Thursday, December 17, 2009

Earplugs Are Sexy

I work for a division of 3M. My company was previously known as Aearo- our brands were AOSafety, E-A-R, and Peltor. I attended an interesting "Lunch & Learn" session today. The focus for a lot of companies is shifting from old fashioned print media marketing to online, interactive marketing. Google searches, Facebook apps, blogs, social networking, online communities... it's the wave of the "future" to a lot of the "old school" corporations who have invested their marketing dollars in TV ads, newspaper ads, magazine ads, and bulk mailings. I have to admit that I do giggle a little, to myself, when I hear these business folks talking about the very media that I am pretty heavily involved in as being the "wave of the future" when I totally see it as the wave of right now and I catch myself wondering what the actual wave of the future will be! Anyway... it got me thinking... here I have my little speck in the blogosphere... I share my thoughts, my experiences, my frustrations, my joys, and so on. Do I really have any kind of an impact? And can the impact that I have be applied to the company I work for? I work in PPE- Personal Protective Equipment. We make and/or sell safety products. Earplugs, respirators, safety eyewear, hard hats, first aid kits and so on. Very exciting stuff. Honestly- I didn't ever think much about these kinds of products until I started working here. I always assumed most other people didn't think much about it, either, to be honest. I figure people wore safety stuff when they had to- for work or whatever. But when people find out that I work for the company that makes those "yellow ear plugs," I hear all kinds of ways that everyday people- people who don't work around heavy machinery or other noisy situations- use our earplugs all the time. "I couldn't sleep without those earplugs for all the snoring she does!" "I have to have them when I travel. Can't be on a plane without them." "It's how I got through my baby's colic- muted his screams so I was better able to comfort him." One of my co-workers was getting rid of some retail stock samples of chainsaw chaps. I snagged them and thought I would at least offer them to friends before they just got tossed. I didn't really think I'd find a home for either pair- who really uses chainsaw chaps besides lumberjacks? I immediately had several people interested in them- one person even wanted them as a gift for his mom! So apparently the use of our products is more widely applicable than I had thought back when I started working here 10 years ago. Now, I assume most of my readers must be somewhat internet savvy- why else would you be reading blogs and, most likely, blogging on your own? So my questions for you... 1. Do you use any types of safety gear like earplugs, safety glasses, respirators, etc? For work? At home? 2. What kind of marketing would capture your attention when it comes to safety products? Facebook apps? Banner ads? Online games? Educational information? 3. Have you even read this far? Don't forget... Safety first!


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Yep, read it all. But damn, now you've made me think!! John uses safety glasses at home SOME TIMES - not as much as he should. And we both used respirators when we insulated the basement.

I can honestly tell you that my attention is captured by the totally odd or totally catchy. Cool slogans, commercials with songs you can't forget, or things that are just so OUT THERE you can't help but remember them.

Anything that doesn't bore me is good marketing.

Hallie :)

Karen M. Peterson said...

I use earplugs when I really need sleep and don't want to be bothered. I have some of those really squishy ones that get done in your ears and cut out almost everything. It's great. My phone can ring right next to me and I'll sleep right through it.

I am not helpful on the marketing side of that, though...I'm sorry!

Claudya Martinez said...

I use earplugs all the time for sleeping and if I go to any live music event.

I think they could be marketed as more than just safety gear. They are just plain useful. I like it when they come with travel cases.

Educational info would get my attention.

Teacher Tom said...

I use my respirator a lot, Liz, and safety googles, but I can't help you on the marketing. In both cases, I got them because something bad happened to someone I know . . . I'm not sure you'd want to create a marketing campaign around that!

Joanie said...

I have earplugs in my bedroom and at John's place too. Dani's friends are VERY loud, and rather than me continually coming downstairs to tell them to shut the F up or throw them out, I wear the plugs.

When I'm at John's, sometimes he snores... OK he often snores. And his neighbors downstairs fight almost every. single. night, after midnight. She is crying all. the. time. So, rather than giving her a gun, I wear the earplugs.

I do need to get better ones though. These only muffle sound and not very well. Maybe I'll look for your brand!