Biz Blog Profile Series: SkyBox(tm) Matag(tm) Blog - Maytag Corporation

04/19/2005

Biz Blog Profile is a behind the scene look at how corporations, non profts and higher education institutes are using blogs to support their marketing goals.

Gary Petersen, Project Manager, for Diversified Businesses, Maytag Corporation, has a job sports lovers and bloggers might envy. He blogs for one of Maytag Corporation's most innovative products - SkyBox Vendor. SkyBox, a personal drink vendor, positioned as a the ultimate trophy for the serious sports fan perfect for a “ManCave.”

And the work Gary is doing with the blog is pretty creative too! Recently the SkyBox(tm) By Maytag (tm) Blog strategy was honored with two Pubic Relations Society of America awards. The  Iowa Chapter presented Maytag Corporation with their PRIME award in the Integrated Communications Campaign category. Minnesota Chapter of PRSA's  Classic Award was for excellence in the New Media/Technology category.

Sidebar: Nice to see weblog strategies beginning to be acknowledged in mainstream marketing awards programs! 

 

Biz Blog Profile: SkyBox(tm) By Maytag(tm) Blog

About Magtag Corporation

Maytag Corporation is a $4.8 billion home and commercial appliance company focused in North America and in targeted international markets. The corporation's primary brands are Maytag(R), Hoover(R), Jenn-Air(R),Amana(R), Dixie-Narco(R) and Jade(R). 

The Diversified Businesses group is a small segment of Maytag Corporation focused on non-core products. The group's primary products are the SkyBox TM by Maytag TM personal beverage vendor, SkyBox TM Rookie TM Fridge, Jenn-Air TM Attrezzi TM Blender, Stand Mixer, and Toaster, and Maytag TM Cordless Irons.

Why Matag Corporation Is Blogging via  SkyBox (tm) By Maytag (tm) Blog
Skybox_red_sox_1
The Diversified Businesses group was created with the directive to do things different.  The SkyBox vendor and Rookie Fridge are different than any other products at Maytag.  Their very nature is about being a topic of conversation in someone's home.  Kind of a "Hey!  Look what I've got!" reaction. 

The weblog is a great way to get in on that conversation. It lets us talk with people who find our products fun and interesting. The weblog is also an ongoing project.  We can change it every day by writing new things, so we keep the conversation going.  And we can do it without making a huge investment.

How Blogs Fit Into Maytag Corporation's Marketing Strategy

For some of our products, perhaps even most of them, weblogs don't fit at all well with our marketing strategy. The SkyBox vendor and Rookie Fridge are different though. We really tried to develop them as cool, gotta-get-me-one-of-those gadgets.

Talking about them (and the things that our customers like to do) fits well in a weblog format. You can do things different when you can extend a conversation past a print ad or a television commercial and we've been trying different things on the weblog.

Selling-in To Management

Our team's leadership was involved in the discussion we had one afternoon about possibly starting one up, so we decided to try it out on the spot. I had been writing a personal weblog for a couple of years, so I volunteered. I added a separate page to my personal webspace that night and wrote a few test articles. Our team took at look at them the next day and decided this was something that could work out, so went forward with it.

How Maytag Corporation Is Marketing The SkyBox (tm) By Maytag (tm) Blog

Primarily through a link on the main SkyBox vendor and Rookie Fridge web page . We've also done some search engine optimization work to help people find our website and weblog.

Other than that, I watch for people writing about our products so I link to them from our weblog and comment on their weblogs, where appropriate. I have about thirty searches set up for various keywords, like Maytag, SkyBox, Rookie, and the like. I watch for hits through PubSub, Feedster, Bloglines, and Technorati, as well as a few Google News and Yahoo News searches. All of them are fed into my RSS news reader. All told, there are probably 150-200 hits per day and reading them generally takes no more than 15 minutes a day.

Lessons Learned

A product support weblog absolutely will not work if it is simply a place to post traditional marketing information, like press releases. A weblog is only useful if it enables your customers to talk with you in a way they couldn't do otherwise. That takes a bit of time and it needs to be driven by someone who is willing to commit that time to make it work.

Future Direction

We're trying some new things on the weblog, like asking our customers to send in pictures of their SkyBox vendors and Rookie Fridges "in action" as they have them set up in their homes.

We're also looking for new ways to tie into the events that our customers like to participate in. For example, I had an idea to host a March Madness basketball tournament bracket contest in which people would submit a bracket on the weblog to win one of our products after the tournament is over.  Unfortunately, I didn't think about it until watching the brackets being announced, so we didn't do anything with it for this year.

Basically, we're looking for ways to get people who aren't yet our customers to take a look at our products and ways to get people who are our customers to have fun using them.

Gary Petersen On Blogs

Writing a corporate weblog is work, but it is certainly fun work. Shot, I get to write on a weblog as part of my job. How cool is that? Everyone should find a way to do this!

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Comments

Thanks for asking about this and for putting the interview up on your site, Toby. We certainly appreciate the coverage!

Posted by: GaryP on Apr 20, 2005 1:13:29 PM

One of the best Blog subjects of the decade go's to Hoover and Maytag in the know Infamous Hoover flight fiasco 1992-1994. It ranks as the top marketing blunders of the 90's. The BBC even made a documentary on it 2004.

Posted by: Ice Cool on Nov 12, 2005 7:31:04 AM

Need Maytag Skybox Rookie fridge. Can you help?

Posted by: Vera Peters on Feb 13, 2006 8:39:02 PM

Help!

I'm searching for a SkyBox panel for my Maytag Skybox Personal Beverage machine.

No luck in locating panels.........

Ebay & Amazon do not have any replacements.

Posted by: Tom Nichols on Sep 24, 2006 1:36:54 PM

I purchased a skybox beverage machine and I am unable to locate panels, can anyone help?

Posted by: Danette King on Nov 19, 2006 12:25:17 PM

Also looking for a source to get panels for my SkyBox and if I find any I sure will let you all know and hope you all will do the samr for me...I have taken movie posters and cut them to fit and that looks great also and you can get what you need on E-Bay pretty cheap...THANKS !!! Douglas

Posted by: Douglas Messer on Mar 20, 2007 3:31:52 PM

My wonderful boyfriend just brought over his Skybox to adorn my "game cave" but it has the Patriots panels all over it! I'm looking for Steelers panels so that I can stand to look at it in my house! :) Can anyone help me find a them?! Thanks so much!

Posted by: J33Pgal on Sep 25, 2007 10:42:58 PM

I am searching for Ohio State panels for a skybox vending machine. Any website or number would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any help you can give. James [email protected]

Posted by: James on Oct 13, 2007 4:23:12 PM

I love our Skybox, but I too can't seem to find the panels for it anywhere. It came with Arizona Diamondbacks panels, but we REALLY want Patriots and can't find them!
Other than that, LOVE the skybox!

Posted by: Lee on Jan 15, 2008 9:32:57 AM

If anyone is still reading these post and in need of panels... there is someone on Ebay that is doing them and he only charges 50.00 a set. He can have them done with any picture too.

Posted by: Becca on Nov 17, 2008 2:55:10 PM

I think that takes a bit of time and it needs to be driven by someone who is willing to commit that time to make it work.

Posted by: refurbished computers on Feb 14, 2010 2:50:44 AM

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