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Made In Hollywood Blog

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June 6, 2010 – 9:47 pm

Bottling it

- Posted in Extended Portfolio, Marketing related, Polystyrene Uses by Fran

Some people are afraid of it, some are just ignorant of it and others want to measure it … Social Media.
Whether it’s blogging, Facebook or Twitter, there are various way to publish, inform and communicate to your friends, your customers and to the world, about absolutely everything and anything.
It does sound quite intimidating, and it was before we jumped in and tried it with some help from our website designers. But we feel, if you give it a bit of time, that it is a no-brainer for any small business and, with proper management, can also benefit larger businesses.

Our @madeinhollywood Twitter bird and off spring

Our @madeinhollywood Twitter bird and off spring

We primarily use this blog and Twitter, although we know companies that use a vast array of social media tools to interact with their clients/customers. However, a common questions that crop up at various networking meetings and events are: ‘How do you measure it?’ and ‘What is the return on investment?’. These are both perfectly valid questions, but they are not that simple to answer. Yes, there are various tools that you can use to measure the effectiveness of a particular campaign, but how do you put a value on conversing or informing your customers or potential clients? Yes, it takes time but I believe it’s time well-spent because this time does convert into sales. How? The following example may help to show you.

A couple of months ago, we created props for the 2010 Irish Blog Awards held in Galway. Des Byrne, the man behind the L’Onglex brand, saw our designs and was impressed enough to make contact with us. We met briefly in Dublin, whilst we were delivering an iFoam to the Realex Payments i10 event, and we discussed how our Styrofoam props and signs could be used to promote and enhance his brand. We then started to follow them on Twitter.

A before and after picture of a Longlex nail polish remover bottle

A before and after picture of a Longlex nail polish remover bottle

With no particular project in mind, we talked about in-store and point-of-sale props, signage and exhibition/event displays. With some of our meetings, it is often about sowing the seed of an idea and letting people see what we are capable of creating. It must have worked, as it didn’t take long for an idea to germinate.
L’Onglex asked us if it would be possible to create a replica of their Nail Polish Remover bottle so that it could be worn as a costume at the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon. This was an undoubtedly interesting brief, as we had never made anything to be worn, except for some funky hats. The bottle was made from expanded polstyrene, fitted with shoulder straps and wrapped in printed vinyl using the original wrapper artwork. With just three days, some artistic licence, and a leap of faith by Des and his team at L’Onglex, we were able to nurture the original idea and create a lightweight, eye-catching promotional bottle that can be worn.  By all accounts, we seem to have been successful as can be seen by the pictures.

A 'Full' Longlex promotional Bottle

A 'Full' L'Onglex promotional Bottle

This project came about due to our use of social media via this blog and our interactions on twitter. Des made a judgement based on the conversations we had, both on-line and off-line, and gave us the go-ahead to produce the giant L’Onglex bottle. This judgement is a more informed one based on the social media connections,  rather than the uninformed option of picking up the golden pages and searching for a lightweight prop supplier (do people still do that?) or even googling it.

Social media gives all parties a chance to make more informed choices. So you don’t have to bottle it any more – you just connect with people, and try it. It’s really quite easy, just leave a comment below and let us know what you think. The best comment will win their name in foam!

Post a Comment

3 Comments

  1. LadyDot

    Posted June 6, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Kudos to you both! I love seeing brands jumping from business cards (or bottle!) into real life.There is definitely a great energy exuding from both companies, Made in Hollywood and L’onglex, via your online profiles.

    In this day and age, online networking is so crucial for any business. Understanding where your market is online is also key to a successful social media strategy. Twitter is great for networking especially with a phenomenal amount of Irish SME’s on it.

    Through sites like twitter, facebook and even blogs you can determine the reputation of a possible B2B client and whether it is a good fit with your own. Since the blog awards I’ve really enjoyed following you both on twitter and spotting some new potential business relationships blossoming!

    That’l be a capital L and a capital D!

    ;-)

  2. des

    Posted June 7, 2010 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks Fran (and Lady Dot!). Great post which sums up the power of social media.

    Business startup these days can be a lonely place and social media like Twitter is a great place to meet like-minded people. I am constantly amazed at how quickly you can build up trust with people by only using 140 characters!

    Golden Pages can only facilitate a sales inquiry. This was much more, it was a collaborative effort which allowed us to develop and execute a crazy idea in days!

    Full credit to you Fran for being so open, so positive and for delivering such a bloody good product in a few short days!

    As I write the big L’Onglex bottle has yet to run it’s marathon but already I know its a winner!

  3. Fran

    Posted June 7, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank you LadyDot and Des for your comments.

    @LadyDot I agree, the social media tools are a great way to expand your networking range. I believe that it can be very useful to SME’s that why I gave this one example. I think some people are afraid to try it speaking with some of my business friends.

    @Des The L’Onglex bottle was a great project to work on with you. It seems to have been a great success. http://longlex.com/blog/index.php/2010/06/07/we-did-it/