This is part of BzzAgent’s “Voice of the Advocate” series where we summarize the latest trends in a product category and review how to get brand advocates talking about them.
Home cleaning products are staples of daytime television. You can’t get through a single commercial break without seeing ads for products that clean your soiled clothes, grimy bathtubs and filthy floors. From Ajax to Windex and from Lysol 4-in-1 to 2000 Flushes, there are products to clean everything… and we all have some of them in the house.
Did you know these products are also among the most discussed among brand advocates? Social marketing programs have been successfully deployed to drive millions of dollars of measurable sales for these products.
Let’s have a closer look. Here are 3 trends from Mintel on the category matched to opinions from over 5,000 BzzAgent brand advocates who use these home cleaning products.
Trend #1 DIY
Overall new product launches have been soft in the past year, but the home cleaning category is strong due to the economy. The recession has caused many to cut back on professional maid and cleaning services which has led consumers to take on cleaning themselves. Use of professional services for those with $100k+ incomes dropped from 19% to 7%.
Both men and women take on cleaning in the home, but let’s not kid ourselves. Women are the primary cleaners. 56% of women report being the main cleaner in the household, compared to 32% of men. A big problem for marketers is that many of these women believe store brands perform just as well as the costlier name brands.
What Our Advocates Think:
- They are hands-on when it comes to cleaning products. A significant majority of those taking our survey were women and 84% of them buy these products at least monthly. 75% of the time the purchase is made at a discount department store like Wal-Mart or Target where they are likely purchased with other products for the home.
- These are savvy cleaners. These products are very self-explanatory and people know how to use them so home product demonstration parties and access to “how to” content from the brand have limited appeal. The focus is entirely on the product and how it makes their job at home easier.
- They are eager to sample products they haven’t used before. 95% of them are very interested in trying new cleaning products and sharing coupons with their friends and followers.
BzzAgent advocates are heavy users of home cleaning products. A BzzCampaign puts the product experience into the hands of these consumers so they can see the results in their own home – showing them what they are missing with the economy store brand they’ve been using. The precision of targeting is also a key advantage. Reaching a specific segment of women using these products frequently at home ensures your message is personal, relevant and highly effective.
Trend #2 Green Theme
Products with green and natural claims made up 54% of the recent new product launches. But there is a disconnect happening with consumers, as only 25% use green cleaners regularly and as many as 40% have never tried them. The biggest barriers to adoption are the higher costs and doubts about product effectiveness. Not surprisingly, 18-34 year olds are most likes to go green while those 55 and up are least likely.
What Our Advocates Think:
- “Green” may be the hot marketing theme, but our advocates don’t feel it’s very talkable. “Green” falls far down the list of topics after other product attributes. It’s likely that there hasn’t been enough education from marketers on why they should care.
- Other product attributes they care more about include new scents and formulas. 7 in 10 are very interested in talking about these topics – especially the 55+ audience.
If you are marketing with a strong “green” message, make sure you focus on the most receptive audience and spend the time to explain why this is important. Address the concerns around the high cost perception directly. If your green product works just as well as the leading competitors, make sure to ask advocates to demonstrate this through video demonstrations or written product reviews. BzzAgent create a BzzGuides for every campaign to provide product facts and education on the key benefits so your key messages come through clearly.
Trend #3: Convenience
Many consumers report feeling a sense of accomplishment when cleaning, and 75% have a clear cleaning routine – usually in the morning. Since the day starts early, time-saving and ease of use are valued by a wide range of consumers. A third of launches featured this claim with products that have resealable packaging, ergonomic bottles and on-the-go variations. These features are so valued that many consumers are willing to pay more for these benefits.
What Our Advocates Think:
- Innovation is important. Advocates are always looking for what’s new. A new product launch in the category is a big deal, and for 84% advocates report being very interested in discussing it.
- BzzAgent advocates are very social and they love to share what give them a sense of accomplishment. 92% are very interested in writing detailed reviews of cleaning products online and 78% want to post reviews on e-commerce sites like Amazon. They also value the opinions of the friends and followers. 83% will help spread the word by commenting and sharing great reviews posted by others around them.
- Advocates are interested in getting more involved with the brands they trust. 7 in 10 are very interested in participating in contests or sweepstakes surrounding cleaning products.
There aren’t a lot of products that give consumers a feeling of personal accomplishment. Home cleaning products can do that and advocates want to talk about how they feel. BzzAgent gets users of your products to tell their personal stories in their own words so others can see why your new features, enhancements and product launches save time and give people pride about living in a cleaner home.