Building your company around a celebrity is a risky business. Case in point: Justin Bieber, the biggest singing star this side of ‘N Sync, decided to get a haircut earlier this year. No big deal, right? Unless, of course, you run a toy factory that produces Justin Bieber dolls, and then any change to his public image is a huge deal.
That’s what happened to a toy company called Bridge Direct. Luckily, this change wasn’t a fatal blow to the company because they still had time to redesign the dolls and retool their equipment so the rest of their dolls will have the new hairstyle. But what should they do with all of their old dolls?
When Twitter Comes in Handy
This is a perfect time to use Twitter as an inventory management solution. In an earlier blog post I talked about how a business could use Twitter inventory management to sell excess inventory at a discount. If a popular product suddenly becomes outdated, you can throw up an offer on Twitter to try to get it off your hands quickly.
I’m sure many Bieliebers (Justin Bieber fans, I just found out) were disappointed that their idol lost his signature hairstyle, so they would probably jump at the chance to get a great deal on a doll with the old hairstyle. The toymaker could let Bieliebers know this is their last chance to get a doll like this. By focusing on the obsolete dolls’ novelty, the toymaker has a chance to break even on them.
Keep the Channel Open
As long as you stay connected to customers via social media and mostly use it to share useful information to them, you can sometimes sell products through it. Twitter isn’t an ideal inventory management solution; it should mainly be used as a last resort for moving inventory. But when situations like this arise, you should be able to use Twitter to your advantage.
When working in such a risky business, it’s important to use all the tools you can. Twitter, Facebook and other social-media sites are nice free tools to help you react quickly to sudden changes. Just don’t let success go to your head.