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Social isn't just for early adopters

by Andy Stretton on 20 September 2012

Last week my Dad recommended me some windscreen wipers. I read some reviews online, bought them, then recommended them to a couple of neighbours. This is a pretty mundane product category, and I was pretty slow to hear about it. There are no adverts and these types of wipers are mostly only available online… So how did Bosch earn all this great word of mouth?

The wiper boxes are plastered with that word that’s everywhere right now – innovation.

Aero wipers are the nice swishy ones which came out on cars from about 6 years back. They are simple to fit, quiet and don’t streak. Bosch was one of the first companies to have the bright idea of making these improvements available to older cars. They saw an unfashionable niche market and bagged it. They could definitely take the conversation further with some clever pop-up marketing, but they got the first bit right – product discovery.

In this social world full of “stuff”, those who just want things to run a bit smoother are often spurned by marketers in favour of fashionable urban types and early adopters. But businesses like Amazon or Bosch who concentrate on customer lifetime value over new product sales could well bear equal fruits in the end.

There are lots of exciting but short-term social campaigns about, but we’ll just have to wait to see who has the best 100 year plan.

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