Lean Thinking Is Almost Everywhere

Yes, even from the Old Spice Guy. Below are 5 lessons that all lean thinkers, six sigma practitioners, or folks in lean manufacturing can learn and apply in their work.

No Explicit Invitation

That’s right, at no time that we can remember does the Old Spice Guy tell us to buy Old Spice or offer us a coupon. But, he makes watching him enjoyable, laughable, and memorable.

But, the fun the audience has most likely will lead to different marketing experience the next time we’re at the store in the fragrance or the deodorant aisle. We’ll remember the Old Spice Guy and how he made us laugh and our decision to purchase Old Spice will not be driven by price or a discount, but by memory and by our internal voice saying to us “That Old Spice Guy was funny” and then reaching out and buying Old Spice instead of another brand.

Lesson: Add value to your internal and external customers immediately, in a memorable way – and remember that value is always defined by the customer. The invitation, if compelling enough, will be accepted – even though it is implicit and not explicit.

Keep it Real

By commercial production standards, the Old Spice Guy commercials are not the best produced videos – but that’s the point and the real-ness of the videos and their imperfection is part of the story.

Lesson: In your Lean Implementation, things don’t have to be perfect, but they need to be genuine and they need to be real. Old Spice has 71 years of experience helping guys improve their mansmells with deodorant, bodywash, antiperspirant and fragrances.

A Person is More Memorable than an Idea

What does Old Spice stand for? Do you know their mission statement? Do you know their product vision? Do you know their brand promise? Yeah, we don’t either.

But, we sure remember the Old Spice Guy and his funny commercials. We’ll remember his persona – the Old Spice Persona.

Lesson: embody the values and promise and vision and mission – in the person. We’ll remember the person and what the person stood for more easily than the ideas themselves.

Have Courage

Proctor & Gamble is a very old company; while they are known for innovative products, by and large, they are conservative in their approach. Their departure from that with the Old Spice Guy shows courage and, it’s courageous effort that worked.

Lesson: Have Courage.

Teach Them and Let Them Govern Themselves

While the Old Spice Guy didn’t necessarily teach us anything, he gave us memorable, funny content that was shareable. And, that’s exactly what happened – millions of people shared the Old Spice Guy’s content – everywhere. And, no effort was made to stop the sharing – instead, it was encouraged.

Consider these statistics from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook:

  1. Youtube – Channel Views: 11,634,739
  2. Youtube – Upload Views: 138,504,501
  3. Youtube – Subscribers: 166,425
  4. Twitter – 117,495 Followers
  5. Facebook – 821,102 Friends
Lesson: In your Lean Implementation, give those you teach and mentor something to talk about and something to share – and allow them to share freely and take on a movement-type quality.

Consider the social media impact – it is huge. Viral, indeed. Here’s some data on the Old Spice videos – consider the Old Spice videos in relation to other historical viral videos within 24 hours below (source: Visible Measures):

"We want our Lean efforts to take on a “viral” component, where lean becomes a movement of its own."

Old Spice Videos

Below are a few of the memorable Old Spice Videos that will entertain you and make you laugh.

  1. Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like – we’re not saying this body wash will make your man smell into a romantic millionaire jet fighter pilot, but we are insinuating it.
  2. Old Spice | Did You Know – don’t smell like sunsets and baby powder. Smell like jet fighters and punching. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpUrz9RvuPk)
  3. Old Spice | Boat – use Old Spice and get ready for a manly moustache surprise.
  4. Old Spice | Questions – should your man smell like an Old Spice Man?

Old Spice Products Through History

Viewed from a historical context, the Old Spice brand is over 50 years old. Below are some Old Spice products through time.

  • Old Spice Brass Razor Handle: This solid brass razor handle came as a gift set with Old Spice after shave cream, circa 1985.
  • Old Spice Razor and Brush Stand: This porcelain rack held a brush and a razor – the Old Spice logo is on both the holder and the brush. The razor brass-plated heavy cast metal, circa 1980.
  • Old Spice Razor and Travel Case, circa 1989.
  • Old Spice Shaving Brush, circa 1970.
  • Old Spice Leather Cologne, circa 1985 – 1991.

Old Spice by Old Spice

Buy Old Spice and you could smell like a jet fighter pilot, millionaire on a boat without a shirt, riding on horse.

Smell like a man, buy Old Spice.

Source article: Schmula (P. Abilla)

John&Partners team.

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