In a bold but brilliant move, vitaminwater scrapped its entire website and made the company's Facebook page its new homepage. All traffic from vitaminwater.com is now directed to Facebook, where visitors can easily become a fan and interact more deeply with the brand. The company's television ads also promote the Facebook URL as the place to interact with vitaminwater online. In fact, vitaminwater loves Facebook so much that it even named its newest flavor, Connect, in honor of the site and included the site's logo on the bottle.
Over the summer, fans were able to vote on flavor, ingredients, packaging, and naming for the new drink, with the person who created the winning name getting a $5,000 prize. The process started with the flavor creator lab, a Facebook app that crowd-sourced the flavor for the newest vitaminwater, black cherry-lime. Next up, participants completed a series of games and quizzes to determine which vitamins were needed most. After deciding upon caffeine and eight other nutrients, fans could submit their own packaging and naming ideas.
The flavor creator app was a huge success, as it grew the vitaminwater Facebook fan base from 400,000 to 981,000 in just one month -- and now stands at more than 1.3 million fans. Participation was tremendous, with nearly 10 percent (116,000) of its fans taking part and showcasing the enormous power of crowd-sourcing actual customer market research. To cap off the flavor's launch in March, vitaminwater gave away 100,000 free bottles of Connect to the first 100,000 fans who signed up for the coupon.