The landscape of the food industry and how brands and consumers interact has changed drastically. Consider how shoppers are making decisions. Who do they trust? Which marketing campaigns deliver maximum engagement from a distracted generation of shoppers?
Nearly 72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to their interests, according to a report from SmarterHQ, Indianapolis, Ind. This desire for personalization is key for food brands determining how to move forward in capturing the attention of their shoppers. They want to know that the brands they are supporting in the checkout lane understand their wants and needs.
America’s savvy brands began targeting Millennials back in 2012. That would have put the upper Millennial at the ripe age of 15. Today, the Millennial consumers range from 23-38 years of age. Major lifestyle changes happen within those ages. At 16, female Millennials were preoccupied with lifestyle brands that supported their personal aspirational needs. Today, they have families of their own and focus on filling their family’s meal and snack appetites.
That lifestyle change also means today’s Millennial shopper is considering labels more. The Millennial shopper is buying for varying appetites and brand preferences. Mostly, however, it means they’re level of trust has changed. They trust their friends, family and co-workers more than ever.
The moral of the story—if you’re targeting Millennials the same way you were when your brand first started focusing on them, you may be speaking to an audience that has lost interest. This is where strategic alliances and partnerships can play a critical role within the food industry—when well-orchestrated, co-branded alliances can propel organic word of mouth and do an excellent job of promoting trial.
Read the three areas in which co-marketed efforts can help solve the mystery of trust and personalization on the national Refrigerated and Frozen Foods website.
The awards won include: Grand AIM Award for Keystone Meats “What’s Your Beef?” Campaign, Platinum and Gold Online Marketing Division for Southern Recipe Small Batch’s Social Media Strategy, Platinum and Gold Integrated Content Marketing for Keystone Meats “What’s Your Beef?” Campaign and Gold Marketing Campaign for Braxton Brewing Co.’s new product Pumpkin Pie Ale. These awards speak to RMD’s imaginative and innovative use of media, social media, content production and online influencers to create successful and influential campaigns through Braxton, Keystone Meats and Southern Recipe Small Batch.
The AIM Awards recognize leaders and innovators in marketing, communications, graphic design, public relations and advertising throughout Central Ohio. The American Marketing Association, which judges and selects the AIM Awards Winners, is comprised of practitioners, academics and students, who share an interest in networking, learning and serving the community. The awards symbolize excellence in clear, concise communications, and AIM recipients represent marketing professionals, companies, nonprofit associations and institutions local to Columbus.
“What makes Keystone Meats such an amazing marketing challenge is our ongoing need to help America overcome their misnomer about canned meat,” shares Sue Reninger, Managing Partner of RMD Advertising. “But the product has just two ingredients: meat and sea salt. Also, by turning on the “yum” power of the brand, and highlighting how quick and simple the product is, America has fallen in love with this brand. It’s a dream client and a dream marketing challenge for RMD.”
Amidst hundreds of submissions, RMD’s entries for Keystone’s “What’s Your Beef?” campaign was distinguished as the leading entry across all categories. By using humor to offer solutions to common kitchen problems for Americans across the nation, Keystone Meats utilized strategic public relations, social media and marketing tactics to create one of their best campaigns to date.
RMD Advertising’s expertise in the food industry spans more than two and a half decades, contributing to its proficiency and win of this year’s AIM Awards. With a sales driven mindset and the discipline to follow through on each project it adopts, the RMD Advertising team often attracts growing and emerging food brands that are passionate about their future. The proof of the agency’s success is in the way lasting relationships have been built with such brands as Graeter’s Ice Cream, Southern Recipe and Keystone Meats. The agency’s more than 25 years of experience and its expansive industry knowledge continue to cultivate strong relationships with its brands in an ever-competitive industry.
We’re Celebrating PRSA’s Prism and The Association for Women in Communication’s Clarion Awards
RMD Advertising, an integrated advertising, brand strategy, social media and public relations agency considered an expert in the challenger food brand category, has been honored with awards from both the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a national award from The Association for Women in Communications. Each award highlights RMD Advertising’s excellence in marketing communications, as well as its passion for the success of its challenger food clients. Among those celebrated were Southern Recipe’s Pork Rind Appreciation Day, Graeter’s National Ice Cream Month campaign and Graeter’s cause-related campaign titled Cones for the Cure. The PRism Awards from PRSA and the Clarion Awards from AWC call attention to the niche food agency as a standout among the national competition.
