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Harry & David Gift Giving Chain Repositions Brand From ‘Holidays To Everydays’

“While Harry & David has proudly defined holiday gift-giving for more than 80 years, we also offer an incredible array of distinctive products to help customers deliver smiles every day of the year,” says Harry & David CMO Michelle Farabaugh.

Harry & David, the 84-year-old gift shop chain owned by 1-800-Flowers, is unveiling a new brand focus that seeks to tie giving and sharing that also promises to connect to local restaurant partners.

In essence, the repositioning campaigns intends to “invite a two-way conversation with customers, appeal to a broader range of shoppers and cultivate meaningful relationships year-round,” the company says. “Centered around the power of sharing, the new positioning is focused on engaging with customers on an emotional level, while demonstrating the unique attributes Harry & David has to help shoppers express, connect and celebrate every day.”

This repositioning creates a platform for sharing and first comes to life through the phrase “Share More,” which is being rolled out along with the Fall Harvest season in Southern Oregon, the region where Harry & David is based and owns and operates 20 different orchards, spread over 100 square miles.

“While Harry & David has proudly defined holiday gift-giving for more than 80 years, we also offer an incredible array of distinctive products to help customers deliver smiles every day of the year,” says Harry & David CMO Michelle Farabaugh. “In repositioning the brand around the value of sharing, we hope to relate to customers in a new way, articulate our distinct points of differentiation and ultimately welcome new shoppers to Harry & David. After all, the best way to build relationships with people is to share.”

Connecting Giving To Sharing

To introduce the repositioning, Harry & David has released a video, Open Door, which offers a behind-the-scenes look into the products and employees behind the brand. Collectively, the effort is meant to give customers a broader concept of what Harry & David is, Farabaugh tells GeoMarketing.

“If you walked on the street and you talked to someone and you asked them ‘When you hear the name Harry & David, what do you think of?’ You always hear pears and holiday gifts and we are so much more than that,” Farabaugh says. “So, as we continue to evolve the brand, positioning around share more gives us something that we can own and it also really starts to build that relationship with not only the customer, which we’ve had a very long standing relationship with, but the recipient of those gifts which we don’t always have that dialogue so, this is a great platform and a great way to really share who we are as a company.

Connecting the repositioning to the company’s annual Harvest Celebration made sense, especially since this is the period when retailers are just preparing for the all-important holiday shopping season. nt to have some elasticity, changing over time and reflected in Harry & David’s marketing materials, including catalogs, emails and other promotional efforts.

The current effort also shows Harry & David, which operates 42 retail stores across 24 states, linking its food gifts to local restaurants. The chain’s curated “Dinner of the Month” are ticketed events hosted in local communities at popular eateries. “These intimate, immersive experiences allow food aficionados to explore the gourmet offerings of Harry & David through custom menus designed by talented chefs. Whether duck leg confit a l’orange, featuring Harry & David Cara Cara oranges, or a sumptuous dessert showcasing some of the brand’s famous fruit preserves, every menu provides a unique opportunity to gather, share and celebrate,” the company says.

The “Share More” concept was rolled out earlier, allowing the repositioning to continue the story that started with that social media marketing program, Farabaugh notes.

“The consumer response has been great as I’ve seen it,” Farabaugh says. “We’ve launched the #sharemore so this is a great way for us to be able to share more with our customers and our customers to share more with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You’ll start to see a lot more video content because as you talk about how do we bring this to life? This is really a visual thing, it’s an emotional thing. You know, sharing brings smiles to people’s faces. So, it’s about much more than just holiday. We have every day gifting that happens every day and I know, even myself before I worked for Harry & David, I hadn’t always thought of Harry & David for every occasion that’s out there. Whether it’s a birthday, a graduation, a sympathy.

The “Share More” concept from Harry and David in action

“From our perspective, sharing really sort of instigates sharing,” Farabaugh continues. “So, the more we share, the more our customers want to share. They do already and this really gives them a platform that it makes it easy, it’s great to see it on our website and it updates as people share their images. There’s nothing more special than seeing the face of someone as you share with them and it can be a gift, it can be your time, it can be something that’s just because. As we talk about those everyday occasions, we have a great new category called ‘Sentiments.’ Customers can send a gift that says, ‘Thinking of you’ or lots of different things that allow you to express yourself and come up with your own sentiment that you can write on a chalk-board on the front of the gift. It’s a great opportunity to just say ‘Hey, I’m thinking of you and I haven’t seen you in a while, let’s catch up,’ or “Congratulations on that great project you just completed.'”

The sharing concept makes such a strong emotional impact that, executed well, it can turn the every day into a special occasion, notes Tomer Tagrin, CEO of content marketing platform Yotpo, which works with Harry & David and its parent, 1-800-Flowers.

“In this age of the empowered consumer, Harry & David is very smart to tap into their own customer communities to drive the brand forward,” Tagrin says. “As part of this, H&D is taking their user-generated content strategy to the next level by deploying Yotpo to showcase customer photos and social posts in visual marketing galleries on harryanddavid.com. Through the Yotpo platform, customers are also encouraged to share their reviews and photos on social media. This underscores the importance of leveraging customer advocacy as a critical component of any marketing and branding effort.”

Ultimately, Harry & David is hoping that its new brand position will help it continue to be seen within the context of gift-giving and idea of personalization that is expected of all brands these days.

“The message we want to drive home is that we have the perfect product for everyone.” Farabaugh says. “So, this is an opportunity to be more engaging and to share user generated content so we are excited about continuing down this path.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.