The Fresh Market is known for helping guests make everyday eating extraordinary with timesaving meal solutions, unique ingredients and delicious, gourmet fare. But the company was not initially known for having a strong media presence. Beginning in 2006 (yes, 2006), BRAVE PR was charged with strategizing and driving press around TFM’s new, aggressive growth plan. As the specialty grocer’s agency of record, BRAVE led the company’s PR efforts during the most ambitious period of expansion in its history. Responsible for helping open between nine to 26 stores each year, BRAVE developed a robust store activation plan, pitching media in markets nationwide, developing influencer programs and events, and securing media attendance at openings for leadership interviews and feature pieces.
While the company had a well-defined operational plan in place for openings, it lacked a cohesive communications strategy to guide the flow of information and capitalize on the news cycle.
- BRAVE developed a comprehensive press plan and custom messaging to local, regional and business press around each store opening.
- Depending on whether The Fresh Market brand was new-to-market or expanding its existing footprint, the national PR plan included:
- A measured cadence of pitches promoting the company’s growth plan and transition from a family-owned business, to a publicly owned corporation, and back to a privately held entity
- Custom edible press kit deliveries to announce new store openings and excite foodies
- Gift guide targets and seasonal trend pitches to harness the novelty and specialty attributes of the brand — while communicating the company’s business goals further saturate the Southeast, Midwest and venture into the Northeast.
- Executed strategy for over new 140 locations in media markets throughout 24 states across the US
- Developed national brand guidelines and local processes that enabled The Fresh Market to tailor its approach to each community
- Established a cross-platform press protocol to streamline efforts during an aggressive opening schedule
- Generated consistent press coverage in its communities resulting in stronger journalist relationships, better-quality stories and solid engagement among foodies and influencers