It's likely difficult for most 104-year-olds to keep pace with the modern world and connect with a younger audience. Saint Paul, Minnesota-based Pearson's Candy Company is no different. The brand has just 117 Facebook likes and no Twitter handle.
However, on November 14, Pearson's relaunched its website with a new brand personality and a presence on Instagram - in part to appeal to younger consumers.
What's more, in order to promote the site, Pearson's took its newfound social savvy a step further with a series of five Instagram videos celebrating the new site. These videos can also be found on Pearson's new YouTube channel.
According to Pearson's, the site and video series showcase the "rich heritage and nostalgic flair" of the brand, while also featuring its products and providing a more seamless user experience.
Calling it "responsive, bright and colorful," Pearson's says the site draws inspiration from the "design aesthetic and hyperbolic tone of mid-century advertising."
Content includes a timeline of the brand's history with YouTube videos including a tour of Pearson's from the 1960s and Instagram images of vintage wrappers.
"We did have a website prior to this but it was pretty outdated, not only in terms of content, but... the platform it was built on was not responsive and obviously with today's mobile-driven world...we didn't feel it was representative of where we are looking to take the company and brand," says Andrea Buckner, marketing manager at Pearson's.
The new site gives Pearson's a voice and Instagram video allows the brand to "have a literal voice in the voiceover and artistic direction of the videos," Buckner says.
Instagram also helps the brand reach a younger audience "which is kind of another reason we felt Instagram as a tool for us in general is great," she says.
Based in the Midwest, Pearson's has what Buckner describes as loyal regional fans.
"What we find - particularly in the upper Midwest - is that we have a very, very loyal following for our products and brands. A lot of times, they're passed down through generations. People say, ‘I love this brand because my grandpa used to bring it fishing with us,' or, ‘Every time we went to grandma's, she had it in a candy bowl,'" Buckner says. "We've never really tapped into that but have a lot of potential to do so."
As of November 21, Pearson's has about 60 Instagram followers and one YouTube subscriber.
Digital agency space150 built the site.
Pearson's was acquired by private equity firm Brynwood Partners in August 2011. The brand manufactures the Pearson's Salted Nut Roll, Mint Patties, Nut Goodie, Bun Bar and Bit-O-Honey, which it acquired from candy giant Nestle in May 2013.
"We're super-excited. This is so long overdue, and we view this project and what we've started as the beginning. We've hopefully built a platform to continue to grow our brand's presence online," Buckner says.
In fact, the new site says, "Be sure to check back in 2109 - our timeline will be twice as long!"
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014