After several years of healthy marketing activity and investing in an advanced approach to personalizing the online shopper experience, California Giant Berry Farms found itself asking, "What's next?" To elevate the California Giant online brand presence in 2018, the brand decided to place greater emphasis on the people and internal culture that set the company apart from other berry grower-shippers.
Throughout the year, California Giant made it their mission to showcase relatable "moments that matter"—thus demonstrating how berries can be a part of shoppers' everyday lives—rather than focusing on the products themselves. As a part of the brand team, here's how we worked with California Giant to position them as "Everybody's Berry" by simply transforming the brand story as told to trade and consumer audiences.
Photos courtesy of California Giant Berry Farms
Other berry brands are focusing almost exclusively on millennial moms, but retail data demonstrates that berries are universally loved and consumed by all demographics. To truly become "Everybody’s Berry," the Brand Team developed content that spoke to audiences beyond "busy moms," with the end result of inspiring berry consumption for every occasion, circumstance, and life stage.
In collaboration with third-party photographers and videographers, California Giant built a library of visual assets that showcase people who represent diverse demographic groups. These assets helped facilitate a digital makeover across the brand's website and other visible platforms, further shifting the focus from product sales to website visitors and their needs—including how California Giant berries can help meet those needs.
At the end of the day, who doesn't love beautiful food photography and drool-worthy recipes? The verdict is in: berry lovers certainly do! California Giant tapped into current usage trends to create inspirational downloadable resources for consumers, a strategy that has consistently been successful for the company. California Giant exchanges the free recipes for permission to further engage, which helps nurture our audience while also allowing us to gather intel and data on preferences to complement POS purchase data.
From shopper data gathered through HubSpot, the brand was able to identify that college students comprised an audience that offered a great deal of opportunity for the brand, especially given that other fresh food brands weren't reaching this group effectively. As a result, Cal Giant revamped their annual "Fresh Start: Back to School" sweepstakes to include a higher education angle. California Giant was subsequently able to obtain more than 64,000 form submissions from shoppers, significantly increasing its shopper database with engaged contacts between the ages of 18 and 25.
To cultivate a consistent, appealing brand story across all touchpoints, the brand worked to streamline the focus of all social media content: each social platform now helps strengthen this compelling narrative centered around—not the products alone—but the people enjoying the berries. To further delight and engage with consumers, flash promotions were developed to encourage the creation of user-generated content, which was then showcased on Instagram stories and beyond, providing shoppers with a way to feel empowered and heard on California Giant’s channels.
California Giant's journey to become "Everybody's Berry" didn't just stop at a shopper marketing strategy! Thanks to insights gained through building the brand's shopper database, the company has been able to create in-depth shopper data reports with consumer data that has subsequently been leveraged in sales conversations with retailers and food service buyers.
Cal Giant collects a database of berry enthusiast shoppers through ongoing consumer marketing programs. As of June 2018, the brand has learned the preferences of more than 75,000 individual shoppers.
Shoppers provide information about their shopping habits and favorite retail stores which California Giant has been able to share with their trade partners and is available for download on CalGiant.com/Trade.
Year-Over-Year website traffic increased by 50% following the addition of people-centric photos and content.
California Giant experienced a 3,666% increase in brand impressions after just 6 months positioned as "Everybody's Berry."
The company added more than 25,000 new shoppers to its existing database of 100,000 shoppers, a 25% increase.
Over 8 months, California Giant saw an increase of approximately 3 MILLION brand impressions per month, and now generates 300,000,000 brand impressions on average each month, a 100-fold increase.