Top tips for jazzing up own-brand marketing

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Top tips for jazzing up own-brand marketing

By Carolyn Schierhorn, Ensemble IQ - 05/01/2017

There are many ways to bolster creativity in the marketing of store brands, notes Bryn Banuelos, director of marketing — own brands portfolio for Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. She offers the following suggestions with examples from Albertsons. The May issue of Store Brands will include a feature article on how to become more innovative with own-brand marketing.

1. Show customers that creating great meals doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive.

Albertsons Executive Chef Jeff Anderson teamed up with Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Party Pro” Debi Lilly on a satellite media tour in February 2017 to share tips for creating the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner at home using high-quality meat from the retailer’s O Organics and Open Nature private brands. The recommended meals featured either cedar plank beef tenderloin finished with sweet honey rosemary butter or polpette (lightly packed meatballs) with sage butter and angel hair pasta.

Lilly showed viewers how to create the right dinner ambience, including setting the table with pre-arranged floral bouquets and décor items from Debi Lilly Design, a line available exclusively at Albertsons’ stores.

2. Tell engaging stories about your store brands.

Albertsons Cos. demonstrated that organic food is for everyone in a September 2016 campaign for the O Organics brand that communicated “quality, affordability and wide selection” via a TV spot and a video that aired across digital and pre-roll placements (ads shown prior to Internet videos).

The tag line “Organic for All” was inspired by the insight that organic foods are experiencing explosive growth in the grocery sector, as Americans increasingly desire to know the source and safety standards of their food, according to Banuelos.

“The TV spot takes customers from inside the grocery store into the outside world in a fun and inclusive ‘shopping cart rally,’ showcasing the brand’s warm, approachable personality,” she emphasizes. “This approach successfully conveyed O Organics’ mission to make a wide variety of certified organic products available to more people at better prices.”

3. Engage influencers to help drive awareness and trial of your products.

To coincide with the launch of the Organic for All campaign and generate awareness of O Organics products, Albertsons treated bloggers from across the country to “an immersive culinary and wellness experience” that showed how easy and affordable it is to go organic with O Organics, Banuelos observes.

Annessa Chumbley, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, hosted the event in October 2016. Chumbley led attendees through a day-long event featuring a series of cooking demonstrations and hands-on experiences, “all highlighting ways to live healthy and well with O Organics,” Banuelos adds.

4. Draw national media attention to a big launch with a celebrity spokesperson.

Albertsons celebrated the launch of its Signature brands — including Signature SELECT, Signature Kitchens, Signature Farms, Signature Café, Signature Home and Signature Care — by partnering with actress Tiffani Thiessen, host of the Cooking Channel’s popular TV show “Dinner at Tiffani’s.”

As Banuelos puts it, Thiessen inspired shoppers with her tips and recipes for Signature meals in a number of marketing efforts, including public relations, blogger and social media events in April 2016.

Thiessen also shared her personal signature dishes on social media through the #MySignatureMoments hashtag. Consumers were invited to join the conversation and visit Albertsons’ Facebook and Instagram pages to submit their own signature stories, photos and videos.

5. Get your retail associates excited about your store brands.

“Albertsons Cos.’ Signature family of brands is the largest brand in our stores,” Banuelos points out. “Signature products offer customers quality they can trust at the price they want — and are available exclusively in Albertsons Cos. stores. We proudly stand behind our Signature products with a 100 percent money-back guarantee — no questions asked, no receipt required.”

When Albertsons launched the Signature family of brands in April 2016, the retailer used associate engagement as a key strategy.

“We asked associates in all [of our] stores to tell the company ‘Your Signature Story’ — a great meal, a lasting memory or better care that started with a Signature product,” Banuelos explains. Nearly 500 Albertsons associates submitted stories via their online retail portals. The first 130 employees each received a $15 gift card.