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Case Study: How a New-Product Launch via Facebook Resulted in Immediate Sales, Ongoing Consumer Relationships

by Kimberly Smith  |  
April 28, 2009

Company: 3M Canada Company
Contact: Brian Stephens, eMarketing for Consumer and Office Division
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Industry: Office supply
Annual revenue: $25,000,000,000
Number of employees: 1800

Quick Read

When 3M Canada wanted to rejuvenate its Scotch Tape brand, it came up with a product that, at least for its mostly female target market, put Milton's red Swingline stapler to shame: The Scotch Shoe, a tape dispenser fashioned to resemble a heeled mary jane shoe and destined to turn heads in the drab office landscape.

Budget constraints, however, forced the company to get even more creative in promoting the new product, thereby leading to 3M's first product launch via the social network Facebook.

Although skeptics within the global 3M organization questioned this approach, 3M Canada viewed Facebook as a highly cost-effective means for directly reaching those who were most likely to become passionate about the product, and most likely to share that passion with family and friends.

Smart thinking. At a fraction of the cost of traditional media, this campaign has not only generated immediate sales and new excitement around the Scotch brand but also enabled the company to better understand its target market and forge relationships that will play to its favor well beyond this initial campaign.


Since introducing the first marketable transparent tape in the early 1950s, 3M has enjoyed a boon that few brands experience: a brand name (i.e., Scotch Tape) that has become synonymous with the product category it represents.

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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via

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