Focus Brands, NY Mets, Caribou & Resident Home Share Tips on Consumer Engagement

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Engaging consumers is part art and part science. At a recent Brand Innovators Marketing livecast on Consumer Engagement, marketers at Focus Brands, New York Mets, Caribou Coffee and Resident Home shared how they are engaging consumers. 

Engaging consumers is part art and part science. At a recent Brand Innovators Marketing livecast on Consumer Engagement, marketers at Focus Brands, New York Mets, Caribou Coffee and Resident Home shared how they are engaging consumers. 

Casey Terrell, Sr. Director of Marketing, Schlotzsky's at Focus Brands said that the challenge is how to resonate and talk to guests in the way they want to be communicated with. “The biggest thing is on the push pull side,” said Terrell.  “Nowadays it’s a pull, consumers have a lot of power, especially social. What you say can really impact a brand and change the way we think, how we’re trying to get more personalization or engagement.”

The brand has to be scrappy with marketing working dollars so that they can take a test and learn approach.

“Relying on PR a lot, relying on the comms team would be really great for brand awareness, but everything really comes down to in-store experience,” Terrell said. “It’s about loyalty, it’s about digital, and how you integrate all of those things. ‘How do I fill the funnel? How do I get people into loyalty, into my apps and ecosystem?’ A lot of the digital roadmap for us is being customer-obsessed, guest-obsessed, but having an interaction that they want to have.”


Social media is huge for the New York Mets, which is actively engaging fans where they are already having conversations around their favorite players and teams.

“We started listening to our fans,” said William Carafello, Sr. Director of Social Media, New York Mets. “First we were trying to come up with a bunch of different ideas of how we could differentiate ourselves. One summer night we were all sitting around a table fairly late kicking out different ideas, “Why don’t we invite fans to help us with our social media?” We all had a good laugh and we kept kicking out more and more terrible ideas and finally it was getting too late. We ended up bringing 25 fans, they didn’t publish anything, but they did help us with our social presence and they said things people wanna see. It was a sounding board, it was a daily opportunity for us to have a group of fans that we were able to strategize with.” 


Caribou Coffee is known for its sustainability and their consumer engagement strategy is connected to this foundation. 

“It all goes back to our purpose statement which is all about making day-making experiences,” said Erin Newkirk, VP, Head of Global Brand Strategy at Caribou Coffee. “In order to live that from tree to cup, it starts with the origin of where our product comes from. The Rainforest Alliance is a program we can get behind because not only is it fair trade, from an environmental standpoint, it's the best in the business. So we replant for everything that we reap. We believe in people and we support schools and the farm that the coffee beans come from, so it’s a full cycle.” 


Consumers live in a fragmented media landscape, and as such Resident Home takes a cross channel approach in order to engage consumers in the channels they live in.

“People need to become aware of your product, want it, and take action,” said Jared Brody, VP, Acquisition at Resident Home. “How they become aware of your product now is a bit different and the mechanisms of making people aware and consummating the seller are quite different. It’s not just TV or telemarketing or print anymore. All the channels are much more fragmented. As a marketer, you definitely need to be engaged in all these channels, understand these channels and be in these channels.”

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