The Food Chain

The Food Chain

The Food Chain
June 20, 2019

When most people hear the term ‘food chain,’ they think about little fish eating bigger fish and so on all the way up. Not us. We think about how a can of beans might become a viral sensation. Or how to get a new product idea from the focus group to the shelf and ultimately, into a basket. Or a delivery order. Stuff like that. Because that’s the food chain to us.

Even with everything that’s changed in marketing since we opened our doors 35 years ago, a lot of agencies still focus on the campaign. The promotion. The social media. The words. The pictures. It’s always been a pretty myopic way to look at marketing. But now, it’s borderline irresponsible.

There have never been more moving parts. People. Levels. Disciplines. There have never been so many things involved that need to work together to achieve success. And while it seems daunting and complicated, it is. It just doesn’t have to be.

At Donovan, we have always been involved in the behind-the-scenes inner workings of marketing. We know most brand managers spend about 5-10% of their time on creative, the ‘fun stuff’ as they say. The rest, the meat and potatoes of getting their job done is spent on ensuring product quality. Delivery. Shelf space. Out of stocks. Slotting dollars (or whatever euphemism you want to use). And the list goes on. Ever wonder why someone marketing cheese in the midwest may be concerned about a drought in New Zealand? We don’t. Because we know.

Thing is these days, the food chain extends beyond getting it into a consumer’s basket and onto his table. Food has become validation. That I can cook. That I’m worldly. A taste tourist. I feed my kids. They love it. And look, I can prove it because it’s on Instagram!

So if your can of beans can’t help make a meal that makes it to Instagram, don’t look at the beans. Look at your agency. And ask them what they know about the food chain.

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The Future of Frequent Shoppers

The Future of Frequent Shoppers

The Future of Frequent Shoppers
June 20, 2019

Loyalty programs are one of the oldest ways to influence customers into sticking with business. These programs date back to when a little card would be hole-punched by a clerk, like at old school ice cream shops: “buy 10 cones, get 1 free!”

However, loyalty programs changed as technology has changed. So how do they benefit a company in today’s market?

First and foremost, they help sales by rewarding purchase. But beyond just that, they establish a connection between the company and its customers. Loyalty programs increase both overall revenue, by roughly 5-10%, and the frequency of purchases of program members according to Annex Cloud customer loyalty statistics.

Loyalty programs also collect valuable customer data when consumers sign up. This lets a retailer or brand understand who their loyal base is and how to reach them effectively. Companies can tailor their marketing efforts to this captive, loyal audience.

New technology has influenced what loyalty programs look like and how they interact with consumers. Chipotle recently started a program using a money-transferring app called Venmo to bolster its program. In this contest, select winners are sent between $1-$500 in exchange for providing their phone number and signing up for their loyalty program. This bold tactic has garnered a lot of attention – to be determined if it’s ultimately successful.

The bottom line is that loyalty programs continue to work. Customers feel appreciated when they get rewarded for consistently making purchases – building loyalty and purchase frequency. While it seems like almost every brand and store has one, and they all look fairly similar, the positives far outweigh the negatives. As long as they continue to adapt and offer relevant incentives, loyalty programs will be a winning strategy for the foreseeable future.

If you’re looking to create new and exciting ways to connect with your audience, call us we’d be glad to show you how.

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Probiotic Power

Probiotic Power

Probiotic Power
June 20, 2019

Foods fortified with these positive digestive aids are trending

From packing in protein to pumpkin spice everything, brands have extended and diversified product lines through trendy flavors and supplements. Built to catch consumers’ attention, they show the brand is relevant and responding to their wants and needs – creating a connection with them.

This year, as healthier foods rise, it looks like there’s a new ingredient that will start popping up in products across shelves – probiotics.

Probiotics gained popularity for their digestive aid benefits, obtained primarily through yogurts and other chilled, cultured milk products. Today, thanks to new heat-tolerant formulations that allow the healthy bacteria and yeasts to survive processing and become shelf-stable, they’re finding their way into items like trail mixes, oatmeal, pancakes and a variety of other now-functional foods.

