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US covered with national flags

Marketing in a Country of Cultures

Currently there are 15 states beyond the tipping point and 8 others that are very close. What is “tipping point” you ask? It’s the point where the majority becomes the minority. We are a country that is very diverse culturally and continuing to grow in that direction. Recent Census Bureau projections show that in 2043/44 the US population will be less than 50% non-Hispanic whites. So now days when marketing products or services we need think away from whom we’ve always thought of as our target audience. At a recent event Hallmark’s Monic Houpe explained their 3-pronged strategy on how they market to different cultures. Cultural Specificity- Solutions that are targeted to a specific culturally identifiable group. Take a good look at the entire environment and find a connection to the target audience and be authentic when delivering the message. You can’t just cut a white person out of an ad, plug in a Hispanic person and think that you’ve successfully achieved cultural marketing. Multicultural Relevance- Solutions with heightened relevance to non-white consumers that are driven by ethnic insight, but…

Coffee with Cart Graphic.

Star Trek gadgets could work today with an open mind

“3D printed food you can eat,” makes me think of the “replicator” in Star Trek. The Replicator seemed like a magical device with the ability to make something out of nothing. I had forgotten the Replicator used technology from the transporter. This means the replicator actually found whatever you ordered and sent it to you. Quickly.   At the end of a long day, I read the article mentioned in a recent Coffee with CART about the 3D edible food printer “Foodini”. Reading the article helped me shed my Star Trek Replicator assumptions and first off, I wasn’t impressed. I left work thinking “Big deal, somebody figured out how to fit a cookie factory into a box the size of a microwave, and it doesn’t even cook! Why would any of our retailers be interested?” It takes me 20-30 minutes to drive home from work, so I tend to relax some during this time. I started to think of factories that produce food. Basically, food goes in, it gets rearranged, and then packaged food comes out. Why do we have factories? To mass-produce. Now lets…

Gary's Foods about us photos

“About Us” on your website

Everyone loves a story. People have been telling stories since… well, since people have been around! What do campfires, drawings in the sand, music, movies and your website have in common? All of these tools can help make telling a story easier. The About Us page can attract your customers with a story they can relate to. The more your customers identify with you, the more they will trust your store. The content on this page is also good to share via links in social media. Read this About Us example >> You may not think your story is interesting, but it only seems that way to you because you lived it. You lived the long version, day by day. Believe it or not, millennials prefer the story of how a business came to be rather than having big bold SALE! messages crammed down their throats. These stories tend to be read on mobile devices during down time, like during the commercials while watching TV or waiting for a Dr. Apt. Write about the stories you hear over and over at family get…

Sliders: Grow Bigger & More Important

Photo sizes for digital marketing has grown dramatically. For older websites, photo size requirements were smaller, so some images must change or they will become blurry after enlarging. Not sure what I mean? Take a look: Why’s This Happening? 1. Retina screens: Even when 2 screens are the same size, the number of pixels increased in devices with retina screens for a more detailed image. 2. TV screens are used more for online viewing. 3. The pixel count for TV screens and desktop computers continues to increase. 4. Cameras on mobile phones take bigger and more detailed photos. Why do responsive images need to be bigger when mobile screens are smaller? One image needs to meet all requirements for all devices. While mobile screens are still smaller than desktop screens they could be viewed on a retina or tv screen. What should your sliders be about? Anything in your store that you want customers to know about: Community/Charity events: Food drives, employee athletes/heroic acts or awards, sponsored school events, fundraisers, holiday events, open house, apples for students, fund raising coupon books, hot dogs in the parking lot,…

Apples for the Students, coupon fundraier books, Best Choice Save-a-Label

Cause Marketing: A Savvy Business Strategy

It is no secret that consumers expect retailers and brands to support social and environmental issues. When making purchasing decisions, U.S. consumers consider businesses’ involvement in social issues as a differentiating factor. The 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study is the latest in Cone’s 20-year analysis of Americans’attitudes, perceptions and behaviors around corporate support of social and environmental issues. Here are a few facts to consider: 93% of U.S. consumers say that when a company supports a cause, they have a more positive image of the company (up from 85% in 2010 and 84% in 1993). 90% of Americans say they would be more loyal to companies that back causes. 89% of consumers would switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause, given similar price and quality. – 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study Cause remains an undeniable consumer demand and a savvy business strategy. Cause marketing helps to increase sales and improve customer loyalty. When it comes to supporting a cause or issue that is important to the community, AWG retailers have multiple options. APPLES FOR THE…

