Can the Social Web save chives?

How can companies get consumers enthused about their products as a way of boosting product sales? Seth points to the desperate attempts of Tide and the Chives Marketing Board to do just this. Tide has sent out an email to a number of customers to survey their laundry habits. The Chives Marketing Board has begun an advertising campaign to urge consumers to increase their daily chive intake.

Charles Leadbeater's We-Think and Don Tapscott's Wikinomics suggest that the social movement of the web will transform a number of industries such that it will become normal for consumers to be involved in the actual production of what they consume. The Linux operating system is a famous example of this, but there are other examples, such as OhMyNews - the South Korean news site that accepts articles from readers.

How can we apply this idea to Tide and the Chives Marketing Board?

Consumers of Tide could probably discuss online their laundry habits, rather than in a survey, and help distill what it is about the brand they like and don't like. This might then focus the researchers and technical teams at Tide to address the problems they have with their product, as well inspire them to satisfy any latent needs. A market like the washing powder market does innovate, even if slowly. However, how much of this is consumer led and meeting consumers' specific needs?

With respect to Chives, I think it is merely a matter of determining some great foods which use chives as an ingredient. Again - a recipe invention site where people can show off what people have come up with might re-ingite some interest in chives; something like the Simpsoniser for chives.