I recently saw Crock-Pot’s latest product offering via their Facebook page. The Create-A-Crock is a great idea! Customers can now choose from nine different stock designs, then upload four of their own pictures.
You have to click the green “Create Mine Now” button on the page to get to the design app. The app is a little clunky, but fairly intuitive. I experimented with it tonight, uploading some retro kitchen advertisements for fun.
It’s great fun to be able to customize an appliance. I participated in a market research focus group several years ago where participants were asked if they would pay extra to have the ability to somewhat personalize their major appliances with custom inserts and knobs. I’ve not seen it happen, unless I’ve missed it. Still, people are all about personalization now. Skins are in, for everything from cell phones to iPods to laptops and tablets.
But back to the app. Once a user’s designed her dream Crock-Pot and clicks to add it to her cart, a message comes up warning the user, “This is the final time you will be able to view your customized Create-A-Crock™ Slow Cooker.”
When I saw this, I realized the flaw in the campaign.
Kudos to Crock-Pot for putting this idea out there. However, they missed a huge opportunity when they didn’t also provide a means for users to share their designs with others. I’m not talking about sharing as in buying a Crock-Pot to give as a gift, though that is the company’s goal. I’m talking about letting users share pictures of their creations with friends and family via social networks, mobile MMS, and e-mail. Users might have created profiles in order to save their designs, providing Crock-Pot with fresh prospective customers’ information for their database.
Viral marketing involving personalization pops up everywhere (think OfficeMax and ElfYourself) and yet it’s nowhere to be found with this product. It’s a shame, because I think it could have driven a lot of traffic to their site. People like to play with apps like that. The longer a user stays on your site, the more they buy in to what you’re selling. These users might have created their own designs or, if allowed, ordered duplicates of their friends’ creations.