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MARKETING BEYOND THE MEAT CASE
At the advent of fresh beef branding in 1978, when the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) brand began, marketing efforts reached consumers when they shopped the meat case. Today, marketing strategies take beef brands to consumers in their homes, while driving to work and at local events.

Layering advertising dollars inside event sponsorships with creative public relations has been a successful marketing strategy for the Certified Angus Beef brand. It heightens consumer awareness in the marketplace, leading consumers to licensed restaurants and retail stores in their towns.

"We knew we had the right formula with the market strategy of one consistent message in specific cities for a targeted demographic," says Tracey Erickson, CAB's vice president of marketing. "Growing demand for the brand inside our retail and restaurant partners confirms
we are on track."

In 2004, radio and outdoor advertising were the primary advertising mediums in the brand's target markets of Pittsburgh and Detroit. Radio advertisements highlighted weekly CAB features at Pittsburgh stores and drew consumers to the home and garden show, where customers with Giant Eagle Advantage Cards, a grocery loyalty program, claimed cookbooks and $2 CAB coupons from the brand's booth.

In Detroit, a concentrated radio message reinforced Meijer, a retail and grocery supercenter chain, as the place to buy premium CAB products. Using the Novi Home & Garden Show as a platform, the public relations team led media to the brand's chef, Dianna Stoffer. She tempted drive-time radio listeners with steak and eggs as she cooked for morning-show hosts. On television, she reminded consumers to stop by the home show's cooking stage for tips and recipes. A live radio broadcast from the show confirmed the hot spot was the CAB booth.

Corporate Chef Dianna Stoffer opened doors to radio, television and print exposure in target markets and across the country.
Radio advertising brought additional consumer touch points in both markets. Media purchases were maximized with remote broadcasts at licensed grocers and restaurants, recipe contests, grill giveaways, backyard barbecue packages, tickets to concerts and sporting events, and on-air cooking tips from Chef Dianna.

"Combining all these elements multiplied our efforts to reach targeted demographics," Erickson adds. The brand focuses on reaching women who are 35 to 54 years of age, with children and a household income of $50,000. Men in the same categories are just as important to the CAB brand's marketing efforts.

Additional advertising through regional buys in magazines, such as Bon Appetit, Country Home and House & Garden, reinforced the brand message. An expanded truck wrap program placed roving billboards on Meijer trucks in the Detroit area.

"Target marketing can be more effective than a static advertising campaign," she explains. "We are in hometowns, speaking one-on-one with top beef purchasers for family meals. At the same time, we are building strong partnerships with retail and restaurant customers and setting a foundation for their success with the brand in years ahead."

Customized campaigns also involved restaurant partners. In Pittsburgh, Dingbats restaurants offered a "Hot Country Jam Burger" in connection with a country concert, creating fun, excitement and sales. A live radio remote brought regular and new customers to the restaurant for prizes. A contest tied to selling the most burgers helped retrain and reward waitstaff.

To expand upon these targeted campaigns, CAB brought winemaker Gallo of Sonoma to the table. On-package recipes with $2 coupons for CAB products were offered in stores' wine and meat departments. Advertising in the weekly circular boosted sales success. The promotion led to Chef Dianna and a wine educator from Gallo, Burt Kemp, appearing on news stations in Ohio.

"Our programs have been successful because our brands convey a similar image," said Tom Bernth, E&J Gallo Winery's trade marketing manager for the Midwest and central regions. "The synergies between our brands allow us to be very creative in our advertising, POS and execution."

Two national food features also brought media coverage in these markets and other areas of the country, exceeding 10.5 million in circulation and 23 million in readership.

During 2004, consumers' desire for premium-quality beef led the CAB brand to achieve 500 million pounds for the fifth consecutive year. Being able to offer enough premium beef to satisfy this growing demand continues to be a company priority. Building on the success of its consumer campaigns, marketing and supply development staffs are combining their expertise in 2005 to share the advantages of using high-quality Angus genetics with producers.

Less than 8 percent of beef earns the CAB brand name. Products include classic cuts, CAB brand Prime, deli meats and convenience items. AM


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