Making a brand memorable

What do you do when you’re one of the best-known brands in the world and want to come up with a new brand message?

If you’re Coca-Cola, you simply look at yourself from a different point of view… and as you can see for yourself, the results are simple, eye-opening, and... dare I say it? Absolutely refreshing.

You’ve heard about Pinterest and that it’s the new “big marketing idea,” but you may be wondering just how to really make it actionable. There are many companies out there giving it a try: Country Outfitters, Wilton, and Naturalizer, just to name a few.

But how is Pinterest applicable for Food Marketing? That’s easy - Appetite Appeal!

Food marketing is all about making people hungry. And Pinterest offers the perfect way to accomplish exactly that. Just ask your loyal customers (and soon-to-be-loyal customers) to pin recipe images for your products.

How food manufacturers can reach their audience via Pinterest

Ever heard of the social media site Pinterest? If not, you’d better read up on it quickly. Most of today’s savvy marketing managers use it already — and those who don’t are scurrying to catch up.

Martha Stewart Living Pinboard

According to Experian Marketing Service’s 2012 Digital Marketer report, this invitation-only online pinboard site now ranks as the third most popular social networking site, right behind Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest members use the site to share (pin) links and photos of the things they love with others, especially eye-catching food, fashion and home décor images.

Not surprisingly, given the content, Pinterest’s audience skews female (60%) with an astonishing 97% of their Facebook fans being women (AppData quoted by TechCrunch.com). Since grocery shoppers are predominantly women (or men carrying shopping lists written by women), this creates opportunities for retail food manufacturers. Those with mouthwatering food shots that show off products to their best advantage can pin and be pinned, both as eye candy and as future menu options.

Well, we’ve all heard it a million times, so here goes a million and one…“There’s an App for that!” And consumer appetite for apps seems to be unquenchable. As a food marketer, if you’re not leveraging this, you’re way behind the times. Retail brands, food manufacturers, retail stores, restaurants, and everyone in between are developing consumer apps that; help consumers prepare meals or assist in dining out, gather deals, provide product and nutritional information, educate, or simply make mealtime quicker, easier, and less stressful.

Recipe Apps Are What’s Hot in the Kitchen

Kraft was one of the first brand manufacturers to get on the app craze, with their iFood Assistant App. It’s a great app for consumers that allows them to browse thousands of recipes, that BTW, use Kraft products. Automate shopping lists for any recipe you select. Cooking how-to videos, store locators, and hundreds of other features. It’s a huge hit with consumers, and a very profitable endeavor for Kraft.

Over the past two years of economic turbulence we’ve seen significant changes in how consumers shop. And, as the economy begins to regain strength, some of these purchasing patterns look like they may be around for a while.

One tried and true method marketers are seeing gain greater and greater momentum is couponing. In fact, in the past year almost all consumers (94 percent) say they have used consumer package goods (CPG) coupons at least once, and 77 percent with regularity, according to the 2010 Coupon Facts Report recently released by NCH Marketing Services Inc.

Even more compelling is the number of consumers who are pre-planning what they intend to purchase at the grocery store. Two years ago, marketers could tout that the majority of purchase decisions were made by impulse, in-store. Today, it’s the exact opposite. According to IRI data, 86% of consumers are making CPG decisions, BEFORE entering the store. Consumers are using mailers, store fliers, coupons, and of course their brand preferences, to make their shopping list.

Part 2 New Product Launch

Product Launch

A successful new product launch must have a well thought out marketing plan in place. Regardless of research, market demand, and all the work put into perfecting your product, failure is probable if the right launch plan and strategy are not properly implemented.

Launching a product in foodservice is significantly different than retail products. Sales, distributors, operators, and consumers are all keys to success.

Strategy

Here are the building blocks for a sound strategy to launch new products:

Part 1 New Product Development

New product development is a major key to success in the foodservice industry. Providing creative food experiences is the life-blood for restaurants and chains, and how they fulfill customer expectations will determine their success or failure. This is where you can become a valuable foodservice partner, providing insight and resources.

Every year, tens of thousands of new products are introduced into foodservice, most of which fail. Why? If consumers want new and exciting products and flavors, why do most fail? I would offer up that the answer lies somewhere within product development and the launch cycle. There’s a simple, yet systematic process for new product success in the foodservice industry.

First off, not everything works for everybody. And there is no sure-fire silver bullet when it comes to new product success. However, the pathway outlined below, will give you the highest likelihood of success on your next new product.

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone it is highly improbable that he anticipated just how dramatically telecommunications would evolve, much less the revolution smartphones. In the past five years, since the launch of Apples iPhone, Blackberry, and Android, the use of mobile phones has changed exponentially. In addition to altering how people stay connected to each other, smartphones have changed how consumers shop for food products. In essence, it’s become their in-store GPS, and you may or may not be entered into their trip destination.

Smartphones are providing food brands with a viable tool to stay connected to their consumers while creating an even stronger consumer-to-brand bond, than ever before. Food brands such as Nestle, Campbell’s, Kraft and Kellogg’s have launched apps for smartphones that provide coupons, nutritional information, recipes, tips, tools, entertainment, all at their consumers’ fingertips. The apps provide the convenience and information consumers are seeking, while incorporating a specific product, or products, into the solution provided.

As a food marketer you don’t have to go to Disney World to hear the “It’s a Small World” song inside your head. All you have to do is walk through the aisle of your local supermarket.

More and more, over the past few years, when one looks at the shelves of the grocery store, it’s obvious a mainstreaming of ethnic food brands and flavors is occurring. In the frozen foods section at Wegmans, under their proprietary label, offerings of Indian and Thai cuisine take up an entire freezer case and aisle are dedicated to Kosher and Mexican cuisine. In the suppermarket there are no ethnic boundaries, only booming sales.

In a recent article on Brandchanel.com they noted that in the US “$1 out of every $7 is spent on groceries toward ethnic foods.” And it’s a trend that continues to grow due to the popularity of celebrity chefs embracing ethnic flavors, a more adventurous, sophisticated consumer, and the belief, though not always true, that ethnic cuisines are somehow healthier.

What do Gap, Tropicana, and Pepsi all have in common? That’s right; they have all received branding “face lifts” over the past two years. Well, that was their goal at least. As we have been in the long process of redesigning and launching the new packaging for Hatfield Quality Meats, I immediately thought of these larger companies and the backlash they have been receiving over their re-branding.

Gap announced just 4 days after confirming its new logo was indeed legit that it would be going back to their classic blue box logo. Thanks to social media vehicles like Facebook, Gap was able to receive the response and critiques of the new logo from their more than 720,000 fans. Once they deemed the new logo a fail, they were able to pull the plug hopefully before any damage was done. So what part of the logo was not well received? Why were consumers not feeling it? According to Advertising Age via an article written in Huffington Post, “they chose the new design because it was more contemporary and current. It honored the heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward.” While Gap might have felt this way, their fans dubbed the logo as bland and boring.

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