Digital transformation is something you clearly recognize from B2B areas and some of the pioneering companies but it has not yet caught up will all of the companies that are primarily B2C and even more so if they are dealing with a traditional commodity. Digital transformation is a key discipline of digital marketing nowadays and it goes even beyond that.
Bad Reichenhaller is a German company that sells salt. That’s not a modern market and it might be difficult to try modern marketing approaches but they are thinking into the right direction and bravely try out new things. After all, they want to maintain their market position and that requires to be the go-to brand also for millennials.
So what did they do? They worked with the agency taste! to build a modern campaign in which they placed a Shazam-scannable logo onto their product boxes. If you then use the Shazam app and scan this visual code, an AR browser would open right there on your phone, letting you check into interesting facts, do virtual tours, or even check out new recipes.
We talked with Moritz Milewski and Florian Schofer, the salt boys from Bad Reichenhaller about how this all came together and they were kind enough to explain everything in detail.
Digital marketing for a commodity
Christopher Isak: Hi guys, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. You sell salt. It used to be called “the white gold” by some in the past, but as of now, it seems to be more of a commodity product that can be obtained for a low price. Are you struggling to stay attractive in comparison to your competitors?
MM&FS: Bad Reichenhaller is a traditional brand with a recognition rate of 86% within Germany. The products are mainly bought by older generations. In addition, sales on the table salt market remain static and new brands have positioned themselves in the direct competitive environment of the Bad Reichenhaller brand in recent years.
A distinction from private labels is mainly made by a clear emphasis on the product origin: Bad Reichenhaller – The wealth of the Alps. To secure the future of the brand in the long term, we are constantly looking for innovative ideas and always open to new marketing approaches. Like many other companies, we also try to identify trends early. A relatively new technology in combination with smart packaging was in our view a great way to attract attention with a low-interest product like salt.
CI: How are you marketing to millennials and how are you leveraging the digital transformation in our age to reach more people to inform them about your brand?
MM&FS: We primarily use social media to reach millennials. In July 2017 we started with Facebook and Pinterest. One year later, we launched Instagram, where we work together with two food bloggers. Another online channel is our website, where we publish blog posts on various topics and recipes from the modern Alpine cuisine.
The increasing importance of online marketing is also evident when looking at the budget allocation, where there is a visible shift from offline to online. With our latest project, the augmented reality (AR) campaign, we do not just want to inform the end user about our brand. We also want to create emotional brand awareness through a digital experience. In the future, it will be even more important to provide experiences and content focuses that match the world of millennials, on the one hand, and strengthen the interaction on the other hand.
Inspired by automotive industry examples
CI: We saw a Shazam-supported product presentation at the Webmontag event in Frankfurt featuring a new AR experience right on the packaging of your product. Tell us more about that. How did that all come together and what are you trying to achieve with the campaign?
MM&FS: At the end of 2017, we were inspired by the first augmented reality examples from the automotive industry. Our primary goal was to create a high-quality and innovative brand experience, especially to reach younger generations and eventually win them over for our brand.
CI: What does the technology stack behind the AR feature look like? Originally Shazam was a platform for identifying music titles, are they now also going down an AR road after the acquisition through Apple from around a year ago?
MM&FS: Visual Shazam was integrated into the Shazam App in May 2015. We can not answer, what strategic role this function plays after the acquisition of Shazam by Apple.
Technical implementation by Zappar in the UK
CI: Did you have any other partners in this project? Perhaps a design or marketing agency that worked on the ideation behind the scenes? Or do you have all that creative manpower in-house?
MM&FS: The project was realized in collaboration with our advertising agency taste! from Offenbach. They were responsible for the conception. The technical implementation was carried out by the augmented reality specialist Zappar, which has its headquarters in London.
CI: What gave the final impulse that made you go ahead with the AR campaign as a salt brand?
MM&FS: For us, the augmented reality campaign seemed to be the perfect way to surprise as a traditional brand manufacturer in the German food retail industry. The decision to implement it came after we realized that the project is technically feasible and we – from that point of view – would be the first food brand in the German food retailing, which uses this technology for a classic basic foodstuff in this form.
Top virtual and visit them IRL
CI: Is there anything interesting that I might have forgotten to ask? Or is there anything else that you’d like to share with our readers?
MM&FS: The challenge in this project was particularly in the fundamental question of how the weighting of relevant content and wow factor should be. The result is a replica of detailed Alpine landscape in 3D, which reflects the real home of the brand around Berchtesgaden with the Watzmann and offers a combination of information and entertainment, i.e. modern infotainment.
In addition to the networking with the social media channels and recipes as a source of inspiration, the visitors mine in Berchtesgaden was also integrated as an adventure hotspot. With more than 375,000 visitors per year, this attraction is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Germany.
Vimeo: Augmented Reality Retail Kampagne für Traditionsmarke Bad Reichenhaller