What I Have Digested During My Nine Months in the U.S.

As I head into the final months of my fellowship, I have taken time to reflect on my experience. The opportunity to live in a different country while completely immersed in the culture and gastronomy is one that I will not soon forget. Working in this new environment has enhanced my understanding of how consumers relate to brands and how brands find opportunities to enhance these relationships.

Here are a few insights:

Tap into seasonal trends

From holidays, farmers markets and pumpkins to back-to-school, barbecues and Halloween— leveraging relevant topics and trend reaches engaged consumers. Brands that are innovative and have the courage to be different find more ways to connect with people during authentic moments.

As a Communications Marketing firm, Edelman plays an important role in:

  • differentiating our clients in conversations and leveraging their stories;
  • approaching consumers in a way that meets their expectation and connects them to the brand.

A simple project, like bringing dogs to airports to distress people travelling during the holidays, became a beautiful approach for an airline company working to offer a better experience for travelers.

Respect (or disrupt) cycles

Consumer’s behaviors follow cycles. What is next to Greek yogurt, super seed or kale? We will soon know.

There is always a ‘comeback’ when it comes to food. While eggs for breakfast were considered a risk a few years ago, recent studies found that eggs may actually be a healthy option. In a few more years, there will probably be another finding. Meanwhile, it is also time for butter and pasta make their comeback as healthy options on our plates.

Edelman’s strategies are also responsible for bringing food back to consumer’s plate and it goes further:  in a responsible way, with an educational approach, often focusing on recommendations for a balanced diet, smart choices and portion control. Never assuming one ingredient or product is entirely good or bad.

We have enhanced our ‘earned centric, social by design approach’ using media and digital influencers to connect with consumers. We have shown the beauty (and the science) behind a pasta dish and the (surprising) reality of a day in the life of a farmer. We do not just create content. We have the support of registered dietitians and studies to guarantee the truth on our messages to those who are going to digest our content - and a brands products.

Engage and empower consumers

According to the Edelman Earned Brand study, ‘brands can most easily address consumer expectation and desire through purpose, storytelling, and listening.” The study found that consumers today will engage in a much deeper relationship with their favorite brands than most marketers realize. We need to empower them to join a movement, as they need to feel part of the brand’s purpose. As a results of this established commitment, they will reward those brands with significant bottom-line rewards by purchasing products/services first, paying more, remaining loyal, and being brand advocates.

Jaqueline Januzzi is a senior account supervisor originally from Edelman Significa and currently based in Chicago as a Daniel J. Edelman Global Fellow.