Monthly Archives: December 2015

What’s on your branding and marketing checklist for 2016?

Branding and marketing planning 2016

With 2016 fast approaching, now is the time for food marketers to look at their branding and marketing initiatives, and make plans. Here is a checklist to help you get started:

1. Branding:  If you’re considering a rebranding or brand refresh effort, planning to introduce new brands or product lines, or extensions to any existing product lines 2016, it’s time to get started on brand assessment and definition, name development, and brand logo design. When developing new brands, keep in mind the lead time for doing brand name/trademark searches, and registration processes/procedures. 

2. Photography:  Do you have product photography that needs to be done, such as recipe, serving suggestion, or package photos? Do your existing photos look dated? Now’s the time to evaluate your photography needs for 2016 and plan/schedule important photoshoots.

3. Packaging:  Product repositioning or rebranding, new packaging sizes and configurations, eco-friendly packaging materials, adding newly defined front of package nutritional information, or just reducing the sheer volume of packaging materials are all important reasons to update your packaging for 2016. For new packaging, including new packaging configurations, keep in mind that extensive lead times may be required for planning, fabrication, and printing of new packaging.

4. Website:  If your website has not been updated in the last year or more, it’s definitely time to revisit the content, features, functions, social media integration, and search engine optimization for the site. Whether you’re starting from scratch with a brand new website, or updating an existing one, don’t start another year with a site that has an outdated look, is not in a responsive design platform/architecture, has outdated product information, broken links, missing social media and other interactive marketing tools/channels, and other problems. Make 2016 the year you invest in updating, improving, adding responsive and interactive capabilities, along with optimizing and promoting your website to increase exposure and traffic.

5. Online Media:  If you’re not already taking advantage of all of the promotional, advertising, and marketing opportunities available online, make 2016 the year you explore and invest in online media channels such as social media, blogging, and online advertising campaigns to generate engagement between your company, brands, and products, and your target audiences, both trade and consumer. If you’re already engaging in online media, make this the year that you improve upon those efforts by adopting and utilizing the latest channels and technologies.

6. Email:  Every day over 294 billion emails are sent, and recent surveys indicate that 65% of B2B buyers are influenced by emails that shape their perspectives of companies and brands. A well-designed email campaign should be part of every marketing program in 2016 because it can be a targeted, personalized, and cost-effective means to reach customers and prospects alike .

7. POS/POP:  Product sheets, brochures, catalogs, recipe cards, IRC programs/coupons, POP signage/displays…these are the basic workhorses of food and beverage product sales, marketing, and promotional efforts. Get started now in developing or updating these items for 2016.

8. Tradeshows:  If you’re reviewing your tradeshow schedule for 2016, or have already made exhibit and travel commitments, are you ready for “show time”? Is it time for a new tradeshow booth, or a design refresh to your existing exhibit? How about updates to the graphics, photos, and messaging? Do you have new brands, products, line extensions, or services to promote that should be incorporated into your tradeshow exhibit and marketing? In addition to the actual exhibit, there are other tradeshow related items to consider such as new product/sales sheets, pre-show promotional and marketing communications such as exhibitor announcement/invitation emailers, and post-show follow-up emailers…all of these things will help make the 2016 tradeshow season more successful.

Let the food industry specialists at Taste Advertising, Branding, Packaging help you get started on developing your 2016 branding and marketing efforts now. Contact Taste today to schedule a complimentary phone consultation to discuss your needs.

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Consumers are redefining snack foods. How can food marketers tap into this trend?

Party snack tray

Over 50% of adults claim to consume snacks 2-3 times a day between meals, according to a recent study by Lightspeed GM/Mintel, January, 2015. Millennials snack the most with 24% claiming to snack 4+ times a day, but over 50% of boomers are snacking at least 2-3 times a day.  Consumers worldwide spent upwards of $375 billion on snack foods in 2014. To tap into the snacking trend, food marketers need to rethink their products, packaging, and positioning because consumers have greatly expanded their definitions of snack food beyond traditional sweet and salty treats.

The primary drivers of snacking are convenience, taste and flavor, and better-for-you foods. Food products that are able to appeal to these motivators are in a game-changing position in terms of expanding demand for their products. The keys are packaging and positioning.

Today’s consumers are very concerned with the quality of the snacks they consume and their tastes have become more sophisticated. Snack foods need to offer flavor varieties, and creative flavor and texture combinations. In terms of packaging, this may mean pairing separate ingredients that consumers combine themselves, all in convenient grab-and-go packaging. A recent entry into this category is a yogurt product combined with granola in a single serve package that consumers easily combine themselves.

Single serve fresh produce items have been on the market for some time, but we’re beginning to see more “combo” snacks with produce, dips, cheese, and even protein. These mini-meals are totally portable, easy to open, and convenient to consume. Functional and creative snack packaging, along with product positioning, can transform products in many food categories into snack foods.

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