Briggs & Stratton finds innovative ways to collect more user-generated content

Company profile

Briggs & Stratton Outdoor Power Equipment

Bazaarvoice Solution

Bazaarvoice Conversations

Client since

2011

About Briggs & Stratton

As the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, Briggs & Stratton produces some of the world’s most reliable lawn mower engines and small engines. The company is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of power generation, lawn and garden, turf care and job site products, and its wholly owned subsidiaries include North America’s number one marketer of pressure washers.

Web link
www.briggsandstratton.com/

Summary

Briggs & Stratton creates a unique opportunity to gather both social content and reviews from its consumers at an event - and with the Bazaarvoice platform, the reviews will continue to influence shoppers long after the event.

Solution at a glance

Challenge

Find new and innovative ways to collect consumer reviews for new Briggs & Stratton lawn mowers, power washers and other products.

Solution

Hold special events in U.S. cities to afford consumers the opportunity to try and review Briggs & Stratton products.

Benefits

Collect more reviews to influence both consumers’ purchasing decisions and Briggs & Stratton’s product development strategy.

As a Bazaarvoice Conversations customer, Briggs & Stratton was quick to recognize the importance of gathering and sharing consumer-generated content (CGC) to drive purchase. Briggs & Stratton knows from experience that the more consumer content generated and shared - whether online, through social or through marketing - the better the chances of converting shoppers into buyers. Recently, the company’s pursuit of CGC took it to Phoenix, where the company organized a special event at a baseball spring training camp to solicit ratings and reviews of new Briggs & Stratton products. With Bazaarvoice Conversations serving as the Briggs & Stratton Ratings and Reviews platform, the content will live on its website and influence conversions far into the future.

“We do market research and focus groups and things that other companies do,” said Rick Zeckmeister, Vice President of Consumer Marketing and Planning for Briggs & Stratton, “but if we are really going to understand how people purchase things, we have to get out there and engage them.”

The company’s latest effort resulted in 460 new consumer ratings and reviews, which are now part of the Bazaarvoice Conversations platform that Briggs & Stratton employs to share CGC on its website. In addition, the company got feedback from bloggers and and other social media influencers that went out to nearly 1.4 million followers.

On the road collecting opinions about nine new products

Milwaukee-based Briggs & Stratton hosted the consumer event in Phoenix because that city is the spring training site for the company’s hometown baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers. Briggs & Stratton asked people attending spring training to take a few minutes to test a riding mower, a pressure washer and other equipment, and then give a rating or write a review based on their experience.

Tests focused on product characteristics such as quiet operation, maintenance requirements and ease of storage. Briggs & Stratton collected the input on iPads at the event. From there, the company sent the ratings and reviews to the Bazaarvoice platform to be moderated and displayed on the briggsandstratton.com and simplicitymfg.com websites.

In addition, the night before the event began, Briggs & Stratton solicited opinions from thought leaders on social media, garnering 134 Twitter and Instagram posts.

A powerful influence for both consumer and manufacturer

Product ratings and reviews are important because so many consumers – nearly 70% – seek advice and opinions before deciding on a purchase, according to a survey by the market research firm Mintel Group. Briggs & Stratton’s own research indicates that 87% of consumers specifically want to hear from other consumers about a product they’re considering buying.

The products consumers tried at the Phoenix event garnered positive feedback, with an average rating of 4.77 out of five. In addition to collecting ratings and reviews on iPads, the company captured hours of video testimonials as well, along with the commentary on social media.

While Briggs & Stratton welcomes the high ratings and product praise for their potential positive influence on consumer buying decisions, the company also values the feedback for its influence on product development decisions. Zeckmeister believes listening to customers and taking their views to heart should be a top priority for brands.

“When you show up at an event with nine products, and people start interacting with them, there’s a moment of truth when you realize people genuinely, authentically like them or not,” said Zeckmeister.

As a result of the feedback Briggs & Stratton received in Phoenix, for example, the company will be introducing a mower in 2016 that combines well-received features of two other recent models. The new mower folds for easy storage and never needs an oil change.

Looking ahead to reaching out to more consumers

Buoyed by the success of its last event, and with the 2016 outdoor power equipment season on the horizon, Briggs & Stratton is already planning another gathering aimed at generating hundreds more online product reviews.

“Now, with the Internet, word-of-mouth is stronger than ever,” said Zeckmeister. “We believe this is the way to reach our next generation of customers.”

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