Turning Bloggers from Influencers to Private Brand Advocates

Is it better to engage bloggers with a limited audience who are passionate about your brand, or to seek out highly influential bloggers who reach a larger audience but may not be as committed to your cause? Ideally you can have both. A new term “advocate influencers” has been coined to describe people who are passionate about your brand but have the ability to reach a large audience as well. If this group of people doesn’t exist for your brand, why not create and enable it?

Food Lion, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group, recently engaged our agency, Theory House to challenge popular, Baltimore-Washington metropolitan bloggers to compete in a “Frugal Cook-Off” and create nutritious, low-cost meals for a family of four using Food Lion Private Brands, as well as fresh produce and meat options available at Food Lion stores.

The event was held at a Talara Restaurant in Baltimore. The winning blogger team created an entrée with two sides in 45 minutes using items shopped from an onsite Food Lion pantry of store brand products. The total cost of the meal was $9.90. The bloggers were judged on creativity, taste and awarded points for being frugal.

I can tell you from being in the room that while these bloggers may have entered as influencers; they left as advocates for Food Lion and its brands. This was a very interactive and engaging experience for the bloggers and they became intimate with Food Lion and its family of Private Brands. A few hours into the event thousands of social media impressions had already been generated, and with promotional assets being delivered to the bloggers this week that number will really start to climb.

So when considering blogger outreach strategies for your brands, think about ways to engage and activate them in a meaningful way.

Jim CussonJim Cusson, President, Theory House Shopper Marketing Agency
Jim Cusson is president at Theory House, the leading shopper marketing agency for North America’s next great brands. He began his career hustling cookies for Keebler and has been in the aisles ever since supporting retailers like Food Lion, Bloom, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Cato Fashions and Body Central and national brands like Chobani, Kobalt Tools, Husqvarna, Delta Faucets, and Britax Child Safety.


Previous articlePrivate Brand BBQ From ICA
Next articleSainsbury’s To Launch GM Private Brand
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.