The cold hard facts about marketing the freezer case
Being an advertising agency that works exclusively in the emerging and growing food category, we feel it’s important to educate – with passion – the love of food marketing. Because the frozen food category is near and dear to our hearts (it’s easy when you work with Qrunch and Tandoor Chef) we thought you would like to get down to the cold hard facts about the freezer case. Enjoy!
At RMD, we love celebrating our client’s success – especially when our Media Relations team is part of it! Truth be told, we are food brand lovers, so when we approached the foremost food reviewer Phil Lambert, he knew we were handing over a winning product. Watch as he rates Graeter’s French Pot Ice Cream Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip as one of his favorites. Try it for yourself and you’ll agree.
Travel offers a chance to get out of your comfort zone, learn, and bring ideas back to your normal life. Earlier this year I was given the opportunity to travel to Tarime, Tanzania with a group of volunteer dentists. Luckily, my employer, RMD Advertising, sees value in these kind of life experiences and has a policy of awarding an additional week of paid vacation in order to assist.
Coke at the Great Rift Valley
Landing in Nairobi, and then driving 8 hours to Angel House Orphanage and Secondary School, was a fascinating introduction to East Africa. Nairobi is a metropolis with LCD-topped skyscrapers blasting adverts into the sky, the Kenyan countryside is flush with people and an interesting mix of commerce, while the Tanzanian country is still filled with primarily herders and farmers … but through all of it one thing was always present – bright Red Coca-Cola signs everywhere you looked. But not ads for Coke … the signs were for schools, for bars, for taxis … all the names printed in white text, with a circular Coca-Cola logo, all on Pantone 484 … aka Coke Red.
If an alien with a very basic understanding of earth were to land in East Africa and look around, he would probably think Coca-Cola is the central government. After enjoying a cold Coke, which seem to be omnipresent, I began to ask questions. I learned that Coca-Cola will print a sign for anyone, the sign is bright red and about 30% of the face of the sign is already branded. Coke, and some other enterprising brands, will come out and give any building a fresh coat of paint — and logos and slogans. Coke is willing to invest money in emerging markets with a strategy that is mind-blowing longterm by today’s standards.
Make it local
Even Coke’s rival Pepsi wants in on the action! And in an interesting repeat of their Great Depression food marketing that worked so well in the United States 80 years earlier, Pepsi is charging half as much for the same amount; if Coke is 1000 Tanzanian Shillings, Pepsi in the next cooler is 500. I wonder how many food marketing gurus Pepsi went through before they decided to return to what worked.
When I returned to my job in the states, I had some new perspective on how powerful a brand can really be in a community. I also carried with me the notion that something successful doesn’t always need to be reinvented, perhaps just refreshed for a new market or demographic. Things that are universally appealing: value, purity, health … are ideas that don’t need a meme or app to make them resonate with consumers. Now who want’s a refreshing Coke?
3 ways growing and emerging brands differ from work for the grown and emerged.
We’re often asked about the unique segment that we play in, day in and day out, at RMD Advertising. The growing and emerging food brand channel. What makes this channel different from a Fortune 500 brand, or brands that have emerged to Superbowl status? So many aspects of a growing and emerging brand differ, but for us it boils down to three key areas:
1. Family matters. 90% of growing and emerging food brands remain family-owned and operated. For us, this is a perk — waking up each day and making a real impact on the families we serve — those that own the brand, and those that consume the brand. Knowing that the work matters is a key differentiator between an RMDer and other industry professionals. Families make decisions differently than a large, consumer packaged good brand. Decisions, spend, direction and strategy are all personal and impactful at a different level. All of this must be understood when serving clients in this category, and leveraged to continue to effectively and efficiently reach and serve new consumer groups.
2. Inner Circles. No doubt, your own family has an inner circle — a group of confidants that you trust more than casual acquaintances. Often, growing and emerging brands fit the same model. Working hard to earn and maintain the trust of the brands we serve is never something to take lightly. Likewise, our brands work diligently to earn consumer credibility — which is also the reasonPublic Relations is often a significant part of the brand’s integrated approach. Small decisions can have ripple effects that are quite large, and the trust of a client is sacred. Serving this channel requires a brand team that has unshakable integrity, and one that strives to be extraordinary — not flawless — in daily execution. Execute as if you’re a member of the family, and you’ll be trusted as if you were, too.
3. Strength: the soul of the brand. Knowing how to sell a food brand that continues to grow and emerge requires a team that’s nimble and flexible, as competing against big budgets and deep pockets isn’t easy. Nor is it a challenge for the faint at heart. But there are a few secret weapons that can be cunningly leveraged to successfully even the playing field. Speed, personalization and commitment to the consumer are at the soul of any great growing and emerging food brand. Large brands can’t move and mobilize at the speed smaller brands can. Nor can they do so in a way that brings heart and commitment to the message — attributes that resonate with even the most skeptical consumer. For at the end of the day, consumers don’t buy products from corporations. They buy from real people they can relate to. Trust is a key component to landing on the family dinner table. And in light of all of the changes we’ve seen in the food business over the past decade, as Americans, we will always trust family.
Sitting in a cubical has never been my idea of a good time – least of all for multiple hours during the day, 5 days during the week. Neon lights, white walls, and water cooler chit-chat with Todd from accounting who can’t remember my last name has an “e” at the end of it. Not what I would call fun, in fact, more like my worst career dream realized.
In my nightmare scenario, everyone would arrive at 8:00 a.m and leave at 5:00 p.m. after a solid, non-communicative workday full of spreadsheets and number crunching. Co-workers were only familiar faces and success was measurable only by how many spreadsheets I compiled in a day.
Thankfully, I found RMD. I like to consider advertising a profound mix of work and pleasure. Here at RMD, I get to use my sparkling people skills, some of what my higher education embarked on me and lots of great dance moves to make the world move just a little bit every day. I get the supreme honor of helping our clients successfully grow their business; while at the same time keeping our internal creativity and innovation flowing.
I’d like to give you guys a little sneak peek into some of the events of RMD … we have dance off’s in the hallway, we run together, walking and cheering count too … even a ‘shot and run’ (tequila is the usual preference) has been known to happen on busy afternoons after meetings have concluded. During the summer, Beer Friday’s are commonplace.
I choose to work where my colleagues can pronounce my name, truly care what I did last weekend, give me hugs when I come back from a vacation day or week and will come to my wedding as guests, not as co-workers.
So despite any gawking mouths and my clearly superior “cupid shuffle” dance moves in the hallway weekly … I call myself lucky every day because this is my job.