Cracker Barrel, one of America’s beloved family-friendly restaurants, is back in action with a classic brand favorite. Earlier this month Cracker Barrel announced the return of Campfire Meals after a one-year hiatus, which is a meal of roasted meat, potatoes, carrots, corn and tomatoes, cooked together in wrapped foil, similar to being cooked campfire style. The company has been running this promotion on and off for 19 years, and over time it has gained a huge following. But this time, Cracker Barrel is back with a different plan.
Cracker Barrel was founded in 1969, and like most companies that have been around for a while, the challenge of today is to find a way to stay relevant and connect with the younger crowd in order to have fans tomorrow – and for years to come. Cracker Barrel has been concentrating efforts this year to find ways to reach millennials, and recently partnered with country music stars and social media influencers in a campaign aimed at reaching a younger audience.
Cracker Barrel’s marketing and PR team is making this year’s launch of the iconic Campfire Meals more comprehensive by using as many media and advertising channels as possible. The campaign is incorporating traditional advertising such as billboards, TV ads and radio ads, and is being heavily supported by social media, too. The company even made its first Snapchat advertising buy – which is an increasingly common advertising platform for big brands.
Reinventing an Old Idea – Cracker Barrel As A Case Study
Cracker Barrel’s Campfire Meals aren’t a new concept – in fact, they’ve been around for a long time. How can a brand keep a product relevant and intriguing, while still keeping its classic charm? Cracker Barrel is taking a few right moves and is a great example of how to keep the momentum going with a great idea.
Research & React.
The team at Cracker Barrel took time to research why the Campfire Meals have been so popular through the years and what their fans are looking for in a dinner. The Cracker Barrel Campfire Survey revealed how much Cracker Barrel guests value family dinner. What they discovered from their research helped set the stage for the campaign.
Assess Your Brand’s Situation.
Cracker Barrel took a step back from the Campfire Meal situation and saw why the product has such a loyal fan following and how to keep making it better. People love the fun idea and the concept unifies the dinner table. Cracker Barrel had a lot of success already built up with Campfire Meals, but they knew it was time to try to make it bigger and better.
Go Where Your Audience Is.
Cracker Barrel knows the demographic they want to reach isn’t necessarily going to react from just billboards and TV commercials. In order to keep the brand and the product interesting, Cracker Barrel was going to have to step out of its traditional marketing mold and start using some new tactics, such as Snapchat and Vine videos. The media landscape is constantly changing and evolving, and brands will have to continue changing with it in order to stay relevant.
Not all ideas have to be brand new. And just because something is old, doesn’t mean it should be tossed out. If your brand has a product or concept that has been around for a long time, look at what has made it successful and use that to inform new, fresh marketing campaigns. Gain insight from your loyal fans, try new marketing channels and look for creative ways to introduce your old standard to new audiences.