When it comes to marketing frozen seafood products, Panamei Seafood’s Marketing Director Jorge Roza faced two challenges.
“First, it’s hard to build consumer brand loyalty to a frozen seafood brand,” explains Roza.
“Second, during a period in the world in which there is so little trust,” he continues, “we have to work hard to instill trust in our product.”
Fortunately for Roza, by focusing his content strategy through the lens of the company’s purpose, he was able to develop content that could address both challenges.
It began by acknowledging that the company’s authentic purpose is to source the best quality, sustainably produced or harvested seafood products. That starts with the leadership of the company.
When it comes to sourcing our products, we are committed to finding sources that reflect our values.
“We’re a family owned business,” explains Jorge, “and the owners are avid fishermen. They are adamant about adhering to fishing rules and regulations, and are very conscious of the importance of stewardship of resources. So, when it comes to sourcing our products, we are committed to finding sources that reflect our values.”
For the company, this has meant addressing some public perception head on.
“In certain areas, farm raised seafood gets a bad rap and there’s some truth as to why that is. For example, there are operations out there that don’t adhere to ethical guidelines,” says Roza, “So our commitment is to find those farm raised seafood operations that are doing it right.”
A function of doing it “right” means following industry best practices, such as those advocated by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Sustainable Fish Partnership (SFP), the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WFF).
Another part of doing it right is communicating about their sustainability practices.
“For example,” Roza explains, “the typical consumer doesn’t know the meaning of the sustainable practices certifications that we have earned but storytelling can convey that message in a consumer-friendly way.”
The solution, The Panamei Journeys, is a microsite that explains Panamei Seafood’s approach to sourcing both farm-raised and wild-caught seafood. The purpose-focused content strategy stitches together documentary style video, vivid still photography and “how to” content based upon recipes by skilled chefs.
We want every one to understand where the product comes from and who fishes it, who farms it.
This approach to content has enabled the company to share its commitment to sustainability in a real and meaningful way by focusing the stories on their seafood sources.
“We want every one to understand where the product comes from and who fishes it, who farms it,” explains Mauricio Quirch, Managing Director of Panamei Seafoods, in one of the videos, “and for the whole product line we scour the globe for the best product to put under our brand.”
Those scouting trips became the basis of the storytelling, and Roza turned to acclaimed sport fishing photographer and filmmaker Marc Montocchio to help produce the project.
In the beginning, Roza felt some hesitation about taking this approach.
“When we first shifted from more traditional brand promotion to this approach to purpose-focused storytelling,” says Roza, “we were uncertain about how to convey the essence of our brand through storytelling and whether or not this could work.”
Additionally, the decision to not incorporate the content into the company’s main corporate website, was another worry.
The microsite provides us with a better way to connect through stories that instill trust in us.
“At first I was concerned about creating a divide between our corporate website and creating Panamei Journey as a separate microsite,” explains Roza, “but the microsite provides us with a better way to connect through stories that instill trust in us.”
One year after the start of The Panamei Journey, Roza says that the project is already deemed a success. Since building awareness and trust have been priority desired outcomes of the initiative, Roza points to the growth of their Instagram channel, from 900 follower to approximately 11,200 followers as a metric of success.
And as a sign of building trust, Roza points out that they are getting emails from consumers conveying appreciation for the education about best practices in farm raised seafood.
“In today’s competitive B2B and B2C markets, you have to convey your values through the stories that you tell,” says Roza, “and the stories we tell demonstrate that we care for not just our customers, but about the people we buy from, too.”
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