Frito-Lay, Other Companies Doing Market Research Direct On Facebook

Companies like Lay’s are learning that Facebook and Twitter are a direct line to feedback from the consumer, feedback that before the dawn of social media, it would have been expensive and time-consuming to obtain.

Social media has opened up channels of communication than even during the pre-social media internet were not as intuitive and accessible to consumers — in the past, how would you have expressed your devotion to Cheez-Its?

For instance, a consumer with an issue would have been forced to wait for packaging to be available to potentially hunt down a 1-800 number, or maybe locate an address to send a letter that you’d never be sure anyone would read. Perhaps months later, some coupons would arrive in the mail.

Or even after every major company created a website, a consumer would have to be looking for an email and writing one out, and any market research would have to be opt-in — so inducing customers to give feedback would require they happen to visit your site while the research was open.

With Facebook, it’s likely consumers will “like” a brand of which they are very fond — and updates from that brand will display in their News Feeds, as Frito-Lay’s and other big brands are learning. Testing new flavors of chip, for instance, became a matter as simple as customers clicking “I’d Eat That” after liking the brand on Facebook.

Ann Mukherjee, chief marketing officer of Frito-Lay North America, told the New York Times:

“It’s a new way of getting consumer research… We’re going to get a ton of new ideas.”

Other major brands using social media to grab customer feedback are Walmart, Kohl’s and Estee Lauder, parent company of brands like Clinique and MAC. It’s an interesting trend, to be sure, and one that allows customers to feel a bit more connected and friendly with the companies with whom they choose to spend their hard-earned dollars.

Do you give feedback to your favorite brands like Frito-Lay on Facebook?