Monday, March 30, 2009

All Hail the Return of the FroYo

On a recent Friday night in Portland, I stumbled into a little frozen yogurt shop on West Burnside.  I had heard the hype about Skinnidip, but I really never understood the appeal of frozen yogurt.  Boy, was I wrong.  Skinnidip is more than I could have dreamed of as a consumer, a marketer, and an entrepreneur.  A small store space filled with plastic chairs, minimal staff, unique "natural" frozen yogurt, small amounts of fresh fruit, and tons of Gen Y at 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night.  

As I perused Fast Company's website today, I stumbled across an article on another frozen yogurt shop, Pinkberry.  The frozen yogurt chain's success from a tiny shop in West Hollywood to 70 locations in two states is a testament to great product but also great branding.

Truthfully, brand building and brand identification are tricky things.  However, a great product and effective brand makes for a happy (and repeat) Gen Y customer.  A few key things Pinkberry did to expand to 70 locations in under two years include:
  1. Building the brand off something other than the product itself: Most marketers develop a product and/or brand image they want to project and then drill down to store design, product mix, etc.  However, Pinkberry did it differently; they based it off the design of the store.  Although not totally applicable to all products or companies, allowing a product to be branded off something other than the product broadens the marketing techniques and opportunities for a company.  By basing a yogurt shop's brand off something other than yogurt, Pinkberry created new venues, mediums, and channels it could use to market itself.
  2. Integrating brand attributes into every portion of the brand: From the store design to the sign that says "Swirling Daily from 11 A.M. - 11 P.M.", Pinkberry creates an entire experience based off the concept of swirly deliciousness.  Any visiting consumer is enveloped (or enswirled?) in the brand experience.  For the time a customer is in the store, they think only of the person they're with and swirly tart goodness.
  3. Integrating social media: To be honest, I'm surprised this worked; I never knew yogurt could have such a following.  In an attempt to elevate Pinkberry to a cult/rock star status, the company started "Pinkberry Groupies".  In two years, they now have 20,000 members who play with their frozen yogurt and design conical yogurt entities...and then consume them.  They also send out promotions, events, and store opening notifications.  This is one of the few branding/marketing ventures that successfully created a community around a central product/service/brand.
If you'd like to check out more on Pinkberry's branding, check out Ferroconcrete.com; I personally want some frozen yogurt right now.


- Mama said knock you out -

1 comment:

honeymoonapples said...

ya i want some frozen yogurt now too and i think ima get some during my lunch break....sweeeeeeet

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