As published in Social Media Today
Once upon a time, in lush fields of green, lived a powerful brand icon. After an early life in the limelight, he slowed down. For many years he lived in seclusion; few saw or heard from him…
I’ve embellished a bit, but that’s kind-of how the Green Giant story goes in a presentation by Simon Kelly, COO of Story Worldwide. Speaking at the Content Marketing Strategies Conference, hosted by the folks at Dlvr.it, Simon shared Story’s work with the slumbering General Mills icon. The company’s charter was this: Find a path to evolve the Green Giant–iconic but moribund–into a vital, authentic character with a rich back history, an identifyiable personality, a unique point of view and a range of stories to tell customers–stories that differentiate the Green Giant brand.
Story Worldwide is in the business of doing precisely what their name implies: Storytelling. In the content marketing world that means creativity, investigation, articulation, and ultimately, engagement. For Green Giant, they delivered just that. Simon’s team took a look at the brand icon and discovered something very interesting–the perception of the brand by the company was very different than the brand’s perception by consumers.
Cosumers think of the Green Giant as a “hero” archetype, very different than the almost gentle giant persona given by General Mills. In this case, the hero is a champion of health, food, and wellness. Identifying that, the folks at Story charted an entirely new platform for the brand based on what they defined as the “Natural Guardian of Growing.”
Pillars of this new Green Giant identity include phrases like “Protector of Nature, Friend of Life,” “Keeper of the Garden,” and “Wisdom from Nature.” With these new found convictions, Story launched a series of content strategies to reach the brand’s consumers. The team tested and learned from executions like a short comedic video entitled “Confessions of a Broccoli Hater,” as well as a freshly developed series of customized cartoons for kids.
I’m big on business blogging. So is Story. As part of their content strategy, Simon’s team helped General Mills launch a blog for their brand. The Valley Report established the Green Giant as an expert on vegetables, health and nutrition.
The Green Giant content marketing strategy worked marvelously for the General Mills brand. The new website logged over 800,000 visits since its May 2011 launch, exceeding the industry benchmark for average montly visits by 66%. Measurements show the company’s monthly article views rank 29% above the industry benchmark, as well.
So in the end, it turned out the Green Giant had just lost his identity. No longer adored, no longer the purveyor of wisdom and strength, he became resigned. Until Story awakened him.