We’re talking today with Amy Dickerson, former National Marketing & Events Manager for HP Retail Photo Services, about how House Party introduced consumers to the unique offerings of HP Photo Wall Décor and Photo Gifts.
It’s our job here at House Party to create a fun party experience for consumers, regardless of the product being featured. Some of the brands we work with immediately make sense for a party environment — game brands or alcohol brands, for instance. Others, like photo wall-décor, might not seem quite so obvious. How did you decide that House Party made sense for HP Retail Photo Services? What were some of your considerations when thinking about party themes and Party Pack contents?
We’re always looking for ways to drive word of mouth for our HP Photo Wall Décor and Photo Gifts — and all the better if it’s from shoppers who’ve actually tried our services. Most consumers aren’t aware that you can easily and affordably turn your favorite photos into wall canvases, mounted photos, posters, banners, books, calendars etc., and pick them up the same day at a local retailer. It was perfect to work with House Party hosts — to have them try this service themselves, either in stores or online at our partner retailers, so they could then tell their guests about it and actually help them through the learning curve. The Party Pack included free coupons for hosts and large discounts for the guests, so that after experiencing the products at the parties, they could go out and try on their own. And we planned seasonally relevant party themes (the first party was focused on spring cleaning, and the second, right before the holidays, on gift-giving) so guests could see concrete, timely usage examples.
With most House Party campaigns, hosts receive everything they need right in their Party Packs. With the HP Retail Photo Services campaigns, though, hosts had to visit a Walmart or Meijer location to pick up their new photo products (canvas prints and/or mounted photos), which gave them the chance to experience the entire process. How did you plan for this retail-integration component, and how did it impact the consumer experience?
We provided hosts with free trial coupons for our hero products to make it easy for them to try the HP Photo Creations before the parties and have something to show their guests. It was critical to inform the retailers and their in-store staff and call centers about this promotion; the more the store associates can know before a House Party host walks in, the better for everyone. We monitored the House Party site to see what hosts were saying about their experiences and used this information to post additional FAQ answers or to adjust other campaign messaging. Hosts expect quick feedback, since everything needs to be ready for their parties. On the House Party site, we posted specific answers in real time, which both resolved questions and showed the entire community that we were looking out for them.
You’ve worked on multiple House Party campaigns for HP Retail Photo Services. How did what you learned the first time around shape your planning for the next one?
The first party’s host-survey feedback was critical in making the second party even better. We adjusted our Party Pack, party activities and event messaging based on what they told us, and experienced very high increases in satisfaction and engagement (on top of an already-strong first set of results!). For the second party, we added more fun activities for the party — like photo props, craft activities related to photos, etc. — in order to generate additional social media buzz and UGC (especially photos, which drive so much social activity). We also used our campaign spokesperson (Genevieve Gorder, interior designer and TV personality) for a live chat during the pre-party period, which was a great way to drive engagement with hosts and let them share tips and ideas in advance of Party Day.