The Clarion Awards symbolize excellence in clear, concise communications. Clarion recipients represent media companies large and small, leading corporations, small businesses and nonprofit associations and institutions. The Clarion Awards honor excellence in more than 100 categories across all communications disciplines. Amidst hundreds of submissions, RMD’s entry for Southern Recipe’s annual Pork Rind Appreciation Day campaign was distinguished as a leader in its category of “Special Promotion”. RMD’s entry for Southern Recipe’s Truck Driver Appreciation Week campaign with St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund was awarded a Clarion Award in the “Community Relations Campaign” category.
Meanwhile, the PRism Awards are designed to honor exceptional public relations activities from a diverse mix of businesses, industries and backgrounds throughout central Ohio. RMD was further set apart from competing organizations with PRism Awards in the following categories: “Special Events” for Graeter’s National Ice Cream Month campaign; “Interactive/Digital PR: Websites” for Southern Recipe’s Pork Rind Appreciation Day campaign; “Corporate Social Responsibility” for Graeter’s cause-related campaign titled Cones for the Cure.
“It is an honor to be able to work within the food industry, and we’re proud to have been recognized as a leader within the advertising industry through these recent awards,” shares Sue Reninger, Managing Partner, Client Brand Strategist at RMD Advertising. “Recipients for both represent a community of passionate agencies and organizations who are experts in their fields. It’s exciting to be publicly recognized as part of such an accredited group of professionals!”
The Clarion Awards symbolize excellence in clear, concise communications. Clarion recipients represent media companies large and small, leading corporations, small businesses, and nonprofit associations and institutions. Started in 1972, the Clarions honor excellence in more than 100 categories across all communications disciplines. Amidst hundreds of submissions, RMD’s entries for Rudolph Foods’ annual Truck Driver Appreciation Week and NestFresh Egg-Cellent Baking Contest campaigns were distinguished as leaders in their respective categories.
“Winning not only one, but two Clarion Awards for our campaign efforts is an honor,” shares Sue Reninger, Managing Partner, Client Brand Strategist at RMD Advertising. “We are so proud to be amongst marketers nationwide who work strategically to help their brands grow. For us, it is all about helping our clients reach a new level of distinction, growth and success.”
Rudolph Foods, the world’s largest manufacturer of pork rinds, works to celebrate Truck Diver Appreciation Week each year – an event partnering with the St. Christopher Truck Driver Relief Fund. To advocate for the all-American egg during National Egg Month in May, NestFresh, one of the most innovative specialty egg products in the nation, hosted a baking recipe contest. These campaign efforts accurately portrayed RMD’s excellence within the industry and led the agency to its Clarion wins.
Grassroots Marketing Efforts Mean Expansion for Ohio-Based Nonprofit
Ten years ago, RMD Advertising dreamed big. The agency’s team members took the first step in what would become the company’s largest charitable initiative. It all stemmed from a simple desire: to give their clients a holiday gift that would stand out from the typical corporate gift.
So, the agency took the money earmarked for client gifts and bought 25 red wagons, filled each with food and distributed them throughout the community to local Columbus families in dire need during the holidays.
Wagons Ho Ho Ho began with that simple mission in mind. We’ve grown since that first year. Last year, our Wagoneers donated more than 8,000 pounds of food and built a total of 1,000 wagons. This year, we’ll call on the Central Ohio community to help us build and distribute 1,250 sturdy wagons – our largest initiative to date. But we’ll also fill each one with enough food to feed a family of four Christmas dinner. 1,250 wagons and enough food to feed 5,000 people … all assembled in one day. More than 600 volunteers make this possible.
How does one 501(c)3 organization mobilize a group of over 600 volunteers and inspire the Columbus community to donate enough nonperishable food to feed so many Ohioans in need? Powerful marketing, lean, targeted messaging, smart event marketing and word of mouth certainly play a critical role.
Marketing to the head and the heart
Wagons Ho Ho Ho is an enormous responsibility, and without the support of our volunteers and the city of Columbus, it wouldn’t be possible. With strategic and targeted marketing efforts, our grassroots initiatives have fostered a giving and selfless community that has made Wagons Ho Ho Ho’s annual Build Day more than simply eight hours during which we assemble wagons.
