Idea Lab

A Force To Harness by Jane Browe

Several years ago, I was a Regional Sales Director for a small company that grew and packaged specialty lettuces and greens, which were sold through both retail and foodservice channels.  At the core of the product line was a beautiful green known as “mâche” or lamb’s lettuce.  It’s a beautiful emerald green, has a light nutty flavor, and is incredibly nutritious.

It’s also very much a niche item, and the company’s marketing budget was tiny.  The Marketing Director asked us to extend the reach of her limited resources by supporting her efforts as “Brand Ambassadors” in our Regions.  There we were, an army of three Regional Directors, dispersed across the Lower 48, equipped, it seemed, with emerald green attire, a megaphone, pom-poms, batons and a one-man-marching-band assortment of instruments.  Well, I exaggerate a bit, but as Brand Ambassadors, we were well versed and fully trained to provide on-the-spot mâche information – historical trivia, nutritional highlights, recipe ideas – to all we encountered on or off the job.  We were INFORMED, and we carried THE BRAND MESSAGE fully in sync with positioning and strategy.

So, the “Brand Ambassador” recruiting efforts described in this Wall Street Journal article, whereby restaurants extend their marketing reach by way of Instagram “Influencers” really caught my attention.

(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324520904578553502283072828.html?mod=djemLifeStyle_h)

Restaurants are the focus of this article, but this has implications for everyone in the food industry, and it seriously bears this question:

How best to harness the power of spontaneous, grass roots, cell phone-armed legions of Brand Ambassadors, and positively reinforce the Brand’s intended position and message?

This calls for a yet another dimension of messaging strategy and vast implications for the tactical management of 24/7, sometimes around-the-globe, grass roots communications.  Does your communications strategy go this far?

We’d love to hear your perspective and challenges.  We invite you to share comments here, or just give us a call to talk live.  Dial 570-779-9543, ext. 316 to reach Jane Browe.

(email: janeb@ideaworksfoodmarketing.com; Twitter: @janeofideaworks)

Peter Steve Shows How to BRAND Yourself

 

Building Your Brand

Peter Steve, Jr., Managing Partner of Ideaworks recently delivered the featured presentation at the Trans-Med Ambulance Incorporated’s executive retreat held at the Woodlands Resort in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Entitled Building Your Brand, Steve’s presentation focused on the parallels between corporate branding and personal brand development, and explored the importance of having a strong personal brand to achieve success.  Using the word BRAND as an acronym to represent the five key elements of personal branding (B-Bold, R-Relevant, A-Attitude, N-Network, D-Deliver), Steve emphasized the essence of each element and how they work together to help all of us “live” our personal brand.

As Managing Partner of Ideaworks, Steve is responsible for the overall strategy, marketing and creative development provided by the agency. He has more than 30 years experience in the food industry, primarily serving in senior marketing positions at a number of contract management and restaurant organizations.  Steve is a seasoned speaker and has delivered presentations on branding, marketing and promotional development to audiences across the country.

For more information on the Building Your Brand presentation or having Steve present to your group or organization, email him at peters@ideaworksfoodmarketing.com.

 

Agency Principals Make Return Appearance at National Catering Conference

The 20th annual CaterSource Conference & Tradeshow begins March 10th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 20th annual CaterSource Conference & Tradeshow begins March 10th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ideaworks’ Food Marketing Managing Partner, Peter Steve and President, Donna Hansbury, will return as guest presenters at the upcoming Catersource Conference & Tradeshow scheduled for March 10th to the March 13th at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

Marking its 20th anniversary, Catersource’s Conference & Tradeshow will offer attendees an array of educational sessions while showcasing some of the most creative concepts, current trends and innovative resources in the catering industry.

Steve and Hansbury’s featured session is entitled The Power of Presence, Permission and Personalization and will focus on the three critical “Ps” that will help any catering business build a strong marketing outreach program.  More specifically, Steve and Hansbury will help attendees learn how to use the latest marketing tools and technology to strengthen their customer relationships and build a loyal and profitable customer base.

Catersource Magazine, Conference & Tradeshow is dedicated to the education and growth of the professional caterer. The organization’s goal is to connect caterers and foodservice professionals with a current and reputable source for news, information, products, services and networking opportunities relevant to their business.

For more information on CaterSource Conference & Tradeshow, please visit www.catersource.com. Follow Ideaworks Food Marketing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ideaworksfoodmarketing.

