Tupperware and Social Media

My friend Jigar sent over this New York Times story about Tupperware’s new campaign to better use social media.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the Tupperware scheme, but let’s review. Tupperware does not spend money on traditional marketing campaigns. Instead they build a workforce of women who sell Tupperware by convincing friends and strangers to host Tupperware parties.

I love Tupperware, and I use it every day. I started selling it because I recognized how great of a product it was. I never sold that much of it because it comes with a very high price tag.

For whatever reason (and I have my theories) Tupperware is an investment. You invest in quality, and the fact that it’s going to be around forever and you can get replacement lids and yadda yadda. But you have to have that cash upfront to commit, and a lot of people just don’t have that. Especially a lot of my friends who are primarily still barely post college. (What’s that? I’m 7 years out?? It feels like yesterday.)

So I didn’t sell much, but I have continued trying to convince my friends and loved ones to make the investment because it’s worth it. I’ve had daydreams for years about making fun Tupperware commercials on Youtube and selling products that way. My sister and I embarked on this scheme back in 2006 before I read Tupperware’s Internet Terms and Conditions.

Buying domain names containing the word Tupperware -- or any of the letters the word contains -- is prohibited by Tupperware's Internet Terms and Conditions.

When I finally read these terms and conditions, my  heart sank.  My dreams were dashed.  I broke the rules when I bought www.tupperwaresisters.com.  And that’s just the beginning.  Everything I had dreamt of doing to relaunch Tupperware to my generation is against the rules.

I’m not even allowed to mention Tupperware on this website or on any other website other than my official Tupperware website. Yes, I’m breaking the rules today and every other day I blog or mention Tupperware here.

Not only am I not allowed to mention Tupperware on other websites, but I cannot link to a Tupperware product directly. Not from my Twitter, my Facebook–not from here.

I can only link to my official Tupperware website and let my potential customer comb through the selection of products.

And the reason for all these rules? Tupperware is in charge of the marketing of Tupperware.  In my opinion they do a pretty lame job of it.

They don’t want anyone else’s voice cluttering up the airwaves except in person in your potential customers’ living rooms.  They want to control everything that’s said about Tupperwar.  I’m not even allowed to take one of their beautiful photos of Tupperware and republish it anywhere — or alter it in any way.  (That’s a rule I was breaking all the time when I was still gung ho about selling Tupperware.)

I designed this adorable Tupperware business card that would never see the light of day.

Tupperware, I can’t believe you haven’t gotten it by now.  Your sales consultants and your customers are your best spokespeople, and Twitter is the new living room.

What are you so scared of Tupperware? People putting silly faces on your photos? Or maybe photographing Tupperware sunning itself on the beach like I did??

Grow up, and grow some guts. Let us speak up and link to products. Check out the Amazon Affiliates model for selling products – it rocks. Anything I’m looking at on Amazon I can directly share with anyone in any fashion and get sales credit if they make a purchase.

What’s your other option?  Continue to control how, when and where people sell your product?  Continue to have a laughable market share?  Continue to watch Zip Lock and Gladlock take over?

Your new “social media marketing campaign” — as you call it — is not a social media marketing campaign.  A true social media marketing campaign gives the power to your customers and your sales consultants.  Let them promote your products.  You don’t have to do all the work.

I can’t tell you the number of times I would have tweeted “OMG I loooove my Tupperware fridge keepers!  They keep my lettuce SO FRESH.” if I could have linked to the product.  As someone who specializes in sales, marketing and user experiences, it is not enough to just link to my product page and make my customers find whatever it was I was talking about.

And that’s a fact.

Speak up peeps.

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