A topic of recent interest here at Liberate Media has been how brands are starting to blur the lines between social media engagement and physical reality, especially with the overall consumer experience in mind.

We’ve seen the Nismo Watch track and rate its user’s performance across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram via Nissan’s proprietary Social Speed software. Nordstrom pulling in the punters after it published ‘seal of approval’ Pinterest stickers over its in-store merchandise. Honda achieving impressive engagement with its latest Vine campaign and now Asda is launching an initiative it hopes will be just as successful.

Asda’s Chosen By You range is being selected and tested by real-life consumers, giving this campaign added authenticity. It also encourages users to offer feedback on the products, packaging and point-of-sale displays via social media, adding to brand PR value at the same time.

The supermarket chain is asking its customers to tweet and publish Facebook posts about the range inserting a #ChosenByMe hashtag, with the best being added to a hub page on the website, before being selected to appear on in-store packaging with the customer’s permission. The hashtag has already been used thousands of times across both networks by fans keen to have their say:


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Dom Burch, Head Of Social Media at Asda told Marketing Week that the initiative is designed to make people’s relationship with the Chosen By You range more ‘emotional’, and to help bridge the gap between the store’s value range ‘Smart Price’, and premium selection, ‘Extra Special’:


“We’ve had Chosen By You for the last four years and it’s helped customers re-evaluate Asda food and that unloved bit in the middle [between Smart Price and Extra Special]. We are trying to take that to the next level and be more overt about the best parts of it. We are hoping it will be more emotional as the [blind taste testing and market research that goes into selecting Chosen By You products] can seem quite clinical.”

If harnessed well, a brand’s social media channels can actually become a gold mine; especially for product managers. What many outside the field of digital marketing and PR deem ‘useless information’, can in fact become a valuable tool for driving product innovation, taking the customer along for the ride at the same time.

The key is to put the right process in place and incentivise the customer by rewarding their efforts with an emotional experience, creative satisfaction or quite frankly, the chance to win a great prize. In order to do that, product managers not only need to step back and re-think the way they manage their product lines, but also work closely with their 3rd party PR and marketing agencies and in-house teams to develop original and engaging ideas. Listening skills, interacting with customers and executing on social media information should become primary to any product development cycle.

Once you have those steps in place, social media will not only become a key component within a brand’s PR and digital marketing strategies, but also in driving product innovation and maximizing new revenue opportunities.