Rhinos, Social Media, Triexta

smartstrandSocial media is slowly creeping into the cleaning and restoration industry. Cleaning up animal “accidents” has been around since the first carpet. Triexta is a new fiber partially made of corn and recently approved by the FTC as a new fiber. So what do all these have in common?

Dupont created a new fiber they call Sorona and gave the exclusive rights for residential fiber to Mohawk and they named it Smartstrand. Dupont and Shell Oil (Corterra) petitioned the FTC to establish a new generic fiber category. The FTC ruled the fiber was different enough from polyester and gave it the classification name of “Triexta”.

Mohawk has been the most aggressive marketer of carpet over the last few years spending $46 million dollars in 4 years (2003/2007) on branding. When the FTC gave them the OK they really went all out to showcase their exclusive fiber.

Enter a 2800 pound black rhino named Ricko. Mohawk went to Ricko’s home at the Birmingham Zoo and carpeted his 24×24 cage with SmartStrand carpet. For the next 2 weeks Ricko did what rhinos do best. Let’s just say that the next time you have one of those nasty cat pee jobs, don’t complain it could be much worse!

To get the word out Mohawk jumped into social media with both feet, or should I say with all four hooves. Ricko has his own facebook page with over 2400 “friends” he was tweeting from his twitter account, and he was the star of numerous youtube videos. (See an example.)

The best part is that Mohawk got over 250 news agencies posting some type of coverage. The social media plus all the news coverage was all free, free, free! You do not have to be Dupont or Mohawk to use social media as a marketing tool.

If you are looking for some interesting stuff to blog about on your own site, Ricko is definitely a story that ties into cleaning. Do your own side by side cleaning demonstration with a piece of Dupont StainMaster against the SmartStrand. Add some humor to your demonstration. Show Ricko then show the amazing Brutus your 8 pound Chihuahua locked in his two square foot cage for one hour. After all you don’t have Dupont or Mohawks PR power so you need to scale down a bit. It would certainly get attention.

Marketing does not have to be boring or stodgy. As a matter of fact boring marketing will be ignored.  As well known author, Seth Godin says “If you want to be remarked upon, you must be remarkable.”

Now if you will excuse me I need to start searching in the Jon-Don catalog to see what we have to remove Rhino poop!

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