Here To Help? Brand Building For The Next Normal

We got a really good look at how some big brands adapted during the pandemic at Tuesday's Brand Insider Summit CPG.

For example, over at Heinz, the plan had been to drive consumers to patios during the summer -- but when COVID hit, the company had to pivot. Where to turn? Brian Neumann, senior brand manager for The Kraft Heinz Company, said it came up with "the world's slowest puzzle, 100% Heinz ketchup red, 570 pieces." It not only drove great conversations on social media, it also earned 1.3 billion impressions and was talked about by the likes of Jimmy Fallon and Cosmopolitan magazine. 

Peet's Coffee, had three distinct channels to address: the 200 coffee shops in the U.S., the people making coffee at home and those getting coffee at work. Gretchen Koch, senior director of marketing & innovation, consumer division, at Peet's Coffee, said they noticed a big increase in sales for at-home brewing yet people were missing out on their coffee shop coffees. You know, the lattes and espressos. So they took content that they already had on YouTube and repurposed them on social media to teach people how to do pour-overs, how to use French presses, etc. "We had very, very high engagement on social and a lot press pick-up," Koch said. "It took on a life of its own." 

It also forced the company to collaborate by breaking down three silos that had unique needs. "It pushed us into that in a good way. We plan to carry it forward."

Tom Rowe, senior manager, digital marketing operations at McCormick, talked about going back to basic search trends. Early on, they saw that people were looking for direction in cooking, some doing so for the first time. "We were well-positioned with our internal content team to deliver. Our hero was food stylist Rachel." She would take insights and that night create step-by-step how-to content on Instagram Stories. "It was a good way to connect not just with McCormick," Rowe said, "but also with McCormick people."

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