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Every company no matter the size or age needs to evaluate their ‘brand’ continuously to determine its customers’ and the publics’ perception of it. In the eyes of the consumer, what does your company stand for and is there an emotional connection to your company and its product(s)? Does your company have a brand personality that is clear and connects with customers?
These are weighty questions and are not easily answered. It takes a lot of effort and time to build a company’s brand personality, but it’s time that every business needs to spend in order to grow and be successful. At Edible Arrangements, building a brand that emotionally resonates with the public has been a slow, purposely so, yet steady progression as we didn’t want to move to fast and leave the customer confused. The big question facing us –as it does every company –is how to go about doing this. In addition to its internal culture and social footprint, topics I will discuss in future blog posts, a company’s marketing, advertising and promotional campaign has a tremendous impact and affect in building a brand personality that consumers can quickly identify and connect with.
When my brother and I first started Edible Arrangements in 1999 and even when we sold our first franchise in 2001, we didn’t have the money to advertise. What we were able to do, and still do as it’s the cornerstone of our success, was focus on giving the best customer service possible with the hope that positive word of mouth would create a buzz and interest. From the start, people were “wowed” by our product and service and told their friends and family. As the company grew, we started advertising slowly, dabbling in print and online by creating our web site. Over the years we marketed and advertised a little more as we still didn’t have much money and in 2008 we started a national television advertising program to help introduce Edible Arrangements to everyone.
Still working with limited resources, the goal of the first few years was to educate the consumer about Edible Arrangements and our products. A lot of people didn’t know what we did or what we sold so for television to be effective we had to inform the public first and build our brand awareness. So for the past four years we took a very functional approach to our advertising.
We always knew that eventually we would have to change this approach, evolve our messaging and move to the next step in building our brand through marketing and advertising. We patiently waited as our brand awareness began to increase and the consumer started becoming familiar with Edible Arrangements. Now that consumers understand what we do, it’s time to show them who we are as a company. We need to create a brand personality that emotionally connects with consumers.
Our first phase of communicating Edible Arrangements brand personality begins this Saturday, April 28. On this date, we are launching a brand new television campaign –a new TV commercial for Mother’s Day – that showcases the magical world of Edible Arrangements and matches our unique products with specific occasions. For the new campaign, we enlisted an amazing ‘artist’ named Carl Warner to create visually inspiring and engaging fruitscapes –our own magical worlds of Edible Arrangements made mainly out of fruit, the same fruit we use in making our arrangements and Edible To Go products. We also feature four of our amazing franchisees in the series of spots that bridge the fictional world with the real world where our franchisees continue the magical experience of creating our products through delivery to our customer. We also for the first time created our own jingle, our new tagline –“Make Life a Little Sweeter with Edible Arrangements.” My children cannot stop singing it, and I hope it has the same effect on you. Click Here to go to Edible Arrangements consumer website to view the first TV spot beginning on Saturday, April 28th.
This is just the first step of many in building our brand personality. I’m hopeful the public responds to our new television spot, as well as our new in-store window banners and other local promotional materials, and other forms of marketing that communicates our brand and explains who we are. I hope I was able to give you some insight into what Edible Arrangements has done and is doing to build an effective brand that can translate to your company or give you some ideas. No company can from the very beginning be impatient and jump to the finishing line. Rather, think ahead, set clear goals of what you want to accomplish and by taking one small step at a time take both your brand and the consumer along for a magical ride.