Kara – Foodservice Marketing
Dedicated to the foodservice industry, Kara has a range of over 200 sweet and savoury bakery products. Kara distributes their wholesale baked goods to over 200 food wholesalers, independent customers and direct to end-users like pub, hotel and restaurant chains as well as travel and leisure sites. There is also an embryonic export business.
Kara Foodservice is part of The Finsbury Food Group.
Splat Marketing was engaged to provide interim Foodservice Marketing & Brand Support that was located within the Kara Commercial Department.
This interim requirement was specifically to provide a marketing and brand strategy for the Kara Foodservice brand. Initially a 3 month project to help with their foodservice marketing, once I got involved and demonstrated what was required and how I could help, this relationship lasted considerably longer!
Here are highlights of achievements:
Improving the brand position
Operating in a competitive market, Kara needed to be front and centre of the customer’s mind. They needed to stand out, inspire and be different. As a Foodservice marketing specialist, I knew that, this industry is quite traditional in its approach, relying on lots of face-to-face contact, promotional print, trade shows etc. but engaging digital content was becoming increasingly important.
Making the brand stand out in print
Kara’s promotional print was functional but not inspiring (see brochure on the left as the original design and the right the new style). I introduced a more modern brochure size, print quality and improved photography which easily did wonders for the positioning of the brand. I introduced more end-user inspiration which simultaneously provided customers with content for their own social, digital and print platforms. I researched recipe ideas and photography styles to ensure the Kara brand reflected the tastes and influences of current market and consumer trends. It was great to work with the talented photographer and food stylist Sacha Ferrier.
Innovative promotional campaigns
One of the first projects was to relaunch Kara’s Floured Baps. A core range for the brand, but when taken at face value, a simple relaunch of improved recipes was not something that was going to grab attention either with customers or the press. I introduced a collaboration with the breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! This initiative (a playful take on baps and boobs) helped to lever huge customer interest and gain national recognition and importantly, provided the conduit to improve internal communications and teamwork for the business.
First impressions count – trade show marketing
Investment was made in the promotional displays and point of sale material used at trade shows which improved presence at such events. Product and brand displays were vastly improved and provided a much more professional approach. For the first time, Kara also exhibited at HRC – the UK’s largest foodservice trade show. This enabled them to meet with visitors from across a wide variety of channels such as retail, travel, leisure, on-board, hotels, restaurants, coffee shops as well as UK and overseas distributors etc. The stand design reflected the new corporate style. Although it was a fixed shell scheme space, I managed to adapt the layout so that maximum focus was given to the brand, products and tasting. A good level of business was achieved and is still being followed up.
Improving online communications
How a brand presents itself online is vital. It’s likely to be the first impression that a potential customer, stakeholder or staff member will have. It’s where their opinions will form. So, you must get it right.
In Kara’s case, their website was functional but not necessarily inspiring. More concerning was the functionality of the site, especially on mobile devices. As more than 50% of mobile traffic now comes via mobiles, the functionality, loading speed and ease of navigation must be fit for purpose!
A new website was launched with new site map, navigation, improved SEO content – all on a very small budget! Take a look here www.karafs.co.uk
Reviewing their digital platforms, I instigated the launch of a LinkedIn page for the brand. It was a platform being used by many of their customers and gave an opportunity for improved direct communication.
Implementing a B2B PR campaign
An ongoing public relations campaign was implemented, focused on new product launches and product improvement. I also co-ordinated industry comment within key industry publications. Most recently, I secured coverage in the majority of industry news titles announcing plant investment, energy and efficiency savings.
Improved internal communications
As Kara is part of a large organisation (Finsbury Food Group), it is vital that they sustain great internal communication. A strategic plan was created to improve the internal profile of the brand. This was successfully delivered through an informative video (which was story-boarded, scripted, videoed and produced within 2 weeks) as well as regular updates through the companies own Workplace platform .
Strategy & Planning
I worked on a three year brand and marketing strategy for the Kara brand which included all of the key strategic requirements in brand development such as SWOT analysis, competitor and customer benchmarking, strategic objectives, enablers, communications etc.
Essential Marketing Planning
To give focus to ensure that all communications, product launches etc. are planned effectively, a marketing plan is essential. I introduced a rolling 12 month marketing plan which incorporated all communication channels, sectors, NPD, face-to-face and digital marketing etc. This was effectively implemented and delivered successful sales results and improved brand profile.