Retail Media Relations Strategy

Case Study: Develops an Effective Retail Media Relations Strategy

SITUATION
 
Eastman Outdoors, maker of the Virtuoso Reveo Gourmet kitchen appliance, needed PR to successfully position this new brand launch in 28 select Williams-Sonoma stores.

The Ballast Group was hired to differentiate the brand and to create news with its target audience of trade, consumer and business media. Eastman wanted to educate the marketplace about this upscale appliance and its successful retailer relationship. The Virtuoso marinades foods and infuses beverages in a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods. Eastman’s goal was to execute a successful launch that secured the opportunity to sell the Virtuoso in all 228 U.S. stores.

COMPLICATION
 
How would the company overcome media perceptions from a similar product launch three years earlier that could make this news seem old? The Virtuoso brand is a similar product to Eastman’s Reveo, which debuted in 2004 as an appliance specifically for game hunters to marinade meat that is tougher than traditional meats. 
  
SOLUTION

  • Launch the Virtuoso Reveo Gourmet as an innovative food technology to key influencers at the annual Gourmet Housewares show in Chicago
  • Establish consistent relationships with national food & beverage editors
  • Leverage the benefit of Virtuoso as a 2-in-1 appliance for marinating food and infusing beverages
  • Highlight the expertise of an executive chef who helped develop the Virtuoso and its infusion technology
  • Allow consumers to become their own home mixologist and to plan the ultimate dinner party with this high-tech kitchen gadget.
  • Time the launch strategically with the awareness of summer grilling and gift giving for Father’s Day
  • Address the trend of home entertaining that minimizes the economic impact of higher food and gasoline prices 

PROGRAM BENEFITS & RESULTS

  • This PR strategy resulted in 2.5 million regional and national media impressions in just eight weeks
  • News coverage included: Tampa Bay News 10, Southern Living, TheNibble.com, TasteThis! TV, www.liquorsnob.com, and www.kitchencontraptions.com
  • Many test kitchen and food editor relationships were established and enhanced
  • Sales goals for Virtuoso quickly beat targets for Williams-Sonoma stores. The pilot program was expanded to include the Virtuoso in all 228 U.S. stores