Michelle Obama at podium supporting nutrition in schools

Supporting Nutrition in Schools

The focus on nutrition in schools as well as other governmental regulations might finally be paying off. Childhood obesity rates appear to be plateauing, though still unacceptably high. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is making the difference, but providing children with education on nutrition is certainly an important factor. For the past five years, Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and the Partnership for a Healthier America have been teaching children the importance of a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. They’ve made great strides in changing the way food and beverage companies market to America’s youngest consumers. Thanks to those iniativies, food companies have created healthier versions of their products, cutting 6.3 trillion calories from the nation’s diet by reformulating recipes and reducing package sizes. Many convenience stores are selling fruit, protein bars, and other healthy options; even kids meals at fast food restaurants now offer apple slices and skim milk as alternative options. As I discussed in a previous blog post, grocery retailers across the nation are supporting nutrition in various ways. 54% of food retailers have established health and wellness programs for customers and employees, according to…

Graphic from Emfluence marketing platform user conference May 7, 2015 Kansas City MO.

Lessons Learned from Spin! Pizza, YRC Freight, and Boulevard Brewing Co.

I walked into the Emfluence User Conference (#emflConf) for the first time with the hope of learning how AWG can better use the Emfluence digital marketing software to create high-engagement social media content and email marketing campaigns. By the end of the day my expectations were surpassed. Marketing specialists from Spin! Pizza, Boulevard, YRC Freight, and Emfluence shared their experiences and digital marketing expertise. Here are some important “lessons learned” from this year’s presenters: SPIN! PIZZA Root your brand or store in your community and what your customers care about. Spin! Pizza asked their customers who their favorite non-profit was through an email campaign, then donated t-shirt sales to the charity voted most by customers. Get creative with your email marketing to bring in customers on low-traffic days. When bad weather hits the area and people don’t want to deal with the elements, Spin! Pizza sends out a Crummy Weather Special- 20% off coupon via email to their Spin Club members. Promote special events through a multiple email campaign. Spin! hosts an annual fundraising event called “Pups on the Patio”…

Brand Advocates Start from Within

Recently, we installed a TV monitor that displays social media feeds, recent news, AWG Brands’ digital activity, and we even sneaked in some basketball scores from the tournament. Why would we invest in displaying this information to our employees? The answer is because the advocates for your brand, company or store start internally. To gain these brand advocates, you have to communicate with them so that they are aware of what your organization is accomplishing. Here are a few goals of the monitor and how they can translate for you: Create familiarity with social media platform activity. We post AWG corporate and division, industry, and our retailers’ social feeds. This way, those employees outside of the Marketing Department who don’t work with social media on a daily basis know what is trending and important in the digital world. Likewise, you should let your employees know if you have social media accounts and encourage them to not only Like or follow those pages, but to check back to see new activity often. Exposure to digital activities of AWG Brands. If you…

Inblog

Marketing strategy of a new store

Every brand and business owner markets their name in hopes of growing their business, but is your only strategy moving product off the shelf? Meaning, are you only gaining for the short term, or are you building for the long term with your marketing attempts? It’s a no brainer, long-term growth is what every business owner covets, so here is a brief outline of a few things I picked up at a speaking event I recently attended in regards to opening a store in a new market. IKEA is a company that is widely known for inexpensive flat packed furniture and their bright blue buildings with the weird name that has everyone asking, “what does that even mean?” The Google machine can inform you if you’re interested in finding out since I’m not blogging about the origin of their name today. They know and understand that the impression of many is cheap and inexpensive products, so when they grew into the Kansas City market they developed a marketing strategy to help combat that image. When they looked at the Kansas…

grocery shopper looking at pre-packaged produce

Better Nutrition Labels Simplify Health Food Decisions for Customers

Better Nutrition Labels Simplify Health Food Decisions for Customers As a health-conscious grocery shopper, I am constantly checking nutrition labels when deciding between food products. Unfortunately, this process is extremely time-consuming, and often leaves me confused. Nutrition Fact labels are supposed to help us make healthy decisions, but the format is certainly not easy to follow. I want to eat healthy, but I’d rather not spend so much of my time calculating what the percentages and serving sizes actually mean for my diet. According to a 2012 Nielsen survey, “59 percent of consumers around the world have difficulty understanding nutritional labels on food packaging and more than half (53%) consider themselves overweight.” Without clear guidance on nutrition at grocery stores, many consumers turn to the media for health advice. Magazines, books and TV shows promote the latest trendy diet with slogans like “Drop 10 pounds in two weeks!” Some of these fad diets may help people lose weight, but physicians across the nation recommend exercise and a healthy diet. “It turns out that no matter what region of the world…