BrandStorm 2020 Highlights
- by Chandler James
AUSTIN, TX - Despite four consecutive years of wildly successful marketing events, United Fresh decided to switch things up this year by moving its fifth annual BrandStorm™ to Texas. Faster than you could say “marketing strategy,” the three-day event has come to an end with attendees of all calibers touting tons of new industry insights. From the BrandStorm Tour to educational sessions to an all-new idea submissions segment, we couldn’t wait to hear from the biggest names in produce about their BrandStorm 2020 experience.
“The fresh produce industry has seen significant growth in the development of both consumer and trade marketing programs,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President and CEO. “As branding becomes more prevalent in fresh produce, and consumers grow more connected to the stories of the food they’re eating, it’s important that the marketing programs and messages we develop speak directly to their desires. Although sometimes hard to measure, marketing plays a critical role in the growth of business. What’s easier to measure is the regression of positive growth when marketing is missing from the equation.”
As sustainability is of increasing importance in the fresh produce industry, this year’s BrandStorm Tour honed in on successful sustainability initiatives based out of the Lone Star state. The tour was followed by the Exhibitor Storm Surge, during which the exhibitors addressed strategies to maximize the attendee experience. Day one culminated with a welcome reception sponsored by California Giant Berry Farms and Sunkist.
“This is my first BrandStorm and I can’t say enough about it,” began Ajit Saxena, Public Relations and Digital Marketing Manager, Mucci Farms. “I could tell by the discussions that the topics covered at the sessions are relevant to conversations that are happening in marketing departments across the industry. Having the opportunity to hear from thought leaders and being able to specifically network with marketing professionals that share similar challenges was particularly rewarding and beneficial for me.”
Day two kicked off with the event’s first keynote session in which Dr. Todd Dewett, a world-renowned authenticity leader, discussed how to achieve an authentic marketing presence. After several other keynote speakers said their piece, United Fresh’s signature X-Change Discussions began, giving attendees the opportunity to network and discuss best practices and marketing strategies.
"The best part of BrandStorm for me is the opportunity to network with some incredibly talented people in our industry, share ideas, explore opportunities to collaborate, and have the opportunity to open new doors,” Nicholas M. Pasculli, President and CEO, TMD Creative, said. “Additionally, the Wednesday morning session was an absolute home run. I pitched an idea for a new TV show to the Food Network's Debra Puchalla and Carla Hall and they loved it...who knows where that might lead."
On Wednesday, BrandStorm attendees and exhibitors gathered for a final day of marketing education and networking. The day began with a discussion on how to navigate the nuanced waters of food media and how we can optimize our influence. This segment was followed by another round of X-Change sessions and a sustainability keynote by Pete Pearson, Senior Director of Food Loss and Waste, World Wildlife Fund. The group ended by circling back to the very thing that brought them all together: marketing.
“BrandStorm continues to provide a platform for fresh produce marketers to focus on both career development, but also brand elevation through new strategies and tactics. This week’s attendees brought a passion for change to drive the industry further towards growing consumption of fresh produce,” added Mary Coppola, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, United Fresh Produce Association. “Coming out of this week, we are going to see more marketers taking risks to create new and out of the box strategies that will challenge and change the way we promote our brands.”
That’s a wrap for BrandStorm 2020! For those who were not in attendance, be sure to start making plans for BrandStorm 2021 as this is a can't-miss event. To keep reading all the latest news in fresh produce, keep a tab open for us at AndNowUknow.