"Now is a Great Time to Visit the Beef Counter" and NCBA is Working on a Campaign to Reflect ThatFri, 14 Jul 2017 15:27:10 CDT
As Senior Vice President for Global Marketing and Issues Management, Alisa Harrison directs the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s checkoff funded efforts in marketing, communications and research and science-based disciplines to influence consumers and persuade them to eat more beef. Ron Hays, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network farm director, had the chance to speak with her during the NCBA Summer Business meeting in Denver, about some of her recent work which includes revitalizing the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” brand. You can listen to that entire conversation between Hays and Harrison, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of this story.
Currently, Harrison says her team is working on securing the funding for the work they hope to accomplish over the course of the next fiscal year, having presented their budget requests to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and now awaiting appropriation.
“All our programs are geared this year towards launching the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” brand,” she said. “We’ve spent some time talking to consumers, talking to millennials about - trying to measure the equity that the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” brand has.”
Harrison says the brand has been in use by the US beef industry for more than 25 years and still resonates with today’s consumers - even the youngest of them.
She explains that with less promotional dollars available through the Beef Checkoff, simply due to the increased efficiencies of today’s modernized beef supply chain, her department must find ways to make each dollar they do have, work harder to turn results out for the American beef producer. This in part led to the decision that the industry could profit from reinventing and capitalizing on the brand’s existing equity, rather than starting from square one to develop an entirely new image.
New technologies, like social media and widespread access to the internet, have made it much easier and much less expensive to create dynamic, flexible messages in a variety of digital formats that reach consumers with pinpoint accuracy and in whichever mode they individually prefer.
One way Harrison has accomplished to streamline communication with consumers, in a way that provides information while also allowing NCBA to learn what information consumers are looking for, is through a new “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” website, which is scheduled to launch in October of this year. She says of the eight websites that existed before, one integrated site will take their place, creating a centralized location to house all the information you could ever want to know about beef. But it is the brand’s immediate recognition and the product’s own merits that Harrison says is the industry’s best asset for influencing consumer purchases.
“It’s an iconic brand and when you look at branding, it’s stood the test time,” she said. “And it’s our product that is really our best asset. We’re trying to modernize it, putting it in today’s pop culture, and using some of the great creative tools that you can use with social media to not only rebrand and relaunch it, but put it in today’s vernacular.”
While Harrison and her team have their work cut out for them, she says her job is made much easier by the fact that the cost of beef at the grocery store is coming down, the product is more consistent and is of better quality than ever before and that its taste is superior to that of any other animal protein. Now, she says, is a great time to be visiting the meat counter.
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