April 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
Summary of the Campaign:
From March to May of 2008 Universal McCann launched a “connect with color” brand campaign for Kohl’s. Partnering with CafeMom, the leading social networking site for moms, Kohl’s gave away 20 gift cards for $250, to the top “member influencers.” After shopping the moms blogged about their “color driven experience” and posted photos of the clothes they purchased. The page was advertised on CafeMom, and provided a platform for other moms to participate.
Issues at stake for Kohl’s:
The main issue at stake is the CafeMom users who visit the blog finding out that the “member influencers” who were chosen were given the gift cards to Kohl’s for the sole purpose of advertising the “connect with color” campaign. The CafeMom users probably feel that the reviews of products and the opinions of other moms posted on the site have no strings attached. If the information was disclosed that the moms where given the gift cards to advertise through CafeMom, the feedback may have been more negative. Kohl’s is not being transparent about their business plan because, there was no disclosure that the bloggers where given gift cards to shop (Tactical Transparency, Shel Holtz and John Havens.)
Pros and Cons of Kohl’s decision:
The “connect with color” campaign was very successful. Some pros of the campaign are that the Kohl’s Brand Profile Page with the “member influencer” blog posts received tens of thousands of views and hundreds of thousands of views on the customer creator influencer media. They were also featured in many mom member comments during the campaign. After the campaign, a market research study was done comparing moms exposed to the campaign and a control group who had not. The results showed that the campaign had a 90% confidence level for brand awareness, brand association and purchase intent. The idea of having customers write blogs about the products they buy is a great way to get customer feedback to promote the Kohl’s brand through social media.
Although the campaign was successful, it could have been better promoted before the women posted their blogs posts, and before they even started shopping. By promoting the campaign before any shopper feedback is posted, viewers could have learned about the campaign and been in anticipation to read the shoppers blogs. Partnering with CafeMom Kohl’s was not able to connect with either men or children. Reaching the women and mom demographic is a large portion of their customer base, but youth and juniors is a large part of their market as well. Partnering with more than just CafeMom could have made the campaign more wide spread.
Revisiting the campaign my recommendation would have been to promote it more before giving out the gift cards, and even create an online competition for the gift cards, that way users know that gift cards are being distributed for feedback in blog posts(it would help them to be transparent.) It would also help to promote the campaign before any of the shopping happens, to get people excited for the shopper’s blog posts.
Extending “connect with color” into the summer would be a great time to do a youth summer campaign. Kohl’s could promote a competition to disperse gift cards to CafeMom users only targeting ones with children in certain age groups. For example, a gift card could be given out to a mom who has a child in one of these three age groups, between the ages of ten to thirteen, fourteen or fifteen and sixteen or seventeen. After collecting enough moms to have two girls and two boys in each age group, gift cards could be distributed and used for their summer line, or to extend the campaign further, back to school shopping. After the shopping, blog posts would be created by not only by the mom users on CafeMom, but also by their children adding to the mom’s CafeMom blog posts, or they could be posted to an entirely different networking site to access a younger community.