Most of us have a favorite Folgers commercial and have become accustomed to the company’s famous wake-up jingle. Folgers has become ingrained in our minds as the leading coffee brand in America with its catchy tunes and mountain-grown coffee. Since its inception in 1850, Folgers has grown from a local company based in San Francisco, California, to a globally known leader in the coffee industry. JM Smucker, who acquired Folgers in 2008, has enjoyed a 4% increase in coffee sales since last quarter. Additionally, Folgers has its hold on 15.6 percent of the American coffee market. So what makes Folgers so awesome that it can seamlessly out-rank its fancier competitors?
The answer, for CEO Vincent Byrd, is savvy marketing. More simply, Folgers has mastered the art of finding their market and engaging it in memorable ways. Let’s take a look at what Folgers has been up to.
Folgers Expertly Engages Consumers
Perhaps the best thing to happen to Folgers in the past five years was its merger with JM Smucker. Although the JM Smucker company absorbed $350 million in Folgers debt, the company had high hopes for the future of Folgers. Two years after the merger, Folgers launched its lauded jingle contest in addition to joining the ranks of social media with its Facebook page. Needless to say, Folgers’ jingle contest has become a big hit, requesting coffee-lovers to send in their jingles for a chance to win a prize. Additionally, Folgers has amassed over one million fans on its Facebook page and keeps their social media engagement interesting with picture contests and short surveys.
Folgers has been communicating with its target audience ever since the late 19th century. In the beginning, Folgers coffee was marketed locally to grocery stores in California, as ground coffee was not highly available. Folgers expanded into a national market in the 1900s when a salesman named Frank Atha felt that the inclusion of Texas in the Folgers territory was a wise move. He was proven right, and Folgers eventually expanded to include a new plant in Kansas City, which is still operational. Over time, Folgers has adapted to changes in creative ways. For example, during World War II, Folgers redesigned its container into a glass bottle that could be re-used for canning.
Coffee & Memories: How Folgers Reaches its Audience
Folgers has a history of smartly reaching consumers on a level that makes sense, feels natural, and elicits the warmth and comfort of a great cup of coffee. In the 1960s, around the time it was acquired by Proctor and Gamble, Folgers released commercials primarily targeted to married women. Well before releasing its signature jingle in 1984, Folgers was convincing American wives everywhere that their coffee was awful and very displeasing to husbands, smartly offering Folgers as a novel option for the coveted morning brew.
Since the famous “Best part of waking up…” jingle caught on with consumers in the 1980s, Folgers has been finding new and different ways to incorporate their signature song and mountain grown coffee into the memories of consumers. It has been this ongoing effort to become a part of the daily lives of Americans that has boosted Folgers to become the nation’s leading coffee brand.
Why do you think Folgers has lasted so long? What’s your favorite Folgers jingle?
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