> THE FACT
In Malmö (Sweden), the Malmö Hardware Store, faced with competition from the big DIY brands, had the idea of loaning machines to its customers free of charge (drills, sanders, power drivers…), based on the principle that most of these machines are only used once, and selling them the consumables that go with them (mails, screws, glue, paint…). To publicise its initiative, it created a Facebook app which allows its users to sign up and reserve the tool that they want to use. With each reservation, a status appears on the brand’s wall, thus increasing awareness of it. The result? In one month, more than 600 people have used the app, 80% of them made a purchase in the store that they were unfamiliar with, and more than 8 out of 10 Internet users made additional purchases…
> THE ANALYSIS
Even though it may be completely anecdotal, the initiative of the little hardware store in Malmö provides a good illustration of how today, independent shops can find their place alongside major brands. Here, the strategy that has been used consists of associating the principle of free lending, to attract attention, with the effectiveness of social networks, to increase awareness of its initiative. It is also betting on the psychology of social network players, who are always receptive to the idea of being behind an alternative, cleverer, cheaper or even “rebellious” consumer offering, which allows them to circumvent classic brands. A success that has reminded us that a brand’s desirability can also be provoked by the interest given to it by social networks?