Brands can learn a lot by focusing less on themselves and more on their categories.
LRW’s Online Anthropology group designed a study that mined consumers’ online conversations about pickles, subjecting them to computational linguistic analysis. Analysis allowed LRW to map pockets of high passion across a low-engagement category.
The top findings:
- Consumers perceive major differences among brands, yet no brand dominated pickle passion. Brands were too focused on rational distinctions and waging a coupon war, missing consumers’ passion for the category’s quirky side.
- Paradoxically, consumers spoke most positively about the client’s brand but often forgot its location in the refrigerated section. The placement message needed to be revived, quickly.
- Pickle-love isn’t just about taste. Pickles are fun because they are versatile and there is nothing they cannot do: they are the Swiss Army Knife of foods. The opportunity is to celebrate pickles, rather than just promote the brand.
Content and calls for participation should be rotated across niche audiences. Used as a brine or marinade for meats, in alcoholic drink recipes, as a post-workout recovery drink among cyclists, bodybuilders, and runners, or to cure a sore throat or hydrate sufferers of severe gastrointestinal disorders, pickle juice’s best-kept secrets are waiting to be shared.