Infographic Report Adds Value To Client Marketing Initiatives

Staying current with today’s K-12 audience is no easy task, especially considering the media-intense influences on what is now being referred to as Generation S (Screen). To assist one of our clients in meeting this need, Ideaworks Food Marketing employed the power of “infographics” and grassroots research to create a quick-reference booklet entitled “An Infographic Look At Today’s K-12 Students.” Covering a variety of topics ranging from social media to entertainment to childhood obesity, the resource gave our client (and consequently their clients as well) a snapshot view of some of the more insightful statistics that reflect what this dynamic audience is all about.

This resource is just an example of the various trends and lifestyle tools that Ideaworks produces for its clients. While any company can tap into the latest trends, Ideaworks delves into the findings in a deeper manner, analyzing the impact to our clients’ business beyond the trends alone. Identifying the trends or factors that influence a market or business is one thing, knowing how to use those trends or factors to positively impact your business is what generating real solutions is all about.

To learn more about how Ideaworks can help your company create trends-driven solutions, contact Jane Browe at 570.779.9543, ext. 316 or e-mail her at janeb@ideaworksfoodmarketing.com.

Ideaworks Enters Partnership with Mobile Food Association

Plymouth, PA – Ideaworks Food Marketing and the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association (PMFA) recently finalized a partnership agreement whereby Ideaworks will be recognized as the official marketing agency of the association.

 

Ideaworks will work with PMFA leadership to enhance the association’s overall brand while also strengthening its membership services and resources.  Specifically, the agency will focus on four primary areas including refreshing and standardizing the association’s brand identity; redesigning and redeploying the association’s Website to better meet the needs of the organization’s primary target audiences; developing a marketing plan addressing the current and future needs of the association; and creating a number of fund-raising ventures for the association to use to support ongoing PMFA initiatives.

 

Commenting on the partnership, Andrew Gerson, Founder of the PMFA stated, “We are extremely excited about working with Ideaworks on building our association.  Our entire board and membership are very passionate about the association, and we are fortunate to have an agency like Ideaworks help us not only reach our current goals but also help us grow in the future.”

 

“This is really one of those win-win partnerships for sure,” said Peter Steve, Managing Partner of Ideaworks Food Marketing.  He added, “The PMFA consists of hard-working entrepreneurs who are looking to take mobile dining to a new level of quality and understanding in the marketplace.  They absolutely have the drive to make the association a huge success, we’ll simply be providing the expertise to help them create an organizational foundation on which to build.”

 

The mission of the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association (PMFA) is to provide a strong voice and shared resources to support Philadelphia’s many food truck and food cart operators, while eliminating unnecessary barriers to entry and operations.  The association works to create a more conducive atmosphere for the growth of the mobile food service sector by promoting progressive changes in legislation, vending locations, licensing and zoning, as well as improving access to sustainable and communal sourcing.  PMFA is also committed to developing alternative eating spaces throughout Philadelphia on underutilized private and public spaces in an effort to beautify the city while also providing increased food choices to the public.

 

Then & Now: Creative Director – Carrie Creegan

Following is a fun, snapshot look at our talented Creative Director, Carrie Creegan.  Enjoy!

Favorite Dish When I Was 6:
Pancakes…. I could eat like 8-10 pancakes in one sitting.

Favorite Dish Now:
How can I possibly name one? Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Glaze would be one of my favorites. Honestly I love tuna, spicy tuna rolls, grilled steaks and even tuna salad.

Favorite Beverage When I Was 10:
Definitely milk, I drank milk at every meal and even with snacks…which sometimes was chocolate milk.

Favorite Beverage Now:
Alcoholic or Non-Alcoholic? I love a glass of wine with dinner. But throughout the day I drink mostly water.

Favorite Restaurant When I Was In College:
BJ’s Steakhouse!  They served the best spinach dip with garlic bread. It was called Bongo Bongo Dip.

Favorite Restaurant Now:
Martin’s in Hazelton, PA

Favorite Musical Artist/Genre When I Was 13:
No Doubt,  Blackstreet, Jock Jams, La Bouche, Oasis…. I was all over the place, mostly listening to the Top 40 played on the radio and recording them on my cassette player, which consisted of hanging out with my boom box with my finger on the record button.

Favorite Musical Artist/Genre Now:
Country – George Strait, Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood

My Dream Vacation When I Was 12:
I don’t recall having a dream vacation other then wanting to go on our yearly family vacation to Westmoreland State Park VA, where we rented cabins and all my cousins and aunts and uncles would vacation the same week. We’d water ski, fish, search the beach for sharks teeth.

My Dream Vacation Now:
Traveling Europe, The Mediterranean, Hawaii, The Caribbean, you name it I dream of seeing it.

