Smoothie King CMO: How Covid Has Changed Our 2021 Marketing Plans
We asked Rebecca Miller, CMO at Smoothie King, how Covid-19 has changed her marketing strategies, plans, and goals for 2021.
In our early conversations as Covid-19 grew, as a lifestyle brand we knew that we had to remain committed to our guests’ health and wellness goals. We pride ourselves on being a purpose-driven company and, if anything, the pandemic magnified our need to stay focused on our brand’s mission and vision in the health and wellness space. With our guests’ routines drastically interrupted, our franchisees and the marketing team knew we could not slow down our guest-focused initiatives.
For example, early in the pandemic, we fast-tracked a new smoothie designed to support our guests’ immunity. We also collaborated with Under Armour to expand our reach during the height of home workouts and to reinforce our position as a healthy lifestyle brand. Additionally, we donated more than $1 million in smoothies to healthcare professionals and first responders on the front lines fighting Covid-19 to show how our smoothies can serve a purpose in more ways than one.
At the same time, we also had to meet our guests where they were and communicate our message digitally. Since the start of the pandemic, we have shifted a lot of our time, attention, and resources to the safety and convenience of our online ordering platforms. Whether that’s incentivizing guests to order through our Healthy Rewards loyalty app with in-app promotions, or partnering with a trusted third-party delivery vendor like DoorDash, we are continuing to build out our digital presence and ordering capabilities so our guests understand how accessible we’re making ourselves.
Also, in terms of accessibility, Covid-19 allowed us to lean into the convenience aspect of our business. Smoothie King has always attracted an on-the-go guest, so we made sure to emphasize our drive-thru capabilities as a safe and convenient option. As a result, our 400-plus drive-thru locations averaged a 26 percent increase for July year-over-year.
Being a lifestyle brand requires adjusting to the needs of consumers. As guests’ lives were affected, we quickly pivoted to better align our brand with those changes. They may only feel comfortable ordering on their phone, picking up in-store, or having their order dropped off to their car curbside. So we have focused our marketing efforts on letting our guests know how they can order Smoothie King safely and conveniently, and will continue to do so.
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