As consumers are becoming health conscious, they’re looking for get more nutrition out of every bite – a prime opportunity for probiotic fortification. According to a recent survey, 83% of the surveyed people are familiar with probiotics and 53% believe it will impact their health in a positive way. In another survey by Packaged Facts, 23% of consumers said they specially look for food and beverage items high in probiotics.

And to the surprise of no one, Millennials are leading the probiotic charge. Global Market Insights say probiotic items are expected to exceed $64 billion by the year 2023, primarily on the strength of their interest.

It’s clear consumers want easy ways to add the benefits of probiotics to their everyday lives. Now’s the time to get ahead of the curve, and get new product pipelines filled with innovative ways to capitalize on this anticipated growth.

If you’re looking to create new and exciting ways to connect with your audience, call us we’d be glad to show you how.

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Craving Clean Labels

Craving Clean Labels

Craving Clean Labels
June 20, 2019

The audience for clean labels is wider than first thought.

Clean Label eating is the trend that just won’t quit. Born more than a decade ago, it continues to influence consumers looking to eat a healthier diet. 53% of adults in a recent survey said they are buying natural and organic foods more often.

Millennials and Gen Xers started the Clean Label movement, seeking to live healthier lifestyles earlier than their Baby Boomer parents. But now the trend has reached the next level as health issues become a higher priority for the aging Boomers. In a surveyed group of 1000 aged 50 or older, about 80% said heart health was a main reason for their eating decision making.

This adoption of Clean Label eating has shifted it from a trend to the new normal.

More and more people want to live healthier and brands are adjusting their products and their marketing efforts. Clean label eaters tend to be informed, curious, educated and extremely active in their health management.

So to reach this growing group, brands need to make it their natural, organic or health benefits clear. The actual definition of clean label is still murky, but many brands are able to claim the “clean label” statement.

It’s not as easy as placing a label on the product saying it is clean – brands need to be as transparent as possible; this could mean the traceability of the ingredients to sustainability of the actual product.

Once a brand connects with this audience they are able to create an emotional connection with their messaging because both are striving for a cleaner living. This not only shows the brand is conscience of what is happening around them but shows they actually care about what their audience wants.

Cleaner living is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s culture. Once a brand proves how its Clean Label products fit into consumers’ lives, they’ll create brand champions through a shared mission of cleaner living. This not only shows the brand’s market awareness – it demonstrates that they actually care about what their audience wants, forging a lasting emotional connection.

If you’re looking to create new and exciting ways to connect with your audience, call us we’d be glad to show you how.

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Is Voice Search the Future?

Is Voice Search the Future?

Is Voice Search the Future?
June 20, 2019

Will voice assistants change people’s online searching habits?

Voice assistants have increased in popularity over the past couple of years, leaving many to speculate about the future of where “search” will move. With inventions like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, people have grown accustomed to using speech as a search method. As of now, online text searching dominates compared to any other search method.

Some experts, think this will change due to the rise of voice assistants.

“In five years’ time, at least 50% of all searches are going to be either through images or speech,” said Andrew Ng, Chief Scientist at the Chinese-native tech company Baidu.

While he may be off with his 5-year prediction, Ng still believes that voice search is something worthy of attention. With speech recognition accuracy levels reaching to upwards of 99%, Ng said people would likely use the software more frequently. In turn, this will allow for searches to be more accurate and provide consumers with better results. How can brands take advantage of this?

For brands that always want to be ahead of the curve, there are a few approaches that will give them that edge. Focus on “Long-Tail Keywords” into your search engine optimization campaign. People typically use longer phrases when searching for something online. For example, a word search could be “food” while a voice search is “Where is the best food near me?”

Brands will need to shift their focus to how consumers converse with their voice assistants, rather than how they type in a phrase online. With the surge of accessible voice assistants, it will only be a matter of time before brands need to adapt to their consumer’s new needs.

If you’re looking to create new and exciting ways to connect with your audience, call us we’d be glad to show you how.

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