Food & Beverage/Hospitality

Opening a New Oregon Wine Marketing Channel

Overview

As demand continues to grow for Oregon’s wine, the Oregon wine industry continues to look for innovative ways to provide wine to consumers at an affordable price point and in an environmentally sustainable way. With CFM’s expert guidance, Oregon wineries now can sell their wine at retail outlets from kegs into re-usable glass growlers.

Challenge

Most Oregon wineries produce less that 50,000 cases a year, which is a small yield compared to California and Washington wineries. The growing number of small wineries has made it even more competitive to earn grocery store shelf space and appear on restaurant menus. Oregon law permitted microbreweries to sell their beer at retail outlets from kegs to growlers, but only Allowed wineries to sell wine in growlers through their tasting rooms.

Approach

At the urging of its small winery members, the Oregon Winegrowers Association asked CFM to advocate for legislation to allow wine growlers.

Given the popularity of beer growlers, CFM urged Oregon legislators to let consumers have the same affordable and sustainable access to Oregon wines. CFM lobbyists demonstrated how wine growlers work in legislative hearings and explained how this would give smaller wineries a new marketing channel to reach consumers who couldn’t go to their tasting rooms.

Result

The legislation passed unanimously, making Oregon the first state in the nation to permit wine growlers at retail outlets.

Whole Foods Market: Opening a New Store with a Buzz

Whole Foods Market: Opening a New Store with a Buzz

Overview

In food-savvy Portland, opening a new natural and organic food grocery store isn't necessarily cause for much notice.

Challenge

Whole Foods Market hired CFM to make sure Portland was abuzz about its arrival as the first tenant in the historic Brewery Blocks redevelopment project.

Approach

CFM used a variety of tools to get Portlanders talking about the arrival of Whole Foods, including early media mentions in gossip columns. CFM created a Web site that offered a virtual tour of the store. Outreach also included direct mailer to households within a 10-mile radius. And CFM planned a VIP pre-opening event that attracted more than 600 persons, who nibbled on the store’s bounty. It also oversaw a breaking-bread opening ceremony, featuring the mayor of Portland.

Result

The two events drew extensive media coverage. Within hours, the store was literally packed with customers, creating one of the strongest openings of a Whole Food Market anywhere in the country.

Oregon Winegrowers Association: A Winning Hand for Wineries

Oregon Winegrowers Association: A Winning Hand for Wineries

Overview

One of Oregon's most prominent wineries had been told to close its kitchen and stop hosting weddings. Influential legislators decided to introduce a bill in Oregon's special legislative session in February 2010. Oregon wine industry members reflected divergent views on commercial events in farm zones, and there was no time for a consensus-building process.

Challenge

Legislation would be heard during a short session in which any significant opposition could derail it.

Approach

Working with legal counsel for the Oregon Winegrowers Association, CFM developed draft legislation that struck a moderate position on the issue of commercial events held by wineries. CFM worked carefully with the OWA board, county officials and key legislators to eliminate most objections. One fear was that wine industry officials would avoid participating in interim discussions about a broader solution. CFM provided assurances the wine industry would be an active participant in those discussions.

Result

The legislation passed comfortably in both the Oregon Senate and House and was signed into law by the governor. OWA and CFM kept their word and participated constructively in interim discussions. The industry also surveyed its members and developed a consensus process to bring a more refined set of proposals to the 2011 legislative session.

Tillamook Cheese: Extending the brand

Tillamook Cheese Social Media

Tillamook County Creamery Association, the cooperative that runs Tillamook Cheese, blended two CFM services:

Public Affairs: CFM facilitated a reputation management audit with the dairy cooperative’s leadership, an enormous opportunity to enhance Tillamook’s brand and good name. Wanting to stay ahead of consumer preferences, Tillamook decided to eliminate rBST in the herds of more than 150 dairy farmers. Tillamook planned a quiet transition, but when agribusiness giant Monsanto – maker of rBST – loudly protested and attempted to divide cooperative membership, a huge public fight broke out.

CFM helped Tillamook with an aggressive program of member relations and media outreach that gained national attention, further enhancing Tillamook’s reputation.

Marketing Public Relations: CFM conceived and executed a comprehensive public relations program for Tillamook Cheese. The program also worked to enhance Tillamook’s reputation and build authentic relationships with target consumers.

Key programs included:

  • Development and execution a Mac & Cheese recipe contest in several key markets;
  • Raising brand awareness of target consumers through strategic partnerships and sponsorships of high profile community and industry events;
  • Using an online strategy to create and grow a community of brand advocates through a special Tillamook Fan Club microsite and the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter;
  • Staging vibrant interactive Tillamook centennial events; and
  • Pitching Tillamook Cheese stories to key local and national media and bloggers resulting in valuable publicity.

Celebrating Tillamook Cheese’s 100th Anniversary

Overview

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Tillamook® Cheese had an opportunity that comes once every 100 years – the chance to celebrate a century as a farmer-owned co-operative, providing high-quality dairy products to consumers. CFM helped Tillamook take advantage of the yearlong opportunity, leveraging its 100th Anniversary, by communicating key brand messages as well as engaging the community.

Challenge

Operating during the economic slowdown of 2009, the challenge was to create a series of events and stay within a limited budget. There also was the challenge of managing relationships with multiple stakeholders and ensuring 100th anniversary messaging remained consistent throughout events and traditional and social media outreach.

