On Thursday, January 20, 2011 Method Brand Co-Founder+Chief Brand Architect and evangelist, Eric Ryan, dropped by our offices to take on our current theme of Social Mission/Causes. You can’t talk about Method as a brand without punctuating it with their rallying cry “People Against Dirty.” Or, said in the affirmative via their tagline: “for the love of clean.” Slogans that are rallying cries and tag lines that convey passion? These are more than just tools for a company with the stated goal of being “in business to change business.” In the hour or so that Eric spent with us he shared how this inside-out approach to their brand has driven revenues and retail success along with employee and consumer passion to the level of starting a small movement. And, as we’ve seen of late in global news, if you’re taking on established, incumbent power you need a different tool kit and approach.
Below is an hour-long video with Eric Ryan. It’s grainy and the audio includes the wonderful background sounds of our neighborhood along with the occasional digital distraction from conference or mobile phones. If you can put up with the production flaws you’ll be rewarded with some great, living brand thinking and insights.
For those without an hour to spare, some quick thoughts:
It’s clear from his “give no quarter” approach to inside-out-brands that the Method brand is deliberate, thoughtful and committed to participating in a new brand reality. In many ways, you can consider them a “socially advantaged” brand–one that can move effortlessly in the more transparent environment of Social Media where the more you can give the more you can succeed.
Some artifacts of their Social Advantage:
- See their passionate fan posts on Facebook (like I WANT TO WORK FOR method!!!). And, really easy hack: if you’ve got a constant flow of smart stuff in your other social channels like Twitter, feed it to your Facebook tabs to bring easy sharing and discovery where a ton of people are
- Really great blog–which is highly entertaining and relevant to their consumers who want to clean their home beyond the scope of what method products can do; think if it as creating new shopping paths for like-minded People Against Dirty to find a way into method
- Bathroom humor from Eric Ryan
- They keep a clean score card (Eric’s the sedated one with red sweater, plaid pants and shades)
- Everybody gets a view from the front–they have rotate in as a receptionist, which causes everyone to get an earful from customers and consumers
Why was Eric visiting Real Branding?
Every 8-weeks or so we explore a different subject around emerging platforms and the themes, practices, technologies and consumer insights driving them. We bring in thought leaders in each theme to share their approach and learnings to inform our practice, POVs/White Papers, our clients and more broadly the business community through our Social Media distribution.
Our current them is Social Missions and Causes. We’re exploring this theme because we believe that every Real Brand has a soul and stakeholders (consumers, employees, shareholders, etc.) expect to see it. Stakeholders reward those that show share values in their acts & deeds. Without a Social Mission or Cause you lack key assets, voice and points of engagement. Social Missions and Causes don’t have to be philanthropic (like Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty which dedicates financial and human resources to educating girls about Self Esteem) but they have to provide value (Same portfolio, Axe, helps guys improve their social game to meet women—not philanthropic but high value). All Real Brands should have a Social Mission/Cause. We’ll expand more on this subject in a future post.