Case Studies / Consumer Brands

How Curve Communications Markets Consumer Brands

Consumer marketing is all about products and services and the people who buy them. While it’s a broad category, all consumer marketing has the same end goal: sales. But the path to that end goal is rarely the same.

Curve Communications has worked with countless businesses – from start-ups to well-established companies – to develop and execute marketing plans for a huge variety of products and services.

“There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy for consumer marketing,” said Amanda Bates, Curve’s Vice President. “Products, services, branding, messaging, sales goals, consumer behaviour, and much more all guide the marketing process.”

As businesses grow and sell new products, they sometimes struggle to maintain marketing efforts and keep their brands consistent. Many clients have approached Curve because their businesses are booming, but their brands are getting watered down in the process.

“Brands are what customers engage with, so if a brand starts to weaken, customers can lose interest,” Bates said. “That’s why having a marketing strategy that is based on anticipated growth is so important.”

Growing Pains

Vikram Vij is a Vancouver-based chef, restaurateur, television personality and cookbook author. He co-owns two restaurants in Vancouver – Vij’s and Rangoli – and he owns a third restaurant in South Surrey; My Shanti. He also has a frozen food line that is sold at hundreds of grocery stores across the country and his service foods are available at multiple high-profile venues, including BC Place Stadium and Rogers Arena. Vij has been a judge on Dragons’ Den, and has appeared on Top Chef Canada, Chopped Canada and the CBC’s Recipe to Riches. He has served food to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in a celebration of BC food and wine.

When Vij first hired Curve in 2011 he had two restaurants – Vij’s and Rangoli – and needed help marketing his frozen food line. The company was expanding and his existing team wanted assistance with their marketing efforts so they could keep up with growth. Vij’s goal was to have five businesses under his belt by the time he was 50 – one business for each decade of his life. While he wasn’t seeking celebrity status himself, he did want his food to be a household name. In fact, the chef had major reservations about representing the company in marketing efforts. He wanted to share the spotlight with his team. But many Vancouverites went to Vij’s to see Vij. They knew chatting with the chef was part of the dining experience. They looked forward to it and whether he liked it or not, he was the face of the brand. Curve knew we needed to capitalize on that.

“Vij’s is not just a household name in Vancouver. It’s now a household name across Canada and beyond.”

A growing consumer brand like the Vij’s Group of Companies needed clear messaging and a spokesperson to represent the various aspects of the business – from restaurants to events to speaking engagements to frozen food lines and much more. As the chef of the restaurants, Vij was the best choice.

“We pushed for him to take on the role because that’s what his customers wanted,” said Amanda Bates, Curve’s Vice President and project lead on the Vij account. “Consumer marketing is all about giving customers what they want.”

The Face Of a Brand

Curve has worked with Vij for years now to position him as the company’s spokesperson and the strategy has worked. People constantly approach the chef to speak at events and share his experience as a restaurateur and pioneer of modern Indian food in Canada. He has given TED talks, mentored aspiring chefs, formed partnerships with major brands like Air Canada, Sobeys, Whistler Blackcomb, Rogers Arena, BC Place, Neal Brothers Foods Inc. and many more. These events and partnerships have generated awareness about Vij’s restaurants.

Over the last seven years, we’ve designed and built a new website for the Vij’s brands that includes subpages for each restaurant. We’ve also pitched stories to the media, written speeches and articles, produced newsletters, photographed events, managed social media accounts, promoted new restaurants and products, liaised with event organizers, and developed creative ideas to create awareness about the Vij’s Group of Companies.

Connecting Vij and his restaurants with the people who love his food has been at the heart of Curve’s creative marketing efforts. For example, our team came up with the idea of doing the world’s first live-streamed cook-along with a professional chef. Participants could watch and cook along with Vikram Vij at home and, if they had questions, could tweet him for answers. Curve also negotiated a national partnership with Metro Newspapers and had the shopping list printed ahead of time so viewers could pre-buy the ingredients, and cook live with us. This event generated its own media campaign, got Vij on national TV shows, and provided us with an invaluable vessel to promote the frozen foods, Vij’s at Home.

As the Vij brand grew, it became important for the chef to keep connecting with his fans. So, in the lead up to Vij making his debut as a judge on Dragons’ Den, we had him host a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). It was a great way for people to get to know the chef and dragon. People asked questions about everything from the meaning of the word “curry” and Vij’s style as a dragon to his favourite dish, challenges experienced as an entrepreneur, how to balance family with work and much more. The AMA allowed people to feel like they were having a conversation with Vij and again, helped gain media hits to support the effort.

