Yesterday I attended a very interesting event organized my one of the organizations I am member of. It included food and wine tasting and a talk by David Griffith about how Food Network builds it brands across different mediums. I summarized below some of the key points I was able to write using my Evernote app.
The main theme of the talk was convergence across media channels:
Food Network is a brand in itself – the brand comes first not the shows, the brand is about lifestyle not products or recipes. People usually want to have more deeper and prolonged experience before, during, and after the shows. That is why their website is so successful (30 million visits per day).
Food Network uses TV, digital, print, and event mediums to promote their brand. One of their biggest success was launching their print magazine at a time when other food magazines were closing down theirs. Their magazine is ranked as the top one in the food category in terms of distribution.
The consumption of digital and mobile media is growing and Food Network is aware of this and adapts to these changes. They are redesigning their website so it is consistent across devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones); they offer more options of apps (mini cookbooks) for consumers to download; they enhance the interactivity of some of their shows with digital content that is pushed to the mobile devices during the show – called interactive & social TV, and multi-screen experience
They invest in events like food festivals and contests so that their brand will be associated with entertainment not just food and stay contemporary, relevant not only to those who love to cook but also those who love to eat.
They are constantly adding variety of content – as people like to share food experiences they launched Food.com which encourages people to share food-related content like recipes; they also launched ‘on the road’ app for people to find places to eat when they travel.
Their target audience is mostly women therefore they see most of the social media activities on Facebook and Pinterest. But recently they see more of their target audience consuming video content on their tablets so they are going to launch a new app, uLive.com that combines the characteristics of Hulu and YouTube and provides content on demand and on the go that will be mostly edited content (short versions) of their TV shows (long versions). This is consistent with many other content providers like HBO Go that wants to separate itself from the mainstream cable content consumption and build a strong stand alone brand.
Their audience is fragmented across devices and as the PC sales plunging and traditional TV time is decreasing they need to move their content to more relevant devices such as tablets and smartphones. They discovered that during the day, while many people are at work, their website is mostly used; then after 5:00 pm the smartphones are used when people go to do their shopping after work (groceries); and in the evening people use mostly their tablets. Thus, they added new shows that allow people to interact on their tablets while watching them (multi-screen experience). This strategy is supported by the fact that their mobile content consumption increased from 5% last year to 30% this year.
Overall, the convergence across mediums and devices as well as constant update and redesign of their content across mediums is at the heart of Food Network brand.
I really enjoyed this talk. I hope you enjoy my summary.