Food and Drink - Fall 2011 - (Page 12)

strengthening brands: by pete vonderlinn Find the Hidden Gems Do you want more consumers to buy your brand? Enlist their help selling it. Thanks to a burgeoning number of social media forums, consumer advocacy of brands is at an all-time high, and more marketing pros are throwing their clients’ products on this bandwagon of ambassadorship more than ever. But they’re doing it carefully. Today, consumers don’t just have a voice, they have a megaphone. If they don’t like what they see, smell or taste, once your big idea is unveiled, their negative feedback will bellow through that megaphone louder than the Jolly Green Giant’s HO-HO-HO. PepsiCo learned this lesson the hard way with Tropicana, when its packaging agency redesigned its classic straw-in-orange carton with almost zero consumer input. The result was a customer relations fiasco similar to Coca-Cola's “New Coke” disaster. Sales of the Tropicana Pure Premium line plummeted 20 percent in just under two months, costing the brand tens of millions of dollars. As one angry consumer wrote in an email, "Do any of these package-design people actually shop for orange juice? Because I do, and the new cartons stink.” Even in pre-Internet 1985, consumer opinion reversed Coca-Cola’s now infamous “New Coke” blunder in just 77 days. If Coke made the same misstep in today's hyper-connected world, “New Coke” would have happened in a matter of hours. Remember how quickly the new Gap logo disappeared after consumer uproar? Is involving people easy? No. The list of excuses to forge ahead sans input from Joe Consumer can rival the number of items on a diner menu. The pros know what they’re doing. “Timelines are tight” … “The budget can’t support it.” We’ve all heard them. C Congratulations! You’ve come up with an amazing food idea that will make cupcakes, mojitos and sliders seem like yesterday’s news – an idea so big, it will ring up grocery store registers like pinball machines or have diehard foodies making reservations at your restaurant six months in advance. There’s just one problem. The only person currently in on this stroke of gastronomical genius is you. So, your mind shifts from your acceptance speech at the James Beard Awards to how you’re going to get the word out. Up until a few years ago, the answer was simple – dial up your favorite marketing pros, brief them, set a budget and let them work their magic. Today, it’s more complicated. You don’t just want marketing pros that can get consumers to buy your brand, you want ones who can get them to sell it too. Seriously. 12 food and drink • fall 2011 •

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink - Fall 2011

Food and Drink - Fall 2011
Tableside Chat
News a la Carte
In the Safe Zone
Strengthing Brands
Restaurants: Smart Marketing
Willie’s Restaurants
Slack’s Hoagie Shack
The Cheese Steak Shop
Aloha Hospitality Inc.
Bertucci’s Corp
Falcon Holdings LLC
Mark’s Pizzeria
Seasons Pizza
San Diego State University Dining Services
Producers: Food Law
Brook & Whittle Ltd. incorporating Packstar
Nestle Professional Caribbean
Snyder’s-Lance Inc.
Basic American Foods
Evolution Fresh
Berto’s Gelato & Sorbet
Jensen Meat Co
Tumbador Chocolate
Leclerc Foods USA Inc.
FX Matt Brewing Co.
Green Organic Vegetable Inc.
Deli Star Inc.
Always Bagels
National Choice Bakery
Sequoia Orange Co.
Spring Glen Fresh Foods
Westshore Pizza
Distributors: Total Recall
Columbia Distributing
Castella Imports Inc.
Co-Sales Company
Brick Brewing Co. Limited
Prime Distributors
Retailers: What’s in Store
AriZona Beverage Co.
Le Grand Marche
Three Things

Food and Drink - Fall 2011