By: Darlene Abubakar, Amtrak
Method Products, Inc. manufactures and distributes household cleaning products and Eric Ryan, the company’s Chief Brand Architect and Co-founder, indicated that Method is a challenger brand,foolish enough to go up against not one or two but seven goliaths in the category – companies so big that he would love to just have their toilet paper budget to support his marketing efforts.
Marketing budget aside, Eric believes strongly that the most successful marketing efforts work from the inside out – starting with employees because the brand must first live in the mind of the employees. And as such, the HR Director is really your Marketing Director, he stated. He added that they do cross functional interviews and prospective employees receive a homework assignment – “How would you keep Method weird?” This approach allows them to feel the chemistry of the candidates and their approach to the brand. Once hired, employees establish their own job title.
Mr. Ryan believes that companies need to elevate work to a higher place – put something out that is bigger than them. He also challenges the “old” organization structure and indicated that marketing needs to “look more like us.” There must be two way conversations with engagement and participation. Don’t build a brand around a brand promise – a single idea, but around a brand philosophy – a singular cultural idea. Create products worth talking about and continue to challenge the norms. Eric stated “The soul can not be outsourced” bring creative in house so you can respond quickly. To maintain a creative approach, they have an open office space to encourage dialogue among employees. They also, place all creative, no matter what stage, on what they refer to as Wiki-walls so that any employee may comment or add to the concept.
“People against dirty” is their brand philosophy and the company believes that you should know what’s in your home care products. Most people don’t think about the chemicals in their cleaning products, but Method is supporting The Household Product Liability Act, a bill currently under consideration by congress that would require that all ingredients be listed. He shared with us a video – “Shiny Suds” that will be launched in a couple of weeks – it’s funny and makes a strong statement about who is sharing our bathtubs with us. It will be going viral so check it out and share with your friends.
My last words - whether you are a start-up or a traditional “legacy” company, I ask the question “is there a method to your madness?”