Founded over 75 years ago, Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by over 600 cranberry growers in the US. The cooperative is North America’s leading producer of canned and bottled juices and juice drinks, with gross sales in excess of $1.4 billion.
The company’s products have been available in the UK since the 1980s, where they are manufactured by a number of different local organisations, including, Gerber Juice, Duerrs, Princes and Humdinger.
Over the years, Ocean Spray has built a loyal customer base for its cranberry juice and foods, primarily within the older female demographic. The company was now looking to expand both the customer base and average customer value with the recent introduction of new product ranges.
Ocean Spray has a small marketing team in the UK, when compared to its category competitors. As a result, the company is turning increasingly to online campaigns, looking to maximise the timeliness, flexibility and cost efficiency offered by Internet based marketing to reach new consumers and reinforce loyalty with its existing base.
Business Development Manager for Ocean Spray, Kathryn Bardak, explained, “In a highly competitive market place, Ocean Spray is always looking for new ways to meet the demands of our customers and exceed their expectations. Increasingly this requires us to maximise our presence online and offer tangible rewards to our customers.”
Strategy and Implementation
Ocean Spray has already built up a strong consumer community, using a monthly online newsletter, The Insider (formerly The Grower’s Gazette), to expand product awareness and foster brand loyalty. The company is keen to keep these consumers engaged and turned to Couponstar to include consumer printable coupons within the newsletter.
“To maintain email open rates and keep consumer interest, it is essential to deliver value within each newsletter. By combining excellent content with a relevant coupon offer, Ocean Spray has been able to maintain a high level of consumer engagement and achieve differentiation from competitive brands,” Bardak says.
Couponstar set up a branded microsite for Ocean Spray where the coupons are published each month. Consumers click on a link in the newsletter and can then print the coupon(s).
Ocean Spray included one coupon offer per newsletter, tied in either to the content or a seasonal offer, each of which is available for two months to maximise consumer uptake. Couponstar’s security and printing technology ensured the coupon could only be printed and redeemed by the consumer as many times as specified by the client.
The results have been excellent – with coupons achieving up to a 30% print to redeem rate on seasonal items such as Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce, and an average 24% rate, which is continually increasing.
Having achieved the initial objective of boosting customer loyalty and increasing lifetime customer value by broadening brand awareness, Ocean Spray decided to use Couponstar’s CouponNET platform – the UK’s largest online network of coupon content websites for distributing printable coupons and vouchers via the Internet.
With a reach of 3 million consumers already, and aggressive expansion plans, CouponNET has made the Ocean Spray offer available to a vast online audience.
Bardak continued, “The great benefit of this approach to customer acquisition is that consumer printable coupons are self-selecting: consumers will only opt to print and redeem the coupons if they are interested in the product.”
In the first six months, consumers printed around 46,000 coupons, with a median 24% redemption, extremely high for a customer acquisition programme.
Critically, Ocean Spray was able to attain this level of redemption with a relatively low coupon offer – typically 25 to 30 pence per coupon.
Bardak added, “Having proved the concept of online coupons, Ocean Spray is now looking to experiment, trialling higher value coupon offers to ascertain the impact on overall redemption rates for both existing and new customer groups, across the different product lines.
“The use of coupons has extended across every element of offline and online marketing, with the combination of redemption rates and access to a vast consumer audience via CouponNET delivering an unprecedented return on marketing investment.”
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