The following is a comment I posted on the NetWit’s ‘Think Tank’ blog in response to a post written by Frank Barry. The post is about the recent social “experiment” by Skittles. This topic I am sure has been blogged about to no end. Originally I wasn’t interested in creating yet another post about it…but I am sure you would agree there are some points of learning to pull from this exercise. Please read Frank’s blog post first to understand the context of my comment below. I will end by saying one more thing…you can’t fly if you don’t first spread your wings...
Frank, great post! I totally agree with Rowan, this method
doesn’t fit with every non-profit…nor does it fit with every
brand or corporation. Mars tried this with Skittles versus anyone of their other brands. This was a test of the market, and by any measurement it could have been a sheer success. We unfortunately don’t have the honor of knowing which element they were looking to test.
On a global level…brand awareness/visibility and brand engagement are the central themes that can be measured. Those two areas also present a starting point for any non-profit. Sure any non-profit can do a quick constituent survey to find out what people close to them feel/view about the organization… but for those with a larger than community-based reach, or those looking to gain traction…why not think outside the survey box and find a way to gauge a larger base. Often times people are either not aware of an organization at all, or are unsure of exactly what the organization does, and what it could mean to them. This type of social experiment helps create that understand and potentially rally more people around an organization’s cause (see brand awareness & engagement). I will throw in the disclaimer that a campaign such as the Skittles campaign does take some time and labor (something many organizations won’t have the resources to dedicate to)…but again, this type of “out of the box” thinking can stir a small scale social experiment easily manageable by the smallest of non-profits.