Brand owner: Pinnacle Foods

Agency: Tenthwave Digital

Brand: Duncan Hines

Country: United States

Industry: Baking

Channels used: Internet - display, Internet - general, Social Media - Facebook, Social Media - Pinterest



"Data tells you bakers want recipes.  
Customer Obsession teaches that they
really are just looking for inspiration." 

Duncan Hines tasted the sweetness a Customer Obsessed consumer understanding can provide with a website redesign that reflected the actual, not statistical, desire of its visitors.  Using our Customer Obsession methodology, we went beyond dashboard analytics and quantitative survey employing qualitative ethnographic research designed to apply economics, sociological and psychological understanding to uncover insights that when tied to the abundant data set could create a clear direction for (r)evolution.

For years, food brands have analyzed data to discover that the vast majority of the visits to their website were for recipes leading them to believe what people were looking for was more and better recipes.  In reality, when it comes to looking for recipes people usually do not seek out nor stumble across your product website compared to the numerous companies fighting full time to fill this need.  They only visit your recipe section in vastly greater percentages than those who seek out your About Us or Corporate Responsibility page.  By adding more recipes, we are not serving their need but reacting to their data.

What we learned was that while Bakers do most frequently look online for recipes, what they really crave is inspiration. When baking a cake, you don’t look up what temperature to set the oven to or how many eggs to add.  That information is usually on the box or in your head.  You want to know how you are going to make that cake looks like Spiderman and perhaps if all that red food coloring will make a five year old sick.  You want to know if your creation requires any modifications to the provided directions to come out yummy.  The recipe is not the directions, it is the idea.  When people search for recipes, what they really want is to be inspired to create delicious baked goods reflecting concepts like Autumn, Pumpkin, Purple, New Years, or Fancy.  They are looking for inspiration before they worry about process.  Whether as an occasional baker preparing for a kids birthday party or as part of your identity as a regular baker, paramount to the experience is that it must be enjoyed by the people who eat it, both visually and taste wise.  

With that in mind, a website was created that predominately displays eye catching baking ideas organized around seasonality and cultural keywords.  Site “inspirations” (formerly recipes) are organized, tagged and categorized around