Approach

CFM developed a comprehensive public relations program. It centered on: 1) four interactive community events; 2) traditional and social media outreach; 3) a community relations component; and, 4) a partnership with the Portland television station, KGW-TV (NBC). All events appealed to adults as well as children, in areas with high foot traffic. This included a special “Tillamook Cheese Day” event in “Portland’s Living Room,” (Pioneer Courthouse Square), that served as the capstone of the year’s events.

Result

CFM’s tactics created lasting impressions for consumers. Thousands of local consumers attended community events and shared overwhelmingly positive feedback and personal stories about the brand. Large-scale events positioned Tillamook’s anniversary as newsworthy, garnering coverage in most of Tillamook’s target markets. The value of the coverage was equivalent to $664,002 in advertising.

Tree Top, Inc.: Launching a New Consumer Product

Overview

Tree Top, Inc., an agricultural co-operative of more than 1,300 apple and pear growers, rolled out a new functional beverage called trim®. Tree Top wanted to increase retail distribution of its new trim® product through earned media coverage in its key growth markets. CFM delivered.

Challenge

Placing a new product in the media – in light of the decline of traditional media – adds a whole new variable to the formula. CFM had to develop a comprehensive product launch campaign for trim® that incorporated traditional and social media tactics.

Approach

CFM recommended its product launch plan, which included developing a key list of media targets in each of Tree Top’s growth markets, putting together personalized ‘sample packs’ of trim® with a handwritten note tailored to each contact, and distributing it via snail mail.

Result

In four months, CFM garnered quality media coverage in each of Tree Top’s target markets, most of which was in more than one media outlet. CFM also garnered national coverage on outlets such as Glamour’s Vitamin G blog, which proved a huge success. Results showed that it is still possible to garner traditional media coverage, and that being hyper-creative and unique in building relationships with media targets is the key to client success. 

Tillamook Cheese on Twitter

Overview

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In this day and age, it’s not enough for a company to speak to its consumers. A company also must be willing to listen and respond to praise or attacks on its business practices or products. With CFM’s creative inspiration, Twitter effectively was used on behalf of Tillamook Cheese, as a medium providing informative, light and playful – and sometimes serious – responses to consumers.

Challenge

Create a voice for Twitter that’s as flexible as the types of posts it will respond to, not to mention the variety of material it will publish. Find a frequency of posting that keeps followers engaged without overloading them. Stay vigilant to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to make a new fan, correct a misconception or give credit to a blogger who’s got something nice to say about you.

Approach

We created an icon of Loafy, Tillamook’s signature Baby Loaf – or two-pound brick – of Medium Cheddar, and had him interact in first person with Tillamook’s followers. Through a combination of recipes, information about upcoming events, links to blogs and to our own Tillamook Fan Club Web site, we kept a steady stream of informative and entertaining content available for those who wanted it. We also made sure we responded whenever somebody asked a question or logged a complaint.

Result

Using this approach, we created an experience that was both active and interactive. In a little more than a year, we grew the account to more than 4,000 followers. This was accomplished by and large without promotional contests, and no auto-follow programs were used. By creating a large group of followers, CFM was able to reach and respond to dedicated followers, creating a feeling of real involvement with Tillamook’s growing community. 

Tapping History to Sell New Development

Overview

When the Blitz-Weinhard brewery in Portland closed, the developers who purchased the five-block site in the emerging Pearl District turned to CFM for help in selling their ambitious plan. They wanted to renovate the historic brewhouse and undertake a massive sustainable development project.

Challenge

The reaction to a project of this scale by key stakeholders in the Pearl District and at Portland City Hall was unknown. The site was hallowed ground, having served as a brewery since 1862 before its owners closed it and sold the property to Gerding/Edlen, a respected developer. Carefully considered steps were needed to launch the project.

Approach

Following stakeholder research, CFM implemented a rollout effort that included a one-page newsletter that Bob Gerding and Mark Edlen, the developers, hand-delivered to many of the neighboring businesses. A visual PowerPoint used for briefings also was created. And, for a kickoff announcement, CFM produced a video featuring some of the best and funniest TV spots for Henry Weinhard beer. CFM also wrote and produced collateral materials that described some of the colorful history of the brewery, and the old Portland Armory, also part of the site.

Result

The strategic communications plan resulted in a continuous flow of news articles, almost all positive, about the development, including its significance as one of the City's largest historic redevelopment projects. Strong local support, including an editorial endorsement from The Oregonian, was secured. Today the Brewery Blocks is a national example of sustainable development.

Tillamook Cheese

Overview

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Introducing new consumers to a brand – as well as turning them into loyal consumers – sometimes is difficult. Reaching consumers within several key brand markets is another challenge. Tillamook Cheese wanted a program that would get consumers cooking with its product, and get them using it in a different way than just slicing off a piece of cheese and placing it atop a cracker.

Challenge

Develop a marketing campaign that reached thousands of consumers in Tillamook Cheese’s key markets, spurred product trial and placed Tillamook Cheese in the media, all on limited budgets.

Approach

CFM researched previous trademarked macaroni and cheese contests that other companies may have created and found none. A Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Contest was recommended to increase awareness of Tillamook Cheese, spur product trials and garner media coverage in the brand’s key markets. The first Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Contest was held in 2005. It featured regional cook-offs in key markets in the Western U.S., and the grand finale cook-off was held in Portland, Oregon.

Result

Events held in four cities generated hundreds of recipe entries and millions of media impressions, in addition to personal relationships developed with recipe finalists, key media and contacts in important sales regions. CFM expanded the contest on behalf of Tillamook Cheese for 2006, staging cook-offs in San Francisco, CA, Tillamook, OR, Seattle, WA, Pasadena, CA, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO, Phoenix, AZ, and Dallas, TX.