Moving a brand forward
To be effective, corporate communications must exhibit the same traits that all successful messaging campaigns do. They must be relevant, authentic and, yes, interesting. For over a decade, we’ve delivered on all three of those objectives for ConAgra Foods. From the smallest lapel pin honoring internal contributions to multifaceted events that hosted the industry’s movers and shakers, we treated every single piece as an important part of moving the brand forward. Because, in the end, they were.
How exactly does a company discuss the finer points of ethical behavior with its employees without coming off like an overbearing schoolmarm or, worse yet, Big Brother? As the punchline to a corny old joke goes, very carefully. And, in the case of ConAgra Foods’s Integrity First internal campaign, with a touch of humor.
Our Recipe For Growth
ConAgra Foods created the Recipe for Growth as a strategic roadmap – or, yes, recipe – for their future advancement. They turned to us to give it a graphical representation. They loved the look so much that it became the standard for all internal strategic communications. And a few external ones, as well.
We would never claim that we ever made the financial information from the company that brings you Chef Boyardee “sexy.” But we will admit to creating annual reports that reflected the ConAgra Foods brand and effectively communicated the company’s goals. Year after year after year.
ConAgra Foods needed a visual identity for their Sustainable Development program. Each year, the program culminates in a conference at which ConAgra Foods facilities are recognized for achieving the most progress in one of several sustainability-related areas. In addition to the logo, we created a display system for the conference that was itself environmentally-friendly. Naturally.
Given the size (big) and scope (bigger) of many of the trade show exhibits we’ve produced for ConAgra Foods over the years, you’d be excused for thinking we’re from Texas. But, frankly, wrangling cattle has nothing on corralling the myriad of designs, messages, materials, vendors and last-minute changes required to successfully pull off one of these installations. Let alone hundreds.
Relying on our expertise in environmental design, ConAgra Foods repeatedly turned to us to bring their brand to life in fresh ways both along their corridors and across their campuses. Our efforts for their sprawling Omaha site – which included interior graphics, wayfinding signage and a giant plaza featuring a Google Earth-friendly version of the ConAgra Foods logo – garnered numerous design awards, including two national ADDY awards.
It takes more than calling something an event to make it so. It has to be perceived as something special – by both host and attendees alike. Capturing that elusive quality requires a specific combination of vision and craftsmanship. The vision to conceive a theme, design the environments and installation, and guide the user experience. The craftsmanship to perfect the art forms, messaging and physical spaces, while coordinating a small army of vendors. Given how many events ConAgra Foods has asked us to partner with them on over the past decade, we assume we possess that specific combination.
While ConAgra Foods generally leaves external advertising to its individual brands, there are times when a more unified, corporate message needs to be communicated. Sometimes that means alerting grocery store purchasing managers of the latest product-moving innovation. Other times it’s reminding convenience store owners about the company’s portfolio of impulse purchase-generating brands. And sometimes, it’s welcoming visitors to one of the communities ConAgra Foods calls home. But whatever the message, we’ve gotten the call to help. Every time.