Three Brothers Bakery

CASE STUDY - CUPCAKE POLL

GOAL

August is typically a slower season for Three Brothers Bakery, as clients are traveling, focusing on back-to-school, and preparing for the Jewish holidays; Integrate wanted to help spur sales during this month, as well as showcase the bakery’s ability to adapt to industry trends.

STRATEGY

The landscape in Houston was not in the bakery’s favor for the month of August, as the nearly 200 local restaurants participating in Houston Restaurant Weeks usually capture the attention of the local food media, traditionally making it difficult for non-participating restaurants, like Three Brothers Bakery, to garner much attention during this month.

Three Brothers Bakery is known for its scratch-baked cupcakes, and National Cupcake Day, on August 19th, gave Integrate the perfect opportunity to bring something new to the bakery, engage with customers and media, and spur additional sales when customers are less likely to buy extra sweets. 

The team brainstormed on flavors to add to the cupcake line at Three Brothers Bakery, keeping factors such as trends, audience, time of year and popular flavors in mind and came up with: 

Three Brothers Bakery placed flavor samples on the countertops of both stores for the 14 days of voting and guests were encouraged to sample each flavor, but could only officially cast their votes by buying a cupcake in their favorite flavor, in order to spur sales. 

In order to incorporate traditional and online media into the voting and cupcake selection process, three media judges were selected to participate: CultureMap, for its influence on a younger demographic due to its online format and content; Houston Press, for its outstanding food blog and appeal to a younger, in-tune audience; and the Jewish Herald Voice for its reach in the Jewish population. The opinions of the media judges counted for 50% of the final score. Integrate also developed a media outreach plan to non-judges that included a press release, various e-mail pitches and social media engagement in an effort to drive media and customers into the stores to pick their favorite flavor.

RESULTS  

The reaction to the Cupcake Day Poll was greater than expected, as media was immediately attracted to the concept and in-store traffic increased due to media coverage. Once customer and media votes were counted, the victory ultimately went to the S’Mores cupcake.

With coverage in the Houston Press food blog, KPRC Channel 2 News, the 29-95 section of the Houston Chronicle and CultureMap, total media views for the cupcake poll added up to nearly one million impressions. The Cupcake Day Poll was a successful way for Three Brothers Bakery to strengthen its ties with customers and add a new flavor to its cupcake line while also introducing itself and its cupcakes to new customers. Integrate was able to strengthen relationships with media on behalf of the bakery by making their days a little sweeter.

By interacting with customers via social media, Integrate was able to grow the Three Brothers Bakery fan bases, thereby expanding its social media reach. In the month of August, Facebook grew by 85 likes, when it previously saw growth of 44 likes on average per month; Twitter gained 57 followers instead of the average 15 per month; Pinterest increased by 28 followers, partly thanks to a Pinterest contest to have followers re-pin a cupcake graphic to win the bakery’s winning cupcake; and Instagram gained 20 new followers. Through a Twitter conversation with a Houston Chronicle food writer, Integrate was also able to engage with this writer about Cupcake Poll details and secure a mention of the event in the print edition.

During the Cupcake Poll’s two-week time frame, nearly 350 cupcakes were sold. Compared to this time frame in the year prior for the two weeks the Cupcake Poll ran, there was a 6.63% increase in counter-front sales and an 8.9% increase across all corporate accounts.