5 Creative Ways Food & Beverage Brands are Connecting with Consumers

By Megan DeGruttola - October 9, 2018
3 mins read time
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The food and beverage game has changed. It’s no longer enough to just run a couple TV ads, send out promotional emails and have product displays in stores, bars and restaurants.

Today’s consumers are looking for instagrammable moments and visually engaging experiences, not perfectly staged ads and generic social media posts.

Just like food is the way to win people’s hearts, visuals are the way to win people’s attention.

In a world of self-proclaimed ‘foodies’ and ‘mixologists’, brands need to harness the power of everyday food critics and beverage connoisseurs to genuinely reach and relate to ad-exhausted audiences.

Here are five creative ways food and beverage brands are using authentic visuals to connect with consumers.

Today’s consumers are looking for instagrammable moments and visually engaging experiences, not perfectly staged ads and generic social media posts.Click To Tweet

Run a Competition

Looking to motivate your customers to post their very best content about your brand? Start a competition.

Nestlé launched the Choose Wellness competition, challenging consumers to “make one simple choice every week” to improve their health and well-being. Providing different challenges for people to choose from every week in April, Nestlé asked participants to post a picture of their challenges to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #ChooseMyWellness to be eligible for the $1,000 prize.

As thousands of #ChooseMyWellness photos came streaming in, Nestlé dynamically displayed them on their Choose Wellness competition webpage, offering participants a look at how others were taking part in celebrating the small things that can make a big difference to a healthy lifestyle.

Not only did the #ChooseMyWellness challenge engage Nestlé’s audiences, it also helped promote one of their core company missions in a creative and inspiring way.

Sponsor a Snapchat Filter

Snapchat’s deep bench of highly engaged Gen Z users makes it a great platform for any brand trying to break through to younger audiences.

Taco Bell’s recent Cinco de Mayo campaign is a masterclass in effectively leveraging Snapchat to directly interact with consumers.

By creating and promoting a Snapchat filter that transformed people’s faces into taco shells, Taco Bell was able to create a fun, interactive and authentic brand experience that generated 224 million views in a single day.

Put Your Customers on the Map, Literally

People often apply geotags to their social posts so their followers can know exactly where all the drool-worthy food and beverage photos they publish come from. This is a prime opportunity for restaurants and bars to take advantage of.

The internationally renowned Gordon Ramsay Restaurants understood this. With 31 restaurants ranging from casual dining to Michelin-starred across the globe, they wanted to create an interactive community destination where guests can see and share their experiences in real-time. Working with Stackla, they were able to easily build a dynamic map of all the great photos and videos guests were creating in their restaurants around the world.


Liven Up Your Emails

Although email is not often thought of as the most exciting marketing channel, it’s typically one of the most effective ones. But, as McDonald’s has figured out, email doesn’t have to be boring.

McDonald’s kicked off their summer email marketing campaign in Australia with the goal of driving app downloads and inspiring repeat purchases. To bring their campaign to life McDonald’s encouraged customers to share their “Macca’s Summer Moments” on social media, then featured those visuals throughout their emails — adding an authentic and personal touch that engaged and excited customers.

Sponsor An Event

What better way for a brand to make a lasting impression on people than to meet them face to face? And the best way to do that is to go where your target audiences already are.

Although most alcoholic beverage brands have already boarded this train, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has truly perfected it.

As a prominent sponsor of a number of major music festivals across the U.S., Tito’s has effectively made themselves the de facto vodka of choice for the millions of Millennial festival-goers across the country. They even have their own stage and VIP section at the Austin City Limits 2-weekend festival that’s hosting in their brand’s birthplace.

At all these events, they help fans create engaging user-generated content (UGC) by providing them with Tito’s branded photo booths complete with props and polaroids. With their branded hashtag #LoveTitos displayed on every booth, they’re able to generate tens of thousands of authentic customer content across the social web — growing their social engagement and providing them with a large library of fan content to pull from for various marketing activities.

See how other food and beverage brands are leveraging authentic user-generated content to reach people with visually engaging experiences by reading our NEW Food & Beverage eBook.

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