Aquasana Dives into Social Intelligence: NetBase Helps the Water Filter Company Gain Insight into Its Customers' Needs

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The idea for Aquasana--water filters produced by Sun Water Systems--came about when founder Charles Strand noticed his infant son was affected by the family's tap water. After testing multiple products, Strand discovered his son's ailments subsided after using a homemade filter attached to a showerhead.

Over a decade later, Strand and his company have developed a full line of home water filter products, including countertop and under-counter drinking water filters, shower filters, and whole-house filtration systems. To continue growing, the brand needed to differentiate itself from other filter purveyors.

To better understand what customers were saying about the company's brand and competitors, Courtney Turner, Aquasana's former marketing and community manager, turned to NetBase, a social intelligence provider.

NetBase's Insight Workbench lets marketers extract customer perceptions from social media "chatter" to identify trends, discover new product uses, and learn about their competition. What drew Turner to NetBase was its content history.

"A full year of content from the day you start was unique. Coupled with the accuracy of the natural language processor and the...user-friendly interface of the product, I was hooked," she notes.

Turner says she used Insight Workbench for the first time last year to track Aquasana against competitors in a "SWOT analysis using online conversations and sentiment."

One weakness that leaped out about Aquasana's competitors was consumer complaints about pitcher filters. "They're slow to fill, they get the fine [particles] in the bottom and look dirty, and the plastic pitchers break and leak quite easily," Turner says. "We launched a campaign to illuminate the convenience of our countertop and under-counter filters, and compare our filters in terms of overall, lifelong cost." It became part of the company's core advertising strategy.

Turner also noticed that Water for Life, the company's auto-ship replacement filter program, was not showing up in relation to its brand name. When Turner shared her discovery with the marketing team, Aquasana was able to rework much of its advertising, Web site copy, and program details to better support the Water for Life program. …