Pop Tarts’ Online Fan Base Comes to Life

September 8, 2010

Welcome back for fall. I hope all readers else got some time off to recharge, as I did.

As summer came to its inevitable close, I was interviewed by Reuters TV about the new Pop Tarts World Store that just opened near Times Square in New York. Customer flocked to the opening of this store for an immersive brand experience, complete with Pop Tarts store design and merchandise, a “Varietizer” to create customized boxes, and singular treats like Pop Tarts sushi (hold the wasabi, please).

With the retail sector still suffering through a sluggish economy, what would lead a company like Kellog’s to launch a flagship store for a brand like Pop Tarts?

Kellog’s actually got the idea for its store from its Facebook page, where a network of over two million customers have “liked” the brand, and wall updates generate dozens to hundreds of responses each.

Pop Tarts’ customers are creating their own online content too, including numerous amateur videos and songs dedicated to the sugary treat. In fact, both the brand’s Facebook page, and its YouTube channel (nearly 2 million views) focus almost exclusively on content created by their customer network – rather than recycling advertisements, pumping out corporate communications, or striving to manufacture a “viral” video by their marketing department.

While there has been much discussion of how brands and organizations can best cultivate “online communities,” the truth is that the most active and energizing communities (whether music fans, political supporters, or business partners) tend to be groups that interact with each other both online and in person.

So it behooves a brand like Pop Tarts, with such a large and passionate following online, to generate opportunities for them to meet and engage with the brand offline too – whether at special events, or retail spaces.

Even in a recession, marketers need to be willing to invest in their brands, especially those with loyal followers that make for a valuable long-term relationship.


Click here to watch the video on Reuters.com

BY DAVID ROGERS

This post originally posted by David on the DavidRogers.biz blog at: http://www.davidrogers.biz

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