Brand Messaging Strategy Case Study: The Nugget
When COVID hit, there was one product that made it on to my list – the Nugget. It’s a couch for kids that can be configured into forts and promises endless hours of indoor fun. Moms raved about it on Facebook and Instagram. And, now, I know it makes an instructive messaging case study.
As winter rapidly approached, and the pandemic situation didn’t show signs of improvement, I made the decision to purchase- only to discover that I had to wait five months to get it. At $229 each, I purchased three, two for my very active toddlers and one for my nine-year-old niece. After all, moms were endorsing it; it looked stylish, and hours of indoor fun during a pandemic seemed like it was worth the investment. Other parents must have thought the same, because the company shipped three times as many Nuggets in 2020 as 2019 and opened up a new production facility in North Carolina to keep up with demand.
The marketer in me can’t help but reflect on what this company has done right, and why I waited 5 months to receive the Nugget versus purchasing an alternative. The Nugget is a great messaging strategy case study of a start-up that found success leveraging social media.
A messaging strategy is key to a company’s success – it’s essentially how you talk about your product across platforms. An effective messaging strategy:
- has a clear target
- differentiated positioning that resonates with the target consumer
- is executed consistently across platforms
Let’s take a look at this messaging strategy case study and why it worked:
Messaging Strategy Case Study: Identifying the Right Target
Initially, the Nugget was targeted to college students as an alternative to uncomfortable futons.
That changed when school teacher Hannah Fussell (now Chief Product Officer) brought a Nugget into her classroom and saw how much kids loved it. She immediately saw the potential and worked with the company to make some product changes – removed white zippers, changed the color palette and introduced washable covers.
By 2017, the company had pivoted and found its niche with moms of children ages two to 12 who were looking for stylish and interactive fun toys for their children.
Messaging Strategy Case Study: Brand Positioning
“Furniture for growing imaginations: Part furniture, part toy and all around the best thing to happen in playtime since, well, ever” (Nuggetcomfort.com)
The Nugget is marketed as “the original play couch” that is a “source of creativity, exploration, and fun” for all ages. For Mom, it can be stylish lounging furniture when kids aren’t using it, and for kids, it’s a four-piece toy that transforms into “tunnels, rocket ships, castles and more,” providing hours of indoor imaginative play.
During a pandemic, this is a winning proposition for parents who are seeking ways to keep their kids entertained indoors and burn off energy. What this company gets right is the emotional elements that underpin its messaging – only this couch can provide fun and enjoyment to both child and parent.
Messaging Strategy Case Study: Online Execution & Social Media
Everything this company does exudes FUN:
- their website has cartoon imagery
- packaging is a playful orange with bubble letters
- their blog is approachable and conversational
- their colors are stylish, with playful names like Submarine and Koala
All of these product and marketing elements reinforce modern playfulness and almost guarantee fun. However, the most important validation has been from other moms and the sharing of their personal Nugget experiences online. Pew Research estimates 83% of parents use social media, with Facebook being the most popular network among moms. Unsurprisingly, there are over 30 Facebook fan pages dedicated to the Nugget, you can find plenty of configuration ideas on Pinterest and nuggetcomfort has over 400K followers on Instagram #Nuggeteers. The message is clear – moms and kids love it.
Some of these moms are influencers, but others are simply moms that waited three-plus months for their Nugget and are satisfied consumers (yours truly included!).
Messaging Strategy Case Study: Managing COVID Supply-Chain Problems
Like many companies, the Nugget shut down operations when COVID hit. But unlike many, they bounced back stronger, turning an out-of-stock negative experience into a democratized lottery game in-line with their playful brand image. Parents could register for a chance to purchase and receive one of the few Nugget units available before Christmas 2020.
Thousands registered, further fueling the online hype and tactfully driving traffic to their website as consumers looked to stay informed on whether or not they won or when the next drop date would be. That, coupled with online positive reviews from other moms, has been a winning recipe for this company.
Overall, the Nugget messaging strategy case study exemplifies the power of strategic communication. They have a great product, but success required identifying the right target, the right messaging that resonated with that group and consistent execution across social media platforms to build their brand and drive demand. I am excited to see what’s next for this company and where they go as they expand their product offerings.