What I Wanted To Be Growing Up:
I had no clue… My mom was a teacher and my dad is an architect, so I knew I didn’t want to be either of those, because obviously I thought it was cooler to do my own thing and not follow in their footsteps. I thought I’d have my own unique path…. But little did I know the creativity that ran through my veins would prevail!

What I’d Be If I Weren’t A Creative Director:
An architect, interior designer or a teacher… Who’d a thought!

 

Future Chefs Program Earns National Restaurant Association Recognition

Ideaworks’ Creative Support Helps Program Win the Menu Development Category in First-Ever Innovator of the Year Awards

Sodexo’s Future Chefs program, a national initiative that encourages students to learn about good nutrition by creating their own fun, creative and healthy recipes, won the Innovator of the Year Award in the Menu Development category in the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) inaugural Operator Innovations Awards. The Future Chefs National Challenge was formally recognized recently at the NRA Show 2012 in Chicago.

Through the Future Chefs National Challenge, students at Sodexo served schools learn about the importance of making healthy food choices by creating and submitting their own recipes to Sodexo’s student nutrition experts. Following district-wide events across the country, five national finalists are selected to create videos of their recipes. These videos are then posted online and the public is encouraged to view them and vote for their favorite.

In addition to crowning a national champion, Sodexo takes the best 12 recipes from the challenge each year and features them on school meal menus in the nearly 500 school districts the company serves nationally. This “For Kids, By Kids” approach to menu development has helped encourage reluctant students to try new things while also increasing overall school meal participation in schools.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of such a worthwhile and award-winning endeavor,” stated Donna Hansbury, president of Ideaworks Food Marketing.  “Our clients at Sodexo are simply fabulous people to work with, and they give us the necessary direction and creative freedom to help them achieve their goals.”

Along with winning the Menu Development category, Sodexo also earned Operator Innovations Award recognition for two other programs including the company’s Did You Know Cafe, which Ideaworks created.  Did You Know Café is a concept designed to make the cafeteria an extension of the classroom specifically for middle and junior high school students, and was selected as a finalist in the Health and Nutrition category.

Agency Executives Appointed To Area Marketing Group

Peter Steve, Managing Partner and Donna Hansbury, President of Ideaworks Food Marketing were recently appointed to serve as committee members of a newly formed Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Marketing Association (PAMA).  The PAMA is a professional association for marketers, educators and students across the Greater Philadelphia region.  The recently formed SIG focuses on the Greater Lehigh Valley (PA) with a mission to better serve the professional development, networking and knowledge sharing needs of marketing professionals in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

“The Lehigh Valley is a vibrant and emerging center for business and the arts,” said Craig Barton, immediate past president of PAMA.  “Its rich heritage and proud history combine to make it the ideal locale for a northern extension of our organization.  We are excited for the opportunity this provides to area marketers and the void that focused, localized programming will fill for the region.”

About PAMA
Established in 1931, the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Marketing Association (PAMA) was one of the first 100 chapters now affiliated with the American Marketing Association (AMA), which is the professional association for individuals and organizations who are leading the practice, teaching and development of marketing worldwide.

Agency President Speaks To Econ Class

Donna Hansbury, President of Ideaworks Food Marketing, recently had the pleasure of speaking to the Senior Economics Class of Dallas High School (Dallas, PA) at our company’s headquarters.  Following a brief tour of the Agency, Ms. Hansbury spent her time with the class addressing the various aspects of running a business in today’s challenging economic climate.  From the hiring of talent to setting project pricing to maintaining a positive cash flow, Ms. Hansbury gave the students a first hand look into “the world of business.”

Agency Partner Is Guest Speaker

Peter Steve Is Guest Speaker At

 Dallas High School Class Of 2012 Senior – Parent Brunch

 

 

Dallas, PA – Peter Steve, Jr., Managing Partner of Ideaworks Food Marketing in Plymouth, PA was the guest speaker at the fourth annual Dallas High School Senior/Parent Brunch held at the East Mountain Inn in Wilkes-Barre.

 

The morning’s program started with opening remarks by Dallas High School Principal, Mr. Jeffrey Shaffer, followed by a stirring invocation by Senior Class President, Sara Flaherty.  As part of her remarks, Flaherty paid special tribute to classmate Tom Lynch who died in a tragic car accident earlier this year.

 

After the 330 students and parents in attendance enjoyed a delicious brunch, they were treated to Mr. Steve’s enlightening presentation entitled Brand YOU which focused on the importance of personal branding in business and in life.  Upon conclusion of his speech, Mr. Steve was presented a commemorative gift clock as a thank you from the entire class of 2012.