaign and capitalized on the success of “Will It Blend?” is amazing. Through social media — YouTube channel, blog, Facebook page, Pinterest — it has created two-way communication. First, it invites its employees participate in the campaign by sharing the videos with family and friends. Second, customers are invited to participate by sending recipes or ideas of things that can be blended. Third, the company answers all Facebook comments, making customers feel that they have a voice. The company continues to get revenue to further the campaign through speaking engagements and by the co-branding of promotional clips (as they did with Ed-FM).

Today, Blendtec® is a recognized name and face that has created memories.  When someone mentions the name of the company or brand, people think of Tom Dick in his white lab coat blending a bunch of weird items. Blendtec® has successfully spread the word.

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