Is the Skittles brand broken?

3 Mar

By now you’ve probably heard all about the new Skittles.com web site, which makes use of social media sites such as Wikipedia, Youtube and Facebook. Good for them, and a great way to save on web development by allowing anyone in the 2.0 realm to contribute. But what is this telling people about the Skittles brand? “We’re the every person brand?” or “We’re the 2.0 brand?” I’m not quite sure.

If you check out their Facebook page, you’ll see that they have over 500,000 friends. And their Wikipedia page is impressively robust. So they’re not all wrong by going this route. But I have to be honest, looking at Skittles on Wikipedia doesn’t really make me crave them.

And isn’t that what the folks at Skittles should want?

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3 Responses to “Is the Skittles brand broken?”

  1. tom March 5, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    Wholly adopting the social web was a brave move for Skittles and kudos to the marketing honcho that talked them into conducting a bold social experiment. However relinquishing control of your brand has risks and consequences. It wasn’t long before Skittles backtracked and removed the Twitter feed from the homepage after a slew of offensive and derogatory comments appeared, as the novelty of bombing the site spread.

    A modern website should be a conversation rather than a broadcast, and the notion of taking your brand to the where that conversation is happening rather than expecting them to come to you will become more prevalent in the coming years. However this should be an integrated part of a brand’s online strategy rather than its sole representation.

  2. Diana March 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    I agree with you tom.
    I think people heavily rely on the opinion of others, especially their peers, when selecting products and services and this is the approach Skittles took – online word of mouth.
    They obviously were confident enough to let the product speak for itself and opted to skip the standard free games, screen savers, and etc which few people actually bother to use and only cost money to produce.
    I congratulate them for trying something new that has great potential but I think they went too much to the extreeme with Twitter.
    Over time and some trial and error I am sure they wil reach a happy medium – it’s worth keeping up with their progress.

  3. Rodger Banister March 15, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    Joseph Jaffe has posted a response to this new web presence by Skittles, which, rumor has, may only be a temporary switch to garner some ‘buzz’ before they go back to a traditional web site again. In it he writes:

    A company’s digital presence or storefront is arguably more important and inarguably as important as their physical presence. Why on Earth would a brand cede this equity or asset to an emerging, unproven and unstable platform like Twitter or a more stable, yet decentralized environment like Facebook or Wikipedia? This is 100% cart before the horse.

    Interesting read: http://www.jaffejuice.com/2009/03/skidoodle.html

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