by Phillip Grieco – March 2013
It’s been nearly 18 years since the famous Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode aired. Yet “No soup for you!” still seems to roll off the tongue every time someone has the liquid delicacy. For Hale & Hearty, a popular NYC lunch destination, soup is truly at the core of their business. They understand all too well that the city they cater to can be a challenge. How do you stand out when your consumer has thousands of other choices for lunch?
Hale & Hearty decided to launch its first ever “Chef Series” as a way to break through the clutter and drive additional sales during the very competitive holiday season. The Chef Series is a six week competition in which the local chain aligned with six New York celebrity chefs and had them each create their own distinct soup. Each chef’s distinct soup creation was featured, one week at a time, and a portion of the soup’s sales donated to a local charity of the chef’s choice. The soup that raised the most money for charity during the six week campaign was the champion of the Chef Series and received an additional check for their charity.
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When it comes to sports and entertainment, people’s love for music acts as the connective tissue. For brands, it’s trying to harness this emotional connection to music to motive behavior and ultimately purchase. Brand Synergy Group, a music marketing consulting agency, worked closely with EXPRESS to conceptualize, strategize and execute the brand’s Texas 2012 Spring Break activation in South Padre Island, TX. To bring excitement to the annual event and relevance to the brand, Brand Synergy Group paired EXPRESS with emerging acts like Theophilus London, Breathe Carolina and Chiddy Bang to bring a memorable experience through up close and energetic performances for the consumers. EXPRESS blew up spring break to be more than just a vacation from school, but an unforgettable experience.
. ~Brian Lancey[/dropshadowbox]Along with this great local community message, Hale & Hearty received plenty of press surrounding the program, including a feature in The New York Times. Initial estimates for foot traffic and sales are up significantly over last year. Hale & Hearty is already looking at creating other iterations of the series that fit with respective season, holiday, or major current events.
What we can learn from initiatives like Hale & Hearty (or EXPRESS, inset) is:
- Repackage. Take something common (soup) and bring “a red carpet and bright lights” to it.
- Trends. Tap into trends like the current celebrity chef craze.
- Competition. Everyone loves a competition.
- Charity. Tying in with local charities provides that additional compelling reason to buy more frequently and feel good about it. It’s not only creating buzz, but also makes a great loyalty driver.
What do we have that we can repackage into a bigger idea? Can we take one-off cultural game nights and turn it into a larger year-round platform? What about our community initiatives? We have so many unique ideas we can offer as as sports properties. So find your soup and let’s get cookin’!
The original Soup Nazi photo courtesy of Mike Fox.