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Builing brands in the artisan economy


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Lisa Donoughe's presentation to the Provender Alliance.

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Builing brands in the artisan economy

  1. 1. Foodie nationAge of authenticityHow do you cut through the clutter?
  2. 2. Subscribers as of September 2012 74,467,000 subscribersThe food section on Technoratiincludes 17,131 blogs!
  3. 3.“LocalHarvest was founded in 1998, and is now the number one informationalresource for the Buy Local movement and the top place on the Internet wherepeople find information on direct marketing family farms. …Our website andthose of our partners serve about three and a half million page views permonth to the public interested in buying food from family farms.”
  4. 4. Source:
  5. 5. Source:
  6. 6. Elliot Ranch Lamb Marin Sun Farms Grass-fed Beef Tenderloin Becker Lane Farm Pork Chops Liberty Farm Duck Breast Paine Farm SquabChez Panisse, Berkeley CA1 Night, 1 Dinner Menu,13 References to Provenance
  7. 7. Adam Tiberio at work in Massachusetts. Jodi Hilton for The New York TimesNew York Times, July 7, 2009Young Idols with Cleavers Rule the Stage“Now there is a new kind of star on the food scene: young butchers. With theirswinging scabbards, muscled forearms and constant proximity to flesh, butchers havethe raw, emotional appeal of an indie band. They turn death into life, in the form of areally good skirt steak.”
  8. 8. New York Times, June 16, 2010Using Meat Mainly for FlavorMark Bittman, The Minimalist, New York Times, June 11, 2010“Since I began eating more plants and less meat, I’ve experimented withusing small amounts of meat in ways the exploit its flavor with out making itcentral to the dish…”
  9. 9. Broke, but still organicDespite the recession and the relative lack ofincome for the young millennial generation,they still are willing to spend on organic. Theytruly put their money where their mouths are.18-34 year-olds make up 45% of organicproducts purchasers.2010 The Hartman Group Organic & Natural Study
  10. 10. Hungering for accountabilitySerious food safety scares have fostered aneed to track food from source to market.This traceability – which also meansaccountability – is now part of a broaderbranding trend.
  11. 11. Shepherd’s Grain Wheat Cooperative“Producer Spotlight” section on this website allows end-user to enterJulian date from bag into website to get name of producer. Theyqualify this tracking system as being “for information and educationpurposes only”
  12. 12. A few people even think provenanceis worth fighting, New York, May 18, 2010Locavores Gone Loco: Chef ArrestedAfter Brawl Over Pig Sourcing“In Portland OR, Oyster House chef Eric Bechard got into a fistfight with Cochon555 founder Brady Lowe – apparently because he was unhappy that a pig fromoutside of the Oregon (from Iowa, to be exact) won the Cochon 555 competitionthere.”
  13. 13. Principles of Good PR
  14. 14. Seeing the big picture is important, but details creep into yourconsciousness.The color of your walls, the paper you choose, the kind of salt you serve, thefive little words of your Tagline – all the small details that signal so much:Good Taste – Your Unique Personality – Thought Leadership – NewsworthinessAbility to Execute on a Concept – Cohesiveness of your Vision
  15. 15. Every aspect of your story should be built on truth, but sometimes thebest way to tell that story is by scratching through the facts to find the part thatspeaks to your psyche, the emotional truth.
  16. 16. Honesty – sometimes brutal honesty – is key to building trust, credibility andauthority with media and other communication partners. And sometimes beinghonest means not promoting yourself.It can be wise to say “no” in the short-term as that can lead to more “yes” overthe long run.
  17. 17. If you love your work, your instinct is to tell the big, all-encompassing story aboutyour company. But “all about” is too much information for anyone to get their arms around –there are no sharps edges to grab onto, and no way to go deep. A story that’s abouteverything is ultimately about nothing… other than self-promotion.You must hone your story into specific, compelling, and newsworthy nuggets. When doneright, these small elements speak volumes – they show rather than tell –About your brand as a whole.
  18. 18. Relying only on “news” to get people talking means you’re relying onnovelty instead of substance. But there are other ways to find fascinating,newsworthy themes and features about your brand – if you’re curious and youknow how to connect with consumer’s areas of interest.Creating experiences and messages that link the best of your brand with yourcustomers through valid engagement is more powerful than a million newproducts.
  19. 19. Even in a crowded field, there’s always a way to find your own uniqueposition and use it strategically. Beer, wine, spirits and food companies movetheir products from run-of-the-mill mainstream status to sought-after premiumbrands by embracing the authenticity of their brands and then communicatingthat effectively to the correct audience. Like the rest of the world, the food worldneeds biodiversity. Your uniqueness is the way to supply that.
  20. 20. Media Relations—How does it work?What makes a story?How do national media find ideas?What is realistic?
  21. 21. What makes a story?A ―hook‖ –Not just ―what,‖ but ―what about it?‖Currency and context –Why this story, why now?A solution for the editor –How can the story fit the format
  22. 22. How do national media find ideas?Contacts—constant connection –Trusted sources, such as Experts/chefs/business owners Freelance writers Other editors Watershed/media relations experts
  23. 23. How do you become a trusted source?Take advantage of any connectionsRead, look, listen and shareGet to know their column, what theycover, what they look for, provideinformationDirect message/Linkedin editors goodideasDon‘t over communicateThink of serving the reader or theeditor‘s audience not your business
  24. 24. What is realistic in media relations?Never a guaranteeNo ―quid pro quo‖ or ―pay to play‖Many factors beyond scope of control – Editorial plans – Ad budgets, magazine sizes – Constantly changing goals/staff at publications
  25. 25. Be patient, be flexibleThere are infinite parameters that gointo confirming a press opportunity,may that may seem completelyrandom. – Editors might come back to you multiple times with edits/changes/ questions/new requests. – If you are not willing to roll with the punches, you might lose the opportunity – This sometimes requires extreme patience
  26. 26. The ‗Big Idea‘Think of the media as your clientsServe theirneeds/viewers/readers/visitors
  27. 27. You don‘t have to be new tocreate newsCreate a media showcase that‘sextraordinary and filled with greatideas
  28. 28. Create an emotionally engagingevent or program that connects toyour businessLife of a Pig Blog
  29. 29. Create an interesting event series ora cool dish or menu that is onlyavailable one day of the week or at aspecific time
  30. 30. Become an educatorBiodynamic BootcampSouthpark Wine Guide
  31. 31. Bring people into your storyNancy‘s Yogurt—give tours, talk to peopleOregon Brewer‘s Guild—tours of thehop fields, yeast labs, water source, maltprocessor
  32. 32. Smart TargetingChoose targets and leveragerelationships wisely forefficiency and effectiveness Steve Dolinsky Tweet Followers: 6,074 The Feast Audience: 35,492 NBC Chicago Eater Chicago Audience: 392,214 Audience: 2,000,000
  33. 33. How do you start?Written tools—what‘s your story?Invest in photographyCreate an interesting website andupdate it regularly with contentCreate video content and upload on aYouTube ChannelAnswer the core question: Whyshould I care?
  34. 34. Thank you!Lisa Donoughe,WatershedPortland & Brooklynlisa@watershedcom.comLike us on FacebookFollow at Twitter @watershedcom503 – 869- 2337 cell