Company: Fiskars Brands, Inc.
Contact: Joanne Dunford, Online Marketing Manager for TheSource.ca (The Source By Circuit City's Canadian Web site)
Location: Madison, WI
Annual revenue: $206,000,000
Number of employees: 3925
Though by no means cutting edge in the usual sense... scissors and related tools help drive the $30 billion craft and hobby industry (per the Craft & Hobby Association). Fiskars Brands, Inc., a global brand based in Helsinki, Finland, with U.S. headquarters in Madison, WI, was losing sales of craft tools—including its famed specialized scissors—to commoditized, cheaper products available in Wal-Mart and other chain stores.
The solution? Create a community of Fiskars supporters who could spread the word that authentic Fiskars products are worth not only their price but also any special effort to obtain them. And target younger consumers, who are more active online.
Crafting is a $10 billion dollar industry with everyone from mom-and-pop stores to big-box giants selling a wide range of products. There isn't a clear leader in this flooded market when it comes to sales, or to making a connection with passionate customers.
In recent years, Fiskars Brands found itself losing market share to commoditized, cheaper rivals. It had a traditional website without much creativity, and no way to know who had influence in the crafting community. Its brand audit became a complaint session about consumers' problems with the brand.
"Fiskars customers had no emotional connection to their tools, scissors, crafting knives," recalls Brains on Fire Word of Mouth Inspiration Officer Geno Church. "We had to find a way to create a close relationship with both customers and mom and pop stores."
B.L. Ochman is a social media marketing strategist for S&P 500 companies, including McGraw Hill, IBM, Cendant, and American Greetings. She publishes What's Next Blog and Ethics Crisis, where readers can confess their worst ethics transgressions and others can rate them on a scale of one to ten. She also blogs for MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog.