First, it was the Clapper. Then the Garden Weasel. And now, we are all witnesses to the Snuggie.
Are you kidding me? Have you seen this thing? Basically it’s a blanket with sleeves, with all the fashion sense of a Franciscan monk’s robe, absent the stylish rope belt. It’s just the kind of thing we can sit around and laugh at, feeling secure in our un-Snuggieness. In Chicago, people went so far as to sponsor a Snuggie pub crawl – stay toasty while you’re getting toasted, I guess.
So imagine my surprise when a friend and colleague of mine confessed, that yes, she had a Snuggie. Her rationale: she could use the TV remote control while still keeping her hands warm (the sleeves of a Snuggie seem to extend down to your knees). Naturally, I laughed and continued to give her grief about it.
But later, I gave it some more thought (why I did has to do with a very long commute and my continued inability to stay focused). I came to the conclusion that the Snuggie is a brilliant piece of matching a product offering to the times. It’s not the Snuggie itself that matters, it’s the two realities it taps into. The first is that we’ve been in a recession with a capital R, and people are cutting back on all sorts of expenses because they feel financially less secure. Whether that’s perception or reality doesn’t matter. The second is that environmental responsibility is the new religion – heretics beware. Both of these trends lead to the same thing. Turn back the thermostat – save money and/or save the earth.
So the Snuggie is not only classic recession chic, it’s also a permission slip, a badge of honor.
Which now sets the table for the inevitable employer brand tie-in. Employee value propositions, at their best, also fit the times. And there are times when basic, no frills, Snuggie-like attribute are what matters most. So when evaluating your value proposition, take a look at how it meets the needs of your employees not only with differentiation in mind, but with today’s circumstances firmly at the forefront.