- Gourmet food cataloger and retailer Harry & David, which is owned by 1-800-Flowers.com, today revealed a new brand positioning based around sharing food with family and friends, according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive. The goal of the new strategy is to build more meaningful connections with customers and drive sales year-round.
- The repositioning kicks off with a new marketing campaign, "Share More," tied to the fall harvest season. Components include a video hosted on the brand's website titled "Open Door," which provides a look at the products and employees behind the brand, a series of dinner events hosted in local communities, a sweepstakes and a #ShareMore hashtag push across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that urges users to share their own experiences.
- The brand will rotate through different themes based on sharing, using them throughout its marketing materials, including catalogs, emails and other promotional efforts.
Harry & David, which has been positioned as a holiday gift-giving catalog for more than 80 years, is making a bigger push for year-round sales at a time that the once all-important Q4 holiday sales period is seeing its role diminish for many retailers. Since 1992, Q4's contribution to total retail sales has declined from 32.8% to 28.9%, according to Unity Marketing, which also asserts that gift-giving is a year-round opportunity.
To capture year-round sales, Harry & David is leveraging marketing to help shift consumer perception of the brand and make a connection around everyday celebrations as well as sharing special experiences with friends and family.
"What brings a smile to people's faces is sharing," Michelle Farabaugh, CMO at Harry & David, told Marketing Dive. "Everything we make or sell is ultimately shared. It's shared as a gift or an experience, when entertaining or on family night."
The brand wants to develop a stronger emotional bond with consumers at a time when more are engaging in online research and purchasing. As digital engagement grows, brands like Harry & David that have a strong offline history need to find new ways to stand out and make a connection online. By urging consumers to share content online, the Medford, Oregon-based company — which makes most of the products it offers — can drive earned media and potentially attract new customers. Big food brands like Hershey are also focused on creating digital content that resonates with consumers on an emotional level, using personalization and user-generated content to drive impulse purchases online.
"Digital will be a big component of this," Farabaugh said of Harry & David's repositioning. "The idea of sharing will be expressed through all of our channels."
"If you think of sharing, what brings it to life will be video and user-generated content."
The news comes as other retailers that were heavily dependent on catalogs in the past are now focusing more on digital. Williams-Sonoma reported that online brought in 53.7% of Q1 sales while Ikea is sharing more content online as it reduces the print run for its latest catalog by 50%.