Little by Little, Real Progress Being Made to Break Pecans Out of the Pie Shell in Consumers' MindsTue, 31 Jul 2018 14:29:20 CDT
Over the past year or so, the relatively newly formed American Pecan Council has employed advertising agency Weber-Shandwick to help them develop a national branding strategy for the pecan industry, one with which they hope to break the pecan out of the pie-shell and into the spotlight as a versatile, nutritious superfood. During the APC’s recent board meeting, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Sarah Yaffe of Weber-Shandwick to talk about the agency’s latest work to launch the pecan’s new brand which positions it as the original super nut. Listen to Yaffe and Hays’ full conversation, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“The American Pecan: The Original Super Nut, is a national brand that’s intended to bring to life what we know is most motivating to consumers, when we are asking them to purchase pecans,” Yaffe said. “That’s really that it’s super nutritious; it’s super delicious; it’s really versatile; and it’s super local. We are the only tree nut indigenous to the United States and that’s something we know consumers are interested in.”
Package all that together, Yaffe says, and it tells a truly complete and appealing story to consumers who, according to market research, think only of the traditional pie when pecans are mentioned. This positioning helps showcase the dynamic health food that pecans really are. This fact was demonstrated during a promotional event that launched the brand earlier this year in New York City. Yaffe and her team described the event as a pop-up shop, designed to create as much buzz as possible through brand exposure, influencer participation, plus social and digital media campaigns coupled with some traditional media presence as well.
“We took over an abandoned storefront for one day and we turned it into the Not Pie Shop where people could walk in and interact with pecan products, sampling unique ways of eating pecans and there wasn’t a piece of pie in the shop,” Yaffe said. “They could hear from different influencers about all the different ways to use it and the health value behind it. It was a great way to tell the whole story in one space.”
While all outlets and channels contributed to the overall presence of pecans during this campaign, social media was the star of the show. Based on that fact, Yaffe says moving forward, the campaign will continue to have a heavy focus on social media to help pecan’s message reach as many consumers as possible.
“Today’s consumers have their phone in their hand all the time. It’s their connection to the world and for us, social media is an important way to intersect our consumer because that’s where they are,” she said. “So, we have to make sure our stories and our content are there.”
The goal in all of this is again of course to get consumers to think of pecans outside of the pie. According to Yaffe, progress on that front is being made, but she maintains the road to fulfilling that objective is indeed a long journey ahead.
“This is not just something that happens overnight, as much as we would like it to be,” she said. “But we think we are starting to change perceptions. We are starting to see some real traction, but it is early days and we’ve got to keep going and not let our foot up off the gas.”
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