The Vij brand is now well-established and with Vikram Vij now the face of Indian food of Canada, it’s time for us to focus on the food and drinks. As the brand has developed, so has the strategy, and with Vikram now recognized at a national level, we’re taking it back to what put him there in the first place: the quality and creativity in the restaurants that has led to multiple awards, as well as those headlines and front covers. Curve’s approach over the years has resulted in countless speaking engagements, media opportunities, and recognition to keep the brand current and front-of-mind when it comes to consumer choice.

“The Vij’s brand is recognised far and wide, which as a marketer is something you dream of attaining,” Bates said. “Now our role is to maintain that success and recognition and to support the team in all aspects of outreach.”

 

New Product on The Block

At the opposite end of the spectrum, selling a new product also comes with a fair share of challenges – especially when that product is real estate.

Appia Development approached Curve for marketing help before launching sales for the second phase of its SOLO District community at Lougheed and Willingdon in North Burnaby. The multi-use development was designed so that residents could live steps from everything they needed – including groceries, doctors, dentists, liquor stores, restaurants, transit, work and much more. Appia needed a marketing strategy to generate awareness about the community in a way that highlighted its unique features and distinguished it from a neighbouring Brentwood development.

“Most people don’t just walk into a sales centre once and buy a condo,” said Gina Robinson, Curve’s Director of Client Services. “Appia needed to generate a buzz about SOLO District in a strategic way that got people talking and coming back for more information.”

The development will include four towers with residential and commercial space when complete and is located next to the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines – making it very desirable for people who work downtown.

For our first campaign, Curve placed a giant, inflatable “Google pin” on the SOLO sales centre roof so people driving or walking by would notice the development. We then encouraged people to take photos of the pin and tweet them with the hashtag “SOLOPin” or post and comment on them on Facebook for the chance to win one of four gift cards to Joey Restaurants or Browns Social House.

Our campaign increased traffic to the SOLO District Twitter handle and Facebook page. In fact, it boosted “likes” on Facebook by 69 per cent. Thanks to this campaign, people started talking about SOLO District and the launch kicked off with a long line out the sales centre door and down Willingdon Avenue. But generating awareness about the community was an ongoing process. Curve came up with the idea of a SOLO District block party to bring people to the development after phase one was complete. Businesses had booths where they could showcase their products and offer promotions. There was also food, face painting, prizes, samples and much more. In addition to planning the block party and liaising with vendors, Curve designed all the creative materials, ordered two huge balloon archways, booked entertainment and managed the advertising and promotions campaign, as well as social media and logistics on the day of the event. The block party was a huge success! Thousands of people came to SOLO District for the event.

Curve worked with Appia for several years. During that time, we ran the SOLO blog, produced content for media buys, ran social media campaigns to drive traffic to the development’s website, liaised with members of the North Burnaby community for contests, managed social media accounts, photographed construction progress, planned special events and much more. We are happy to report that with the help of our efforts, the second phase of SOLO District, Altus, sold out. Marketing success for this development really came down to getting creative to sell SOLO’s features and make it stand out from the competition. 

“The Lower Mainland real estate market is extremely competitive, but SOLO District had all the right features to outshine the competition,” Robinson said. “We just needed to get people imagining what life could be like if they bought in the development.”

Into The Consumer Mind

Consumer marketing includes a huge variety of products and services – from restaurants and food to couriers, real estate, and much more. Understanding a brand’s consumers and then crafting an individualized marketing plan for that brand is key to meeting sales goals.

Most consumer brands know they need to market to sell. They’re often just not sure where to start or how to reach the right people. They also face roadblocks like intense competition and keeping branding consistent as they grow.

When we start working with consumer brands, we get into the heads of their customers. We want to know who they are, what they like, what they don’t like, how they make purchasing decisions and much more. Armed with that information, we develop unique marketing plans to help sales and marketing managers meet targets.

Digital Strategies Driving Success.

Consumer brands that operate in extremely competitive markets need to have strong digital marketing strategies to stand up to the competition. For smaller, local companies that compete with larger, international brands, this can sometimes be challenging due to fewer resources and smaller advertising budgets.

As one of the largest, same-day couriers in the Lower Mainland – that also happens to compete with larger, international couriers – Novex Delivery Solutions understands this challenge better than most consumer goods companies.

When the company first approached Curve, it had been in business for more than three decades and was growing steadily, but it needed a new website and a unique value proposition to drive digital advertising efforts.

Novex strives to limit its impact on the environment. It constantly looks for new ways to reduce emissions, has more hybrids than any other same-day courier, has 100 per cent ultra-low emissions vehicles or better, and saves 180 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

Curve branded Novex as the go-to local, “green” courier in the Lower Mainland on its website. Our team rewrote the company’s website copy and redesigned the site to establish Novex as the environmentally friendly courier for individuals who share similar values about the environment.

“The website needed to appeal to Novex’s ideal customers – local individuals and businesses that value green goals,” said Gina Robinson, Curve’s Director of Client Services. “The website’s messaging, layout and colours were carefully selected to reflect the company’s value proposition.”

Curve continues to run Facebook and Google ads to generate awareness about Novex. And our work has boosted lead generation by 30 per cent. After redesigning and building the company’s website, Curve helped the courier achieve record sales for the fiscal year ending 2017.

“The new Novex website is an excellent sales tool that is a true reflection of our values,” said John Coupar, the company’s President. “We know that potential clients can find the information they are looking for and see the benefits of using an environmentally friendly courier.”

Growing Pains

Vikram Vij is a Vancouver-based chef, restaurateur, television personality and cookbook author. He co-owns two restaurants in Vancouver – Vij’s and Rangoli – and he owns a third restaurant in South Surrey; My Shanti. He also has a frozen food line that is sold at hundreds of grocery stores across the country and his service foods are available at multiple high-profile venues, including BC Place Stadium and Rogers Arena. Vij has been a judge on Dragons’ Den, and has appeared on Top Chef Canada, Chopped Canada and the CBC’s Recipe to Riches. He has served food to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in a celebration of BC food and wine.

When Vij first hired Curve in 2011 he had two restaurants – Vij’s and Rangoli – and needed help marketing his frozen food line. The company was expanding and his existing team wanted assistance with their marketing efforts so they could keep up with growth. Vij’s goal was to have five businesses under his belt by the time he was 50 – one business for each decade of his life. While he wasn’t seeking celebrity status himself, he did want his food to be a household name. In fact, the chef had major

 reservations about representing the company in marketing efforts. He wanted to share the spotlight with his team. But many Vancouverites went to Vij’s to see Vij. They knew chatting with the chef was part of the dining experience. They looked forward to it and whether he liked it or not, he was the face of the brand. Curve knew we needed to capitalize on that.

“Vij’s is not just a household name in Vancouver. It’s now a household name across Canada and beyond.”

A growing consumer brand like the Vij’s Group of Companies needed clear messaging and a spokesperson to represent the various aspects of the business – from restaurants to events to speaking engagements to frozen food lines and much more. As the chef of the restaurants, Vij was the best choice.

“We pushed for him to take on the role because that’s what his customers wanted,” said Amanda Bates, Curve’s Vice President and project lead on the Vij account. “Consumer marketing is all about giving customers what they want.”

The Face Of a Brand

Curve has worked with Vij for years now to position him as the company’s spokesperson and the strategy has worked. People constantly approach the chef to speak at events and share his experience as a restaurateur and pioneer of modern Indian food in Canada. He has given TED talks, mentored aspiring chefs, formed partnerships with major brands like Air Canada, Sobeys, Whistler Blackcomb, Rogers Arena, BC Place, Neal Brothers Foods Inc. and many more. These events and partnerships have generated awareness about Vij’s restaurants.

Over the last seven years, we’ve designed and built a new website for the Vij’s brands that includes subpages for each restaurant. We’ve also pitched stories to the media, written speeches and articles, produced newsletters, photographed events, managed social media accounts, promoted new restaurants and products, liaised with event organizers, and developed creative ideas to create awareness about the Vij’s Group of Companies.

Connecting Vij and his restaurants with the people who love his food has been at the heart of Curve’s creative marketing efforts. For example, our team came up with the idea of doing the world’s first live-streamed cook-along with a professional chef. Participants could watch and cook along with Vikram Vij at home and, if they had questions, could tweet him for answers. Curve also negotiated a national partnership with Metro Newspapers and had the shopping list printed ahead of time so viewers could pre-buy the ingredients, and cook live with us. This event generated its own media campaign, got Vij on national TV shows, and provided us with an invaluable vessel to promote the frozen foods, Vij’s at Home.

As the Vij brand grew, it became important for the chef to keep connecting with his fans. So, in the lead up to Vij making his debut as a judge on Dragons’ Den, we had him host a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). It was a great way for people to get to know the chef and dragon. People asked questions about everything from the meaning of the word “curry” and Vij’s style as a dragon to his favourite dish, challenges experienced as an entrepreneur, how to balance family with work and much more. The AMA allowed people to feel like they were having a conversation with Vij and again, helped gain media hits to support the effort.

The Vij brand is now well-established and with Vikram Vij now the face of Indian food of Canada, it’s time for us to focus on the food and drinks. As the brand has developed, so has the strategy, and with Vikram now recognized at a national level, we’re taking it back to what put him there in the first place: the quality and creativity in the restaurants that has led to multiple awards, as well as those headlines and front covers. Curve’s approach over the years has resulted in countless speaking engagements, media opportunities, and recognition to keep the brand current and front-of-mind when it comes to consumer choice.

“The Vij’s brand is recognised far and wide, which as a marketer is something you dream of attaining,” Bates said. “Now our role is to maintain that success and recognition and to support the team in all aspects of outreach.”

New Product on The Block

At the opposite end of the spectrum, selling a new product also comes with a fair share of challenges – especially when that product is real estate.

Appia Development approached Curve for marketing help before launching sales for the second phase of its SOLO District community at Lougheed and Willingdon in North Burnaby. The multi-use development was designed so that residents could live steps from everything they needed – including groceries, doctors, dentists, liquor stores, restaurants, transit, work and much more.Appia needed a marketing strategy to generate awareness about the community in a way that highlighted its unique features and distinguished it from a neighbouring Brentwood development.

“Most people don’t just walk into a sales centre once and buy a condo,” said Gina Robinson, Curve’s Director of Client Services. “Appia needed to generate a buzz about SOLO District in a strategic way that got people talking and coming back for more information.”

The development will include four towers with residential and commercial space when complete and is located next to the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines – making it very desirable for people who work downtown.

For our first campaign, Curve placed a giant, inflatable “Google pin” on the SOLO sales centre roof so people driving or walking by would notice the development. We then encouraged people to take photos of the pin and tweet them with the hashtag “SOLOPin” or post and comment on them on Facebook for the chance to win one of four gift cards to Joey Restaurants or Browns Social House.

Our campaign increased traffic to the SOLO District Twitter handle and Facebook page. In fact, it boosted “likes” on Facebook by 69 per cent. Thanks to this campaign, people started talking about SOLO District and the launch kicked off with a long line out the sales centre door and down Willingdon Avenue. But generating awareness about the community was an ongoing process. Curve came up with the idea of a SOLO District block party to bring people to the development after phase one was complete. Businesses had booths where they could showcase their products and offer promotions. There was also food, face painting, prizes, samples and much more. In addition to planning the block party and liaising with vendors, Curve designed all the creative materials, ordered two huge balloon archways, booked entertainment and managed the advertising and promotions campaign, as well as social media and logistics on the day of the event. The block party was a huge success! Thousands of people came to SOLO District for the event.

Curve worked with Appia for several years. During that time, we ran the SOLO blog, produced content for media buys, ran social media campaigns to drive traffic to the development’s website, liaised with members of the North Burnaby community for contests, managed social media accounts, photographed construction progress, planned special events and much more. We are happy to report that with the help of our efforts, the second phase of SOLO District, Altus, sold out. 

Marketing success for this development really came down to getting creative to sell SOLO’s features and make it stand out from the competition. “The Lower Mainland real estate market is extremely competitive, but SOLO District had all the right features to outshine the competition,” Robinson said. “We just needed to get people imagining what life could be like if they bought in the development.”

Into The Consumer Mind

Consumer marketing includes a huge variety of products and services – from restaurants and food to couriers, real estate, and much more. Understanding a brand’s consumers and then crafting an individualized marketing plan for that brand is key to meeting sales goals.

Most consumer brands know they need to market to sell. They’re often just not sure where to start or how to reach the right people. They also face roadblocks like intense competition and keeping branding consistent as they grow.

When we start working with consumer brands, we get into the heads of their customers. We want to know who they are, what they like, what they don’t like, how they make purchasing decisions and much more. Armed with that information, we develop unique marketing plans to help sales and marketing managers meet targets.

Digital Strategies Driving Success.

Consumer brands that operate in extremely competitive markets need to have strong digital marketing strategies to stand up to the competition. For smaller, local companies that compete with larger, international brands, this can sometimes be challenging due to fewer resources and smaller advertising budgets.

As one of the largest, same-day couriers in the Lower Mainland – that also happens to compete with larger, international couriers – Novex Delivery Solutions understands this challenge better than most consumer goods companies.

When the company first approached Curve, it had been in business for more than three decades and was growing steadily, but it needed a new website and a unique value proposition to drive digital advertising efforts.

Novex strives to limit its impact on the environment. It constantly looks for new ways to reduce emissions, has more hybrids than any other same-day courier, has 100 per cent ultra-low emissions vehicles or better, and saves 180 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

Curve branded Novex as the go-to local, “green” courier in the Lower Mainland on its website. Our team rewrote the company’s website copy and redesigned the site to establish Novex as the environmentally friendly courier for individuals who share similar values about the environment.

“The website needed to appeal to Novex’s ideal customers – local individuals and businesses that value green goals,” said Gina Robinson, Curve’s Director of Client Services. “The website’s messaging, layout and colours were carefully selected to reflect the company’s value proposition.”

Curve continues to run Facebook and Google ads to generate awareness about Novex. And our work has boosted lead generation by 30 per cent. After redesigning and building the company’s website, Curve helped the courier achieve record sales for the fiscal year ending 2017.

“The new Novex website is an excellent sales tool that is a true reflection of our values,” said John Coupar, the company’s President. “We know that potential clients can find the information they are looking for and see the benefits of using an environmentally friendly courier.”