Monday, February 16, 2009

Back on January 30, I started a conversation with blog readers and LinkedIn groups on Snuggies.

I wrote:

What is it about Snuggies? 4 million sold, even more on backorder.

If you haven't heard by now, this is the latest brand phenomenon Americans are crazy about -- Snuggies. Snuggies are the brand of “super soft, thick, luxurious fleece with roomy oversized sleeves that let you do what you want and still be wrapped totally in warmth". The Snuggie brand is conquering the sour economy by selling over 4 million units in just three months – and are currently on backorder! Do you think the demand for Snuggies is a result of the quirky commercials that show a family wearing Snuggies to a football game? Or is it the man wrapped up on his couch reading looking like he just stepped out of a "Star Wars" movie?”

Here’s a few of the replies and insights I received:

Cristian Saracco,Founding Partner & CEO at Allegro 234
Great idea...I saw the commercial and the man reading the book looks like a capuccino...a capuccino monk! ;)

Paul Murray, Touchpoints Director, Pavone
My personal theory is that FIRST someone had a surplus of book lights they wanted to move, and THEN they found a wholesale supplier of inferior fleece fabric. They tried a whacked-out offer in some target market, using their primary product as the value-added rather than the lead product. When that direct marketing campaign had high yield, they scaled it up and went into serious snuggie production.

Christine Pencosky, Account Executive, Kinetics Worldwide
All I have to say is that I wish I invented it. Who knew such a simple idea would be such a money-making product. Everyone I know is making fun of the product...but I will tell you that all of those people went out and bought one!

Ilan Geva, Main Touchpoint, Ilan Geva & Friends
It’s January! of course you'll sell anything that will make you warm and comfy. Its also lousy times, people want to lift their sour mood a bit for a small price...many places are being left without electricity, heating prices are high too. Let’s see how Snuggies is going to perform in July.

Janie Curtis, Chief Strategic Officer at Wildfire/Head of Factor 9
I agree with Christine - I wish I had invented it! I was one of those cynics who was saying 'come on - it is just a back to front dressing gown'. Now it is a national phenomenon. Perhaps the greatest talent one can have in innovation and new product development is to be able to see the potential in ideas that have no immediate interest to us personally. It seems straight forward, but perhaps easier said than done, since we all tend to evaluate the world through our own personal lens!

John Brocato, Sr. Account Executive at KHOU-TV CBS
In agreement with everyone else, wishing it was my product. This product was launched at the right time, with the right price point, in the right economy. First it is winter, cheap enough for an impulse buy, and lastly more people spending more time at home because it is too expensive to go out for movies. Simple products + good marketing = $$$$ Ask the people who launched the Pet Rock or my personal favorite Chia!

Gabriella Schleinkofer, PR Manager at Market2Market Events Ltd.
Their advertising on the site is just absolutely terrible. The product is a great idea but who on earth did the advertising? It's kinda retro but not cool retro but simply "out of date", it makes you feel that once you order the product you automatically become an elderly suburban housewife with a bad perm and no fashion sense.

Lisa Rothstein, Award-winning screenwriter and Professional Copywriter / Marketing Consultant
The advertising sure isn't pretty, but it works. Remember "the Clapper?" However, I ended up not buying a Snuggie because once you automatically get the second one "free” and then have to pay shipping and handling on each, it ends up not being such a bargain. It felt like a bait and switch, and I did not want to reward the company with my sale. I wonder how many other sales have been lost because of this business model. Of course I did it over the website; probably if I had called I would have gone through with the sale because I would have been felt funny backing out in front of a real human. Still, a great simple idea at the right time. They should do a tie-in or JV with Netflix!

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