Food brands are reaching their audiences in ways well beyond the taste of their products or the design of their packaging. Consumers, especially millennials, want to be engaged with and entertained by the brands they choose. So food brands, to stay top of mind, are going against the industry grain.
One way they’re doing it is through targeting crowdcultures — groups of consumers who share similar cultural ideologies. Their shared passions resonate well with the brand’s message. More important, these consumers connect with the entertaining content and experiences brands put forward.
Hamburger Helper — “Watch the Stove”
Hamburger Helper recently released a five-track mixtape entitled, “Watch The Stove.” It’s a play on words off from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s album, “Watch the Throne”. The album featured popular Internet rappers laying down lyrics focused around the brand’s offerings, with production heavily influenced by the “trap” sound. Trap is especially popular among one of Hamburger Helper’s primary target demographics, millennials in college. To date the collective songs on the mixtape have accumulated more than 10 million plays on SoundCloud. Take a listen here.
Organic Valley — “The Organic Valley Coffee Shop”
As a way to build brand awareness, but also to prank the millennial hipster culture which takes coffee oh-so seriously, Organic Valley opened up a pop-up coffee shop in Nolita. Inside, customers had their choice of three different sizes of half-and-half for $2 a pop, before moving on to the side of the store for free coffee. Though the stunt had elements of satire to it, above all it brought entertainment and humor to a product that maybe shouldn’t be taken so seriously.
Chipotle — “A Love Story”
When it comes to tapping into crowdcultures and, moreover, managing to keep them engaged and entertained, Chipotle has been a smash success. Recently the brand released its third animated short film. Which through a mix of nostalgia and clever storytelling reaches the hearts of those who are anti-big food and GMO. No question that food safety issues have plagued Chipotle over the past year and it must continue to rebuild customer trust. But it still deeply understands its core values and the consumers for whom those values are meaningful.
Big Picture Farms — “Goats Galore”
For a fairly small goat dairy farm, creamery and confectioner, Vermont-based Big Picture Farm has a pretty substantial following of 12.3k followers. The reason for its strong following is simple — it taps into the inner animal lover of many Instagrammers and fills its feed with comical and cute photos and videos of the goats and other animals on the farm. Big Picture Farm keeps its consumers entertained and engaged without pushing its products in their face.
Food brands big and small can find ways to entertain their consumers, no matter their budget. Targeting the right crowd with tailored messaging allows food brands to keep consumers engaged even after the first bite.