Although they compete with giant CPG companies, the marketers at Annie’s Homegrown don’t have a TV, radio, or print ad budget. Instead, over the past 12 months, they’ve focused efforts on the Web for — brand building. (That’s right, not direct response.) It worked, revenues are up 25% and Wal-Mart is about to start carrying Annie’s.
Here’s what the Web team did:
Organic shelf-stable foods are one of the hottest categories in supermarkets these days — industry sales are growing by 20% per year.
Naturally (pun intended) this is thrilling for the folks at Annie’s Homegrown. The brand’s been beloved in the organic world for years, but more recently has made significant headways in mainstream supermarket chains.
But, bigger CPGs and supermarket house brands are also hopping on the organic bandwagon these days. Suddenly Annie’s marketing team were outgunned in terms of staff and budget in the very market they pioneered.
“Our brand is invaluable,” says Annie’s Web Marketing Manager Mark Berger. “We’re basically just macaroni makers, but with the brand we’re really so much more than that. That’s what people identify with.”
Although only 1% of Annie’s sales are direct ecommerce from the site (mainly to bulk buyers such as day care centers), the team decided to invest significant energy to revving up the brand’s Web presence over the past 12 months. However, the purpose was not to increase ecommerce sales.
Instead Berger’s online goal was almost entirely brand building. Could he use the site to grow a community of consumer excitement for a brand that was suddenly under heavy competition from me-too products on supermarket shelves?
By Tom Polanski
If you’re looking for information on increasing your sales, building up your marketing exposure and promoting your business online, chances are you’ve heard the term “Branding” thrown around quite a bit. But what exactly does it mean to you and your business?