Build Day is now an event that epitomizes the spirit of the holidays. It reminds volunteers that what they contribute is unique. On that day, the city’s local recreational center turns into Santa’s workshop and strangers work side-by-side, working towards one goal and becoming friends in the process.
We’re proud of this accomplishment. We realize that providing a gift and a meal on Christmas is important, but what is really important to us is what each wagon represents to its recipients … hope. It’s our way of showing these children that there is a community of people who care about them during the biggest holiday of the year.
Each local radio interview, television segment, printed story and event Wagons Ho Ho Ho participates in is an opportunity to make an emotional connection with the next potential Wagoneer. While we share the harrowing facts of Ohio’s food insecurity and the daunting need of families in the area, we are also keenly aware of our story.
Marketing Wagons Ho Ho Ho as a brand has required us to approach each piece of content created as a vehicle for communicating our story, celebrating the people behind our strong but mighty nonprofit and our hopes for the future. By concentrating our media opportunities to the months leading up to the annual Build Day, we have been able to saturate the local airwaves with our story … and in return, have continued to inspire volunteers to proudly step forward and call themselves Wagoneers.
Can a wagon really change a child’s life? We think so. And it takes just one voice to help a family know they have a supportive community of caring neighbors behind them.
Today, the face of the hunger has changed. 1 in 6 in Ohio experience food insecurity, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. These are your neighbors and your co-workers. Sometimes, it is a matter of having to sacrifice dinner one day a week. It may even mean having to choose between buying food or medicine for a sick child. If they are struggling to buy food, how can they buy Christmas gifts for their children?
On Build Day this Saturday, December 2nd, we’ll once again open the doors of a local recreation center and invite over 600 hard working Wagoneers to bag food, build wagons and send each delivery off with our dedicated distribution charity partners. With music, plenty of food and laughter filling each corner of the room, it’s plain to see – this is a special event not only for the recipients of the wagons but also for the builders themselves.
Every volunteer who touches Wagons Ho Ho Ho, whether by donating food, funds or their time, is an important part of the Wagons team. Visit WagonsHoHoHo.org to learn more, and help to give a child HOPE for today and the future.
We couldn’t resist. With October comes the ghostly opportunity to shine a new light on some frightening food marketing stats. Can these help you to build out a skeleton of a plan for a stronger, better 2018?
You be the judge. But the truth remains: not all food marketing is the same. If your Challenger Food Brand plans to make a bigger splash next year, consider these three powerful thoughts:
Challenger food brands can’t ignore Millennials, for sure. According to Statista 2017, nearly 80 percent of them regularly purchase specialty food brands. But the markets you’re ignoring could be killing your profits.
Gen X consumers (ages 40-51 years old) and Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) also line up for your brand. In fact, more than 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively, actively purchase and seek out specialty foods.
Frightening Fact #2: It’s not a fad. You’re discounting the growing gluten-free category.
Though the buzz has quieted, it’s interesting to know that the gluten-free marketplace is actually growing. According to Statista, consumers choosing to go gluten free are actually climbing at a steep rate. In fact, 72 percent of the market for gluten-free consists of consumers who choose the lifestyle as a way of life (up from 56 percent in the previous two-year period.)
Frightening Fact #3: Brick n’ Mortars are battling online shopping.
According to a Bricks Meets Clicks study, Americans who shop for groceries online once per month do an average of 17 percent of their total grocery spending online. That leaves a LOT of room in the budget for traditional grocery brands. This compares to 21% for those who shop twice online.
We’re looking for team members to join one of the best Challenger Food Brand agencies around (just in case you were wondering, that’s us). You gotta have passion, talent, and desire for doing the right thing when it comes to working with our fantastic food clients. Find your next work home here.
The Value of Culture in the Quest for Inspiring Work
Natural Products Expo West 2017 was a particularly memorable food tradeshow this year. Not only was the size awe-inspiring, but the passion present on the showroom floor made the entire Anaheim Convention Center buzz with energy.
This is one event made us pause and realize just how grateful we are to be a part of such an independently unique industry. Keynote speaker Doug Rauch, Co-CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and Founder & President of the Daily Table, spoke of conscious consumerism inspiration. Is the food industry doing its part to maintain the integrity consumers so desperately desire? Are we, as an industry, doing our part to lead shoppers to better choices, more healthful choices, greener and more sustainable choices? Are we offering consumers goods because we truly believe in their inherent benefit?
