The team at Clio Snacks believes in being curious about new ideas. After all, that’s how their product came into being. Founder Sergey Konchakovskiy invented the chocolate-covered Greek Yogurt bars after seeing his kids’ playing with some yogurt leftover from a marinade. Adding sure-to-please chocolate coating created something special that his kids – and Clio consumers – grew to passionately love.
In a category that hasn’t seen a lot of innovation, Clio Snacks established a completely new type of product. But with a small marketing team and resources, they faced a big challenge in building awareness, trial, and household penetration for their brand. So they once again decided to explore new and creative ideas.
Your Consumers Are Your Best Asset
Clio’s marketers knew they had an incredible asset – their enthusiastic and dedicated consumers. But they needed a way to activate and focus that brand excitement. They knew that cultivating brand advocates would help drive awareness, social proof, and trial to accelerate brand growth. But with limited budgets, they needed to start small with a test.
So, like many brands, they turned to Facebook and Instagram, creating and engaging with a limited group of targeted consumers in private groups. They asked their followers to complete challenges, from taking “shelfies” of the product in-store to posting reviews. The Clio team tracked the activities in Excel and rewarded their ambassadors with swag on a monthly basis.
Their test proved out their idea. Cultivating their relationships with their consumers and activating them to share their brand love created an outsized impact on their Word-of-Mouth and user-generated content (UGC). And generated valuable insights into their consumers’ needs and preferences.
It also proved how it was to engage and manage the program themselves: just 100 ambassadors quickly overwhelmed their team. They wanted to grow their program but knew they would need the right tool.
Hear Rachel discuss Clio Snacks’ journey in growing their community on social media until they decided it was time to take it to the next level.
Ambassador Programs vs Loyalty Programs vs Online Brand Communities
When Clio looked for the right tool to help them scale their consumer engagement program, they looked at a lot of Ambassador programs. However, they quickly realized that a lot of them were focused almost exclusively on purchase behavior. If ambassadors drove sales, they could earn discounts or swag. But they were not focused on developing more lasting consumer relationships.
They also explored Loyalty Programs. However, the traditional programs were largely transactional and focused on driving direct-to-brand purchases. As Clio wanted to drive consumers in-store to support their customer relationships, these programs didn’t align with their needs.
Plus, Clio wanted to do more.
Beyond incentivizing purchase, the Clio team wanted to be able to tap into their ambassadors as an internal insights group. And they also wanted to mobilize them to generate reviews and to share authentically about the brand with their friends and family. They were looking for a way to drive engagement between purchases and foster a two-way dialogue with their members that made them feel like active and valued participants in the Clio brand journey.
What they were seeking was an online brand community, a destination where people can come together with a shared interest in a product or service and interact with the brand and other like-minded people.
Rather than focusing solely on transactional behavior, an online community is designed to deliver engagement and foster loyalty to galvanize consumers to act. With the right technology (ahem, Vesta) and methodology, an online brand community can:
- Increase brand awareness and reach by inspiring authentic word-of-mouth advocacy
- Drive consumer acquisition through ratings & reviews and UGC generation
- Create lasting loyalty through personalized engagement between transactions
- Elevate decision-making by delivering real-time, predictive insights
- Boost marketing efficiency by delivering data to power every activity
Multi-Tool Power from a Single Platform
After determining the right type of program, Clio’s marketers selected the Vesta online community platform to partner with them in creating their own community. The Clio Cravings Club community has enabled them to supersize their marketing impact by:
- Generating advocacy and acquisition
- Building a 1:1 relationship with consumers at scale
- Collecting data and insights
Listen to Rachel talk about the brand’s goals for the Clio Cravings Club.
Generate Advocacy and Acquisition
Clio wanted to create a “megaphone” for their consumers to tell the story of their brand. To channel all of the excitement they had for the brand into conversation and user-generated content and then amplify it. With Vesta’s Single-Click Sharing tool, the community made it easy for their fans to share their brand love across all of the major social channels from within the platform. And easy for their team to track the members’ sharing.
From supporting the introduction of Clio Snacks to Kroger stores to generating reviews for the new S’mores Parfait bars on Sam’s Club and Clio’s websites, the members of the Clio Cravings Club have helped expand the brand’s reach and secured the social proof to fill the top of the funnel by increasing consideration, trial, and acquisition.
Build 1:1 Consumer Relationships at Scale
Clio is not a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand but they believe in the value of building meaningful relationships directly with their consumers. They know how critical they are to shaping the journey of their brand and they use the community to encourage them to get involved and communicate with them.
It starts with a warm welcome, as every new community member receives a welcome gift with coupons and swag. And it continues with special “members only” access to the brand, from sneak peeks of new Clio bars, to special offers and more swag.
Content and offers are personalized for each member based on the data they share in the community. And every action members take, from sharing feedback in a survey to joining a discussion, earns points that can be redeemed for rewards that range from discount offers to a trip to the plant to make your own Clio Bar at the highest tier. At every touchpoint, the community honors and builds on its members’ love of Clio Snacks.
Collect Data and Insights
Another key goal for Clio was to tap into their knowledgeable consumers to get feedback, crowdsource ideas, and ensure they stayed aligned with evolving tastes.
Through the Discussion forum, Clio is able to engage members in conversations related to their product, such as new flavor ideas, as well as other topics of interest including recipes, back-to-school tips, and more. These conversations engage members with the brand and each other while generating real-time feedback and robust learnings.
For even more insights, Clio turns to the in-platform consumer insights tools. Polls enable them to gain immediate feedback on timely topics, while the surveys provide deeper consumer and product insights. A recent emotional profiling survey helped identify key competitive differentiators and white space opportunities, and other surveys have helped the brand with establishing segments to further personalize their community experience. Clio is able to get an initial gut check on innovation efforts through the community too.
Delivering Immediate Impact
In fact, in the first 100 days, they achieved:
- 18% increase in Net Promoter Score
- 23% Purchase Conversion
- 25% increase in Brand Loyalty (always/mostly purchase)
- 2,850 new community members
As the Clio Cravings Club community continues to grow, it will deliver an even greater impact on the brand’s advocacy, acquisition, loyalty, data, and insights goals.
Hear Rachel discuss how her team knew that Vesta was the right platform for them.
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