Monday, April 21, 2008

method retrospect


vroom brand car care products

I told you I'd get to these someday! I'm just, well, lazy. Yeah, that's it. Why hide it! Ok? Ok. Time for another method retrospect! Where we take a moment to remember those wonderful products that came and went. To method product Heaven is where they went. Oh WOE is me, to method product Heaven! But they shall forever be in our hearts. Our obsessive method product filled hearts. Maybe that's why I have no boyfriend, I have no room left for love. For my heart is all full of method products. Ok, wait, that's just so sad... so very sad. I think we need a moment of silence here.

OK! So today we're featuring the vroom brand car care line! Did you purchase these products when they were released, in 2005? Here's a bit of background:

"Target Corp., Method's largest customer, signaled its belief in the brand when it approached the company to develop a new category; which was the "catalyst" to launch Vroom.

The automotive merchandisers at Target saw that existing products did not engage the store's target customer. Target approached Method to devise something to appeal to soccer moms instead of hardcore car enthusiasts. It took Method three months to go from idea to a packaged product.

"When you have a major retailer give you the support this launch (of Vroom) will have, it gives you confidence to put capital investment into a new brand," said Eric Ryan, co-founder of Method with Adam Lowry. He said Target saw only the Vroom concept and signed on for "endcap displays," the coveted real estate at the end of a shopping aisle. Vroom was fully funded by Method; Target provided no financial support."

The product line included: all purpose cleaner, glass cleaner (which you can see in the photo to the very left; it's all bubbly cause I just dropped it on the floor right before the photo was taken, ha! It doesn't come pre-bubbled like that!), tire shine, protectant (for your car interior), air plug-ins (not pictured), hand wipes (for carrying in your car), interior refreshers (scented sprays for your car interiors; the item I keep mentioning would work great as a Febreze competitor); and a multitude of mitts, cloths, and such.

Most of the cleaners were actually unscented. Which surprised me coming from method (perhaps this was due to them only having three months to create these products?) I expected the glass cleaner to maintain it's method style mint, and so on. But they were all unscented; excluding the air plug-ins (which you snapped onto your car air vent), hand wipes and the interior refreshers. These items came in Sea Flower (an AMAZING scent! I wish method would bring this fragrance to the method line!), Lavender Vanilla, Mandarin Melon, and Basil Verbena (another scent I loved.)

Sadly the line lasted little more than two years (ending around 2007.) I'm not sure why it didn't work, or if method simply didn't want to focus on that area of cleaners long term. I think a lot of the ideas and products could have been brought in under the method brand (as this brand was labeled: vroom brand, a method "people against dirty' product.)

You can actually still find a vroom brand line at Target, though it's only fabric items (cleaning cloths, mitts, sponges and the such); no cleaners. Target somehow retained that name from method (unfortunately I don't know the details) and kept those products around. I've always wondered if that caused any confusion for method.

I loved the line (big surprise there, right?) and HELLO method, (I keep beating this horse dead, but hoping sooner or later they hear me. Hello, hello? Anyone there?) Vroom brand interior refreshers = method Febreze competitor. It's PERFECT!

Did you purchase this line? Lusted after it? Didn't really like it? What were your thoughts? Drop me some comments! Thanks!

10 comments:

Steve Parker said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but It seems as if "vroom" was totally Target's brainchild. The name was clearly theirs, since they use it still for car cleaning tools (brushes, sponges, etc.) I don't see method letting Target use it unless it was theirs from the start. The marketing of method products under a moniker other than "method" is out of character for the company. I am envisioning Target Corp approaching method saying, "We want to launch an auto care brand called "Vroom," geared toward the average driver. We would like you to develop the product." It was method funded, and method quality, but Target's rules. Why else would method not have called it, oh I don't know, method auto? Also, why didn't (hasn't) method marketed items such as the auto refresher as method fabric refresher. They know how to make it. They already have. Playing by Target's rules clearly didn't work. Brand loyalty is one of method's biggest assets. The line appears, to me anyway, to be a Target branded product. I didn't even realize this line was produced by method until right before it went on clearance. (I don't get into car cleaning. I let someone else do that once a month.) The line may have done better and persevered with method name recognition to fuel sales. Maybe one day method will resurrect this line and market it the way it was meant to be, as a product that is unmistakably method. The only problem would be if Target has any claim to product ideas, which is possible since method developed the entire line in only three month.

Jen said...

no I completely missed out :(
but you are not alone in your love for method. Who needs a boyfriend? No one will love you like Method loves you!

Steve Parker said...

"No one will love you like Method loves you." I like it. That should be on a t-shirt! Maybe with Method Lust on the back.

Nathan Aaron said...

I LUST that idea! hmm...

Anonymous said...

I finally ran out of the aforementioned FANTASTIC Sea Flower Air Freshener in my car, and after looking at Target - only to not find it on the shelves - I dutifully googled "vroom" and... well, this is the sad conclusion to the story. It's gone. I feel your pain. If only the Method folks would bring back our beloved Sea Flower Vroom.

Anonymous said...

I bought the Basin Verbena interior car spray. EVERYONE LOVED IT when they got into my truck. It had a fresh, refreshing, healthy, outdoors-meets-faint/lemony-herbs scent that didn't come with a headache. It covered up any bad smell left in the truck from smelly feet, food, animals, etc and lasted a long time. Felt like I was sanitizing my truck too because of the scent. When I ran out of it and wanted to get more, Target had ceased providing it. *weeps, mourns*

Anonymous said...

I did the exact same thing. Went looking for the Sea Flower and Basil Verbena scents via google and got to this site. At least I'm not alone. heh. I will buy that stuff off anyone thought!!!

toquentaurus said...

The basil verbena was my absolute favorite. I happened across it in the clearance aisle and fell in love. I went to every target in the greater Nashville, TN area and bought every interior freshener(23) and vent freshener(18) they had. I know that makes me sound loony but the scent was phenomenal. I have looked for this scent in cologne, body wash, air filters, anything possible but to no avail. If we all band together and write method or target what would be the chances of getting these scents reinstated do you think?

Anonymous said...

The Vroom interioR car wipes were the BEST!!! They didn't smear, smelled good, cleaned well. I miss them. I google Vroom periodically to see if I can find anything which is how I got here.

Rose Marry said...

Everyone loves their car shine and with Car Wax you can easily get showroom shine for your old car.

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