It’s now more important than ever that our purpose for selling food be pure. Profit may be our oxygen, but our purpose runs much, much deeper.
For each brand that purpose is different. Perhaps it’s a commitment to connecting shoppers with the nostalgic foods they grew up with and loved. Perhaps it’s delivering an authentic meal and a taste of ethnic cuisine to those who want to experience the world … but have never left their home. Perhaps it’s helping today’s busier-than-ever consumer take a moment for herself and reconnect to what is most important.
Just one bite can take a consumer from shopper to brand lover. And that comes only when a brand’s purpose is broadcasted loud and clear at every point of sale.
What’s your brand’s oxygen? 90,000 attendees at this year’s Expo West will tell you – there’s more to a love brand than money in the pocket. Let your purpose drive your product to new heights and do what this incredible industry does best: serve.
The most heart-warming, rewarding and hard-working months
To Future RMD Interns:
The next two and a half months at RMD Advertising are going to be the most heart-warming, rewarding, hard-working months you’ll have. RMD is a special place where you’ll be surrounded by people who want to see you learn and grow, who enjoy laughing and sharing in good times, but who also buckle down and work hard.
I know from my internship, working at RMD is an experience I’ll never forget. I want to share with you the five pieces of advice I have that you should keep in your back pocket as you experience RMD for yourself.
1. Be Open-Minded: Your first week as an intern will be exciting and overwhelming. You’ll be learning so much, very quickly. Be a sponge. Soak it all in and definitely, take notes.
2. Ask Questions: Show your curiosity, and don’t be afraid that the words coming out of your mouth might feel silly. RMDers will go above and beyond to make sure you understand what you don’t yet know!
3. Overcommunicate: I can’t stress this enough. It’s one RMD’s core values. If you’re having trouble understanding a task, RMDers will help you through it.
4. Be a Helping Hand: Agency life can get busy, but if you ask how you can help an RMDer, it will alleviate their stress and will show that you care. It’ll teach you that the team you’re playing on is bigger than any one player.
5. Share Your Ideas: Big or small, don’t be afraid to share ideas you have about a social media post or how to tackle an upcoming campaign. It shows that you’re willing to jump in and participate!
All of this and more that I’ve learned at RMD are life lessons I know I’ll carry with me throughout my career. Thank you RMD, for an incredible experience!
Recently, I had an article shared with me about Millennials, and their quest/desire for experiences over material things. Admittedly, this is not a quest isolated only in Millennials. I believe people, in all walks of life, prefer experiences. However, the fact remains: we are experience junkies as a population overall.
But not all experiences are positive ones, right? Of course not. In fact, when we fail at a challenge, task or goal – that’s an experience, for sure.
So what if all experiences COULD be positive? Failing in fact can be a positive experience. By focusing on the art of failing forward — always learning, improving and growing from those times when we “fail” or fall down, we can create a positive experience. By embracing what we don’t know and growing from those times, even something devastating can have a positive affect.
More than simply “positive thinking”, a growth mentality is not only crucial in a hyper accountable, hyper productive environment like RMD Advertising, it’s a strong career survival skill. If there is any shortage in the workplace today, from our vantage point, we think it’s a shortage of accountability. By learning every step of the way, seeking progress and growth, everyone wins: our team, our food clients and our community. Here’s how to adapt this state of mind:
1. Stop and Analyze: How would I do this differently NEXT time? What would I change? How would I reword that? How do I see myself acting differently next time around?
2. Be Alert: The “next time” isn’t always so obvious, and it doesn’t come with a flashing yellow light. Do yourself a favor and before rushing into an experience, task or project, take time to be alert and reflect.
3. Grow in Confidence: Know that knowledge can be obtained by books, seminars and classes. But WISDOM comes only after experiences … and the act of failing forward. And wisdom always trumps smarts.
Sue is a the head of client brand strategy at RMD, based in Columbus, Ohio. Her love affair with the agency world and the food industry sprouted at a very young age – and she’s spent nearly three decades working tirelessly to build the client brands she loves. Today, she mostly helps consumers and customers better connect with the nostalgic nature of the food she strategizes for.