Bernard Matthews Farms are investing £3 million in a new marketing campaign to ‘dispel myths’ shadowing the company.
The UK poultry group will be launching a national press, poster and TV campaign headed by the strapline, ‘Proud to Work at Bernard Matthews Farms’. The message that Bernard Matthews is a trusted brand with a strong farming heritage comes after recent turbulent years. The company was directly associated with an outbreak of bird flu at its Norfolk farm. Coupled with the negative press subsequent to ‘Jamie’s School Dinners’, Bernard Matthews has had to fight hard to realign its brand and encourage brand loyalty.
The promotional campaign will embark on three key phases. The first opens on the 22 nd September using press ads to reaffirm its sourcing policy that its products are 100% British. Matt Pullen, Bernard Matthews Farms marketing director explained: “Our ‘Pride’ campaign is all about communicating our new identity, our rural roots and our new product ranges. Most importantly, though, it’s about reassuring people about the company.”
This message will then be backed up by the second marketing phase. Launched on the 6 th October in women’s press, colour supplements and TV listings magazines, the campaign will slightly shift focus and begin promoting the new ‘gold standard’ Golden Norfolk Turkey brand. This phase aims to drive consumer awareness of the quality of it’s cooked meats.
The final phase, due to be launched in November, features a Big Green Tick in its national TV campaign, and will promote it’s better-for-you frozen range.
The preceding marketing phases are designed to bolster the finale of the brand’s marketing ads. Due it’s controversial past, Bernard Matthews is heavily reliant on the success and persuasive power of it’s new promotional material. Pullen added: “It’s a brand new brand communication for us, a single-minded idea that allows us to tackle perceived issues around the business by addressing them upfront. We want to create a jolt with this campaign and get people to take a fresh look at Bernard Matthews Farms.
They hope to regain their position as a real industry competitor, and install new brand consumer confidence. However, as food spend is decreasing in the UK due to the increasing food shortages around the world forcing up prices, the growth rate of the Matthews brand is expected to be slow over the coming period.
Their active measures in shaking off their previous commodity image may prove difficult, especially with the growing trend of turning away from convenience foods, to the popular return to ‘make from scratch’. This food climate message runs alongside momentum campaigns urging consumers to make healthier food choices - decreasing their sugar, salt and fat intake. It appears that improving brand image and conveying a value-added product is a tricky recipe. Nonetheless, Pullen remains positive about the Bernard Matthews message: “We’re proud of our high animal welfare standards and of the quality of our food. We’re also proud of our people and what they achieve.”