We blame the pop tart.
Cast your mind back a few years. Can you recall the image of a flat, strawberry, goo-filled parcel launching itself from the beloved toaster and enriching the life of it’s recipient through the power of a portable breakfast, to be enjoyed ‘on the fly’’
Since then, the concept of a family enjoying breakfast before they all go their separate ways, has been replaced. Breakfast has become a much more fragmented experience. Our increasingly busy lives dictating that we all have to be somewhere. Doing things, updating things and meeting people. We are at the mercy of our calendars, no longer in charge of our free-time. Breakfast has indeed been relegated.
So does the ‘traditional breakfast’ as an occasion, still have a place in society?
The answer, as far as we are concerned, is yes.
But there is a little bit of groundwork to do.
One thing we can be sure of – people are still meeting up for breakfast. Look at any local branch of a coffee chain and you will see packed tables, customers jostling for position and queues snaking out the door. People are still meeting up to socialise and the role of breakfast is still important within our culture for social engagement. Breakfast has moved out of the home and onto the high street.
So what has changed?
Consumers now have a different perception of what breakfast is. Perception has shifted from being a family occasion, to the first ‘re-fuelling’ pitstop of the day. We now enjoy coffee when we want to meet up with friends and colleagues. Therefore, breakfast for many is put on hold until they order their triple-shot, macci-lattes.
And this is the key – the ‘triple shot grande chocco-latte with soya froth’ sounds like an occasion. It is something different to the norm, different to what we might make ourselves at home. People still want an enjoyable brand experience. We would argue that people more than ever, actively seek it, whenever and wherever they can.
Breakfast brands need to re-think what role they want to play in consumers lives. Yet If brands are happy to live in the shadow of a pop-tart legacy, there is little we can do.
So what can brands do to change?
Branded breakfast parties.
In a nutshell, the branded breakfast party is the lovechild of ‘product sampling meets positive brand experience’. It is a mandate for brands to communicate with a small number of enthusiastic ‘brand receptive’ audience members. .
Brands supply said audience with the means to have a ‘fun- time’ through the provision of activity packs. Groups of brand ambassadors can then explore the product range in a group, where the focus is firmly on the product and their experience of the products. They can then share their experiences online. Upload their pictures, videos and comments (in real time) and ultimately – spread the word.
The party becomes an occasion in itself. Breakfast becomes that occasion.
By creating official, branded party days, that takes place across the country. Brands can create a real sense of community. Imagine an army of brand advocates interacting with one another, talking about YOUR brand. For a small investment, you could establish an arsenal of WOM marketing firepower.
We all know that the “word of mouth” is one of the most powerful tools we have to communicate our brand in a positive light. It is authentic marketing in its truest sense. It is why experiential marketing works so well, when it is done right.
Hotcow are pioneering this business model in the UK. It is an easy to understand format that empowers consumers to create their own brand experience. The brands simply create the tools to make it happen. The format is easily extendable into other associated occasions, such as Halloween or Easter.
The strategy could be replicated across all manner of products and occasions – all it takes is a little imagination, some belief in doing something unique and a focus on giving your audience centre stage.
The potential for this model is endless.
The party hosts become brand influencers. They then influence their network and market your products to their network. Importantly, because they are marketing to their network, they instinctively know how to market your product in the most powerful way. No matter how good your marketing messages or copy, a brand just cannot hope to influence a buying decision like a best friend can.
Hotcow offer a wealth of insights and ideas for brands interested to discover how they can make this strategy work. The rewards are there, and we believe it could be one of the most powerful marketing tactics you will employ in 2013. If you want to know more, get in touch and ask for Sally.
Brands that succeed in today crowded marketplace understand that to simply continue doing the ‘same thing with a twist’ is commercial suicide. As market shares become gradually eroded, the brands who understand how to interrupt their industry marketplace and choose to do so, will make the difference.
It is no longer about you and your brand, it is about the audience and what part your brand plays in making them feel great about themselves. If your brand can accomplish this, then you will truly gain the brand advocacy you are searching for.
(and not a pop tart in sight)
Hotcow is a multi-award winning Experiential Marketing agency. We get brands in front of consumers in ways that persuade them to buy & become advocates. We fully implement our ideas; nothing needs to be farmed out. For more information or free consultation, contact us