Let me start this by saying almost every brand/advertiser/sponsor at BlogHer '09 did an outstanding job of connecting with the women at the conference.
But there was one brand that stumbled – Nikon. At their invitation only event, they turned away moms who brought their babies. The reason was apparently that the restaurant where the event was being held had a 'No babies" policy.
This is a classic case of "the devil is in the details."
Mamapundit has a must read article about the event – Nikon's antisocial media relations at BlogHer '09.
Nikon held an invitation-only, evening event to promote their brand to, and curry favor with high-influence MOMMYbloggers, but then the brand’s event planners literally disallowed women with babies from attending, even though the whole point of Nikon’s party was to make friends with the bloggers and encourage them to promote Nikon products. When planning their party, did Nikon maybe think that BlogHer was actually a conference for 62-year old male bloggers who mostly write about the stock market? Because to be sure, those guys wouldn’t likely have babies with them, or need/want to bring them to a party. But mombloggers? Women who blog about their babies for their readers who have babies? Uh, yeah. Some of these women are pretty likely to have babies on board. Duh.
It would have been ill-advised enough had Nikon simply suggested to invitees that they leave their babies behind (you know, maybe back at the hotel bar, tossing back a few cosmopolitans with the other babies whom Nikon shut out). But Nikon took it a step further and actually refused to let women into the limo and party if they showed up with a baby.
Go read the full article – it's very well written and thought out. Read it now. I'll wait.
I think momapundit sums it up nicely:
Let me be clear that I am not trying to paint Nikon as some sort of corporate bad guy. I’m not suggesting that anyone avoid their products or badmouth the brand, and I have no idea whether Nikon is or is not a company that in general does a good job supporting family-friendly events and promotions. However, I am saying that the single example of the brand’s social media outreach efforts that I’m criticizing was very badly planned and executed. Period. Maybe it was a one-off mistake -albeit a very public one – but if I ran Nikon’s PR efforts, I’d be asking some questions today.
My closing advice would be this – when you are marketing to women, pay attention to all the details. She certainly is.