Building an Icon's Online Presence
Chiquita is one of the world's best known brands. As Chiquita Brands' digital agency of record, SiteLab is involved in managing this iconic brand's online presence. Among our first assignments was to increase Chiquita's direct communication with its consumers through a dedicated consumer-facing website, ChiquitaBananas.com. Ongoing program goals include:
- Raise brand awareness and product trial among consumers
- Educate consumers about the high nutritional value bananas provide at a low cost
- Increase brand value at the retail level by delivering synergistic marketing programs
We faced two challenges:
- Given Chiquita's wide appeal, broad audience and multiple product offerings, it was difficult to determine where the new site would fit in the mix of other online properties.
- As with most fresh product that is not purchased directly online, we strived to demonstrate the relationship between online efforts and offline sales. Our plan would have to either direct consumers to stores that carry Chiquita or encourage consumers to ask retailers for Chiquita by name.
Working with Chiquita Brands banana management staff, SiteLab developed a multi-faceted program that included:
- Web site Design & Content Development - We designed a colorful, consumer-friendly, search-engine-optimized website and filled it with content that addressed the void of banana-related information online. The content was search engine optimized to capitalize on existing search traffic.
- Consumer & Retailer Incentives - We started a free email recipe newsletter campaign to build the brand's relationship with consumers, maintain top-of-mind awareness and promote Chiquita's health and nutrition benefits. Consumer promotions featured through the recipe newsletter, on the website and search marketing efforts helped build their fan base. At market level, grocery retailers were invited to participate in retail programs.
- Integrated Offline Promotion - Point of sale materials helped connect online efforts and offline sales, while also pulling new and existing enthusiasts to ChiquitaBananas.com.
Since launching in late summer 2009, ChiquitaBananas.com has enjoyed a number of successes:
- Hundreds of thousands of visitors through June 2010, with strong evidence of user brand and content engagement
- Site performance is extending the brand into many lucrative, non-branded keyword markets; through June 2010, about 49% of all organic traffic originated from non-branded keyword spaces
- Within three months of launch, the site captured market share in the competitive "health/easy recipes" space and was growing as an authoritative resource in the "banana nutrition" space
- The first online sweepstakes promotion generated tens of thousands of valid entries to the sweepstakes as well as thousands of newsletter sign-ups
- The email newsletter subscription base grew dramatically in just three months; it averages open rates and click-through rates well above industry norms
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