We are now into May, and amidst all the turbulence our society - and industry - has faced over the last two months, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing marketing adapt to a new normal. And while our industry has come a long way in embracing marketing over the years, social media has consistently been one of the hardest sells as we move from a commodity-centric to consumer facing mindset - which is why it’s noteworthy that during this time no one has asked me about the ROI of social media.
Now more than ever produce companies are seeing the value of having trusted brand voice -- to not only be a resource to consumers, but advocates for fresh produce as we have panic buying that’s causing disruptions at retail, and fear over food safety. The companies who have been investing in building and nurturing healthy social communities are uniquely positioned to be a trusted resource amongst an increasingly louder narrative about fresh food.
Late adopters now have the challenge of catching up because relying on retailers (who are already overwhelmed and inundated with their own problems) to be your voice is presenting a challenge in meeting consumer demands, and protecting sales. Consumers are having important, and somewhat misinformed, conversations about our industry right now, which means that brands that aren’t joining in the dialog are vulnerable to losing essential shelf space at the store because they’re deemed inessential or out of demand, and tanking shopper purchases because of safety fears.
Our current circumstances might be unprecedented, but crises are not, which is why social media is so imperative to brand preservation - and why we need brands in the produce industry. This situation has proven that commodities lose because they have no authority to speak to consumers for themselves and are dependent on retailers to advocate for them (along with every other product they carry). Not to say that retailers don’t care about every industry or product set in their stores, but when produce companies fail to establish a relationship with the actual people buying their product, they have no ability to guide the conversation about their products in good times or challenging ones.
Whether your brand is an established voice on social media, or you’re just joining in the melee, we’re here to help make sure you, and our industry wins in the food narrative right now and in the future. During this time we’ve doubled down in ensuring The Core Blog provides the most helpful marketing resources during the pandemic, from FAQs that can help shape your strategy, to updates on the landscape of social media that can inform your communication approach. We have also launched a new webinar discussion group for fresh produce marketers, Marketing Matters, please email us, firstname.lastname@example.org, to receive additional information.