Just one week ago, my boys and I participated in the planting of a community fruit orchard along with about 100 neighbors. It was a wonderfully rewarding day of hard work and community spirit. And it was all the brain child of a marketing program sponsored by Edy’s Fruit Bars called Communities Take Root.
In this program Edy’s Fruit Bars is a case study in successful charitable marketing – benefiting the community, their brand and I expect their bottom line.
Community Activation – In the quiet of winter when thirst quenching, heat beating popsicles are in low demand Edy’s made a smart move. They teamed with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF.org) and started taking nominations for communities that wanted a free fruit orchard. Community winners were selected by meeting voting thresholds. Smart move, the friends of Spence Farm (an open space, farmer’s market, community hot spot for healthy living in Woburn, MA) was all abuzz about Edy’s.
Guided Support – Edy’s didn’t just write a check, or send a bunch of trees. They literally got their hands dirty helping the community plant the orchard we had won. The event and those trees are forever associated directly with their support.
Product Testing – And of course, there is no better way to interest someone in your product than getting them to taste the yummy goodness. Edy’s representatives became the thirst quenching mavens of the day giving generous amounts of Edy’s Fruit Bars to everyone as they sweated the morning away planting trees. There simply is no better way to experience a popsicle than when you are hot, tired, yet energized from doing good work. And having it hand delivered to you in the field was an added bonus!
Long-term Gratitude – Edy’s left a reminder of their community support for many years to come. As the trees grow and eventually produce fruit, Edy’s Fruit Bars will be a constant presence.
Local Press Coverage – By involving community members of all ages, Spence Farm and even our Mayor several local press outlets covered the event – showing gratitude to both Edy’s and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation who’s expert taught us how to plant and care for our new gift.
Widespread Social Activity – There were many, many pictures taken during our event that were later shared through Facebook by Spence Farm, the FTPF and participants. It was a great way to spread the Edy’s brand. While some spreading happened organically, this is one area that Edy’s could have exploited a bit more. By providing a Twitter ID that we could reference and an on-line photo book all of those photos could have been more closely aligned with their brand. But even without these tools I can assure the Edy’s event was talked about far outside the town lines of Woburn.
Purchase Incentives – It wouldn’t have been a promotional event without a few t-shirts, cooler bags and of course, coupons! I for one immediately put that coupon to good use filling my freezer with the whole fruit goodness that had so satisfied me and the boys during our tree planting experience.
Well done Edy’s Fruit Bars. You are forever a part of the Woburn community and a welcome new addition to my freezer! The marketing lessons were an added bonus.