Brand Advocacy: Changing Perceptions of the Entrenched Consumer

Brand Advocacy: Changing Perceptions of the Entrenched Consumer

In an American consumer industry well over 200 years old, countless firearm “technological advances” have come along. Improvements to ammunition, the integration of polymer construction materials and numerous safety measures have completely reshaped how the industry works. On the other hand, there are many facets that have remained unchanged for an extended period of time. Unlike other industries, the idea of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to heavily apply.

For example, many firearm owners are using the same solvents and cleaners that their great-great-grandfathers used to remove carbon build-up from the bores of their hunting rifles simply because those solvents are tried-and-true. Never mind the fact that those solvents smell bad, take a lot of time to work with and quite literally contain some toxic chemicals.

Enter FrogLube, a “non-toxic firearms cleaning solvent” that was guaranteed to revolutionize the way people care for their firearms. Initially I found it hard to believe that this product would work effectively based strictly on its name. However, upon discovering that the product is environmentally-friendly, and contains no petroleum, I had to give it a thorough examination.

My experience with the product has been everything the manufacturer promised. The time spent on cleanup following a trip to the range was cut down significantly, the protection the product offers seems top-notch, and there are none of the lingering smells routinely produced by my old cleaning solvents and lubricants. So just as we’ve preached many times from this blog, the manufacturers of FrogLube hit a home run: They invented a greener product that actually works better than the conventional product AND is more convenient to use.

That begs the question, then, “Why isn’t everyone using it?”

I asked a few of my friends and acquaintances to share their thoughts, and what I got was somewhat expected: By and large, they didn’t believe it worked because they simply hadn’t seen it work. Furthermore, most didn’t believe that something that is safe for the environment would work as effectively as the toxic solvents they’ve been using for as long as they can remember.

So what can a company like FrogLube do to shift that perception? Clearly in this case, seeing is believing. And though they’ve courted some big players to act as brand advocates, that endorsement approach can be a slow process, especially when going up against entrenched products that customers know work.

Getting their product into the hands of Average Joes is imperative. Sending these consumers samples that can easily be shared at their local ranges will get the seeing-is-believing wheels in motion and, by leveraging each convert’s personal networks, quickly spread the product into more hands. Instead of telling others about the product, they can show examples of the product working.

Extending this networking push through social media channels is also imperative. It would be easy to track who is talking about FrogLube, and encourage them to share testimonial images, videos and tweets about their appreciation for the product.

Obviously, the company faces an uphill battle of sorts as they try to change owners’ perceptions about the cleaners and solvents they’ve trusted for decades. But using consumers to spread the word of a real game-changing product could help FrogLube hit the mark.

About the Author

Pat Lorentz

Pat is a former contributor to Shelton Insights.

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