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Garrett Popcorn Case Study

Garrett Popcorn is a well-known company that has been established in 1949 when the company’s first shop was opened. You cannot find a single human being in Chicago, who did not hear about this great company’s food and has never tasted it. The company has been functioning for more than 60 years and for this time it has created one of the famous brands in the popcorn industry. The first Garrett Popcorn shop was opened in 1949, at 10 West Madison Street. This brand is an important part of Chicago’s history. However, Garrett Popcorn was able to translate its activity and build a social brand. That is why it would be reasonable to discuss the main challenges that Garrett Popcorn has faced at beginning of their Social Media program. As it is known, social media is “a term used to describe a variety of Web-based platforms, applications, and technologies that enable people to socially interact with one another online. Some examples of social media sites and applications include Facebook, YouTube,  Del.icio.us, Twitter, Digg, blogs and other sites that have a content based on user participation and user-generated content (UGC)” (Webopedia, n.d.).

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What was the main challenge Garrett Popcorn faced in beginning their Social Media program?

To enlist more customers, the Garrett Popcorn company’s management decided to create a social media program, which was started in July 2009. In fact, the main problem at the beginning of the Social Media program was the necessity to hire new employees, which would be able to create the description of the job, program’s strategy, and roadmap. It is very difficult to start a new activity based on social media since it requires a lot of costs, effort, and time. However, Garrett Popcorn was able to establish such kind of activity and to create a very popular brand with an effective social media program. That is why, the main problem was to find the employees, whose skills and qualifications would be enough for creating a strategy and implementing it. As it is known, a strategy is the process of planning and realization of different acts, which are made for the achievement of the company’s goals. Strategy is an important part of the general company’s strategy, which is determining the main directions of the company’s activity on the market against its consumers and competitors. The company’s strategy depends on the current company’s state on the market, estimation of the potential perspectives of market changes, future actions of competitors, company’s goals, and existing limitations on the market. However, it would be reasonable to give a clearer definition of strategy. One of the best strategy’s definitions is the following one: “The definition of business strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or set of goals or objectives” (Rapid Intelligence Success, 2008).

What are the main elements of the brand, which they used to build their brand voice and personality?

The next important question, which we would like to discuss, is what are the main elements of the brand, which they used to build their brand voice and personality? Answering this question, it would be reasonable to notice that the process of development of the company’s brand was based on the following principles: listening, learning, and joining. In fact, the company’s management decided to listen to the customers’ conversations, learn them, and join with them. The Social Media program created by Garrett Popcorn includes several elements, which should be performed to build the company’s brand voice and personality. These program’s steps include analyzing of current company’s brand and customers’ attitude to it, humanizing the company’s brand voice by using interactive media and social sites, developing and implementing the strategy of the company’s social media, including clear plans, instruments, and others elements of strategy’s implementation, developing the long-term roadmap to create customers’ feedback and expand the target market, controlling the company’s brand by using such social sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and others.

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What is the ultimate brand voice they decided upon?

According to all steps, which have been mentioned above, it can be concluded that the company’s brand voice was based on the wide usage of social media tools to expand the number of customers. In fact, the company’s brand voice is orientated on the young consumers, who are using social sites. Additionally, the company’s strategy is based on taking into account all consumers’ responses, comments, and mentions about Garrett Popcorn. That is why the company’s main target is satisfying consumers’ needs and building an effective company, which is producing high-quality products. It is a brand of company for every consumer.  

Leverage – what does this mean for Garrett Popcorn? How did they use leverage to connect with customers, and create a global social media presence? Focus on the global nature of their success in particular

After listening, learning, and joining the customers’ conversation, the next important stage in the process of building the company’s brand voice is leverage. According to this stage, the company decided to use social sites to create a friendly relationship with its customers. The company has planned to achieve such goal by using the following principles: responding to all messages and comments about the company’s brand to create support to the customers, using free instruments for other mentions about the company and its brand, following all people who mention Garrett Popcorn on Twitter, and using genuine and friendly conversations with customers to build a long-term relationship with them. In fact, the main idea of leverage is creating long-term relations with customers by responding to all their comments, messages, and mentions. In addition, each company has to use social media tools to expand the number of customers and to build a long-term friendly relationship with them. Only by using new technologies, such as the Internet and social media instruments, as well as a creative marketing campaign, any company will be able to reach great success.

Do you think their promotions were successful in reaching both current and new customers?  Why or Why not?

We have to notice that Garrett Popcorn has created a very successful marketing strategy, which will allow it to expand the market share and, as a result, to increase profitability.  As it is known, the development of the marketing strategy is a difficult process, which consists of several stages. So, the development of marketing strategy includes the following stages: research of the market’s state, estimation of the current state, analysis of competitors and estimation of the company’s competitiveness, determination of the goals of marketing strategy, market’s segmentation, and selection of the target segments, analysis of the strategic alternatives and selection of the marketing strategy, development of the positioning, previous economic estimation of the selected strategy, and determination of the control instruments. That is why we believe that the company’s promotions were quite successful to keep both new and current customers. Current customers were not enlisted by using the social media tools, they were enlisted by using the traditional forms of advertising and promotion in general. In fact, there is not any reason for the loss of the current customers. However, creating such an effective form of promotion as social media, Garrett Popcorn was able to enlist new customers and expand its market share.

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What are promotional ideas they could issue in the future, during months when there are no big holidays, to keep up sales and create interest in the brand?

In addition, Garrett Popcorn can face a big problem and, that is why, it should answer the following question: what are promotional ideas they could issue in future, during months when there are no big holidays, to keep up sales and create interest in the brand?  Firstly, it is obvious that any company has to implement the new technologies and innovations, which would help the company to keep current customers and enlist the new ones. In addition, the company should use the entire range of available tools for the promotion and advertisement of its products. In fact, the company can use decreasing prices in case of decreasing demand, different actions, which would be helpful to maintain the previous level of sales. Additionally, the company can use some free presents, which would be included in the product’s price. For example, consumers may buy popcorn and find some present at the bottom of a blue tin. It will help to interest children and young people. However, blue tins with popcorn should be divided into four categories: for children, young people, adults, and seniors. Therefore, when someone wants to buy popcorn, the seller gives the tin from the appropriate category. Garrett popcorn can maintain demand in periods of low sales by using such free presents. It should be noted that only using modern forms of advertising combined with the new technologies and innovations can allow expanding the market share and profitability in general.

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