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Howstin Beef

Brand & Digital Strategy | Marketing Presentation

Mission

Howstin premium marbled beef, as a part of the Argyle Meats Group, was to be marketed into China by Clean Food Co. Given that Australian beef isn’t price competitive, the pitch and packaging to market needed to demonstrate a high-quality cycle including:

  • Cattle and farming conditions
  • Supply chain management

Outcome

To be used to inform trade customers of the quality of Howstin produce and as a support tool to on-sell the product to their retail and food service customers.

The initial trade show and meeting were very sucessful for the client. They have continued talks with China since 2019 and packaging for wholesale supplers, went into production mid-2019.   

SCROPE OF PROJECT

Brand & Digital Strategy
Marketing Presentation
Packaging Concepts
POS Concepts
Brand Video Draft

Challenge

When Clean Food Co decided to promote Howstin as the premier brand for high-quality, highly-marbled, grain-fed beef for the Chinese market, they knew they needed something special to bring to the marketplace.

In a country where chicken and pork are the primary proteins and Australian beef isn’t at a competitive price point, there needed to be a strong focus on branding and product awareness.

The aim was to show how the farming and supply of the beef was just as important as the end product. This would make an impact with trade customers at the wholesale and resale levels, who want the security of an ongoing supply and consistent quality and at the consumer and retail level who want to know they’re getting a quality product.

BLC were asked to create a suite of foundation tools including:

  • Future content development including website, social media, advertising, packaging
    and in-store POS.
  • Brand portal to be accessible by the sales and marketing teams, trade customers, supply partners and contractors, both locally and internationally.
  • For all existing and future materials for the Chinese market, within a Chinese firewall

Trade and Consumer Marketing material:

  • Provide direct and indirect salespeople with the tools to sell Howstin Beef and close the sale
  • Demonstrate to all stakeholders the commitment to growing the business in China

Brand Presentation:

To be used to inform trade customers of the quality of Howstin produce and as a support tool to on-sell the product to their retail and food service customers.

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First you need to start at the beginning

Clean Food Co had been selling small volumes of Howstin Beef into China, Taiwan and Singapore over a 12-18 month period, with limited funds allocated to marketing. With the decision to increase sales growth and drive larger volume orders, they knew they needed to invest in the brand to build strong customer relationships. This would require creating a suite of foundation tools including a brand presentation to be presented to wholesale buyers in China.

But before this could happen, Burning Love Creative needed to familiarise themselves with the Chinese market and needed answers to the following questions:

  • Who were the trade customers buying the beef?
  • Who were the final consumers?
  • Who was already doing this, and doing it well?
  • What were the key differences in marketing to China?
  • What needed to be taken into account to respect the Chinese culture?

We took copious notes. We looked at hundreds of references. and we double checked all our findings with Clean Food Co for accuracy. When we were finished, we had a lot of market research, but no clear concept on how to drive the campaign. The maj ority of the Australian exporters had branded themselves as ‘Aussie farmers’. We wanted Howstin to stand above the crowd, be the Moët of meats.

Time was running out as a Chinese trade show was coming up.

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Inspiration strikes and it’s not the big idea, but the small one that wins

When we started thinking of Howstin as a premium brand, we kept coming back to celebrations – whether it was heading to a restaurant to celebrate with family or heading to a venue to celebrate an event. But we kept thinking big occasions, which psychologically translated to big prices.

It wasn’t until we looked at what constitutes a celebration that we got a clear idea of how the brand should look.

It wasn’t about celebrating the big occasions, but the small ones; your first job, graduation, your child’s first day at school. The small milestones in life that should be celebrated because they make us who we are throughout our lifetime.

Adding value for the win          

When we looked at life as a circle of small celebrations, we could then create the concept around the Howstin Whole of Life program which was the care and wellbeing of their cattle from birth to processing.

This was important to both the trade customers and end consumer – knowing the beef was being raised in the best possible conditions and that the smallest things, make a difference.

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From Farm to Table

With the concept approved, Burning Love Creative were able to create the foundation tools required and the POS products needed to position Howstin as a premium brand.

These included:

  • Seal/label with logo and printed paper for butchers/supermarket
    one-to-one service.
  • Wrapped packaging for on-the-shelf POS
  • Boxes for bulk shipping

Educate, Build & Reinforce

We developed a comprehensive trade and consumer marketing program to educate, generate awareness, build demand and reinforce the premium positioning of Howstin’s.

  • Marketing activities included social media, in-store marketing support and point of sale and joint retailer campaigns.
  • Live videos & content building.
  • Australian social media/brand awareness/media.
  • China brand presence, exhibitions and tastings.
  • To support chefs and restaurants, a “Whole of Life” recipe and menu plans to showcase different ways to cook the various cuts of meat.
  • Recipe cards at POS to show how to cook the beef correctly and not be rejected by the consumer because of their lack of knowledge in cooking a relatively new product.
  • Links on packaging and labeling to on-line recipes and cooking instructions.
  • An interactive game for the social media channel Wik, where participants could win prizes.

Social Strategy

Understanding the Chinese social media structure was vital for this project. A comprehensive consumer digital marketing strategy including live streaming, recipe support, engagement campaigns and video marketing. Recipe cards at POS to show how to cook the beef correctly and not be rejected by the consumer because of their lack of knowledge in cooking a relatively new product.

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We all love to celebrate

The presentation and guidelines were finished ahead of schedule. They client was so excited with our concept that we were given the go ahead to produce a 30 second commercial storyline to show at the trade meeting.

Although their budget did not allow for full production, we were able to pull together a script and simple but effective ad to support the campaign (even if my team did hate me for making them use stock footage!).

The end result was a clear pathway to successfully market Howstin Beef in China.

Our logo was created by an advertising agency in London and while we were happy with the final result, we did not feel that they had a full grasp of the Chinese and Australian market. Lisa’s was recommended to me by a specialist printer and I was not expecting to find someone with her knowledge and depth of understanding in branding and business locally. I could not be happier with the results.  Having a presentation the represents the company we are growing into was vital. Having spent over 20 years in marketing and advertising globally including London, china and Sydney. Lisa’s ability to understand the complexities of our business and the Chinese in such a short time was amazing.  Our deadline was tight but within 5 days of meeting Lisa, I knew she was right on target and I could sigh a relief.

Kate Walker

Director, The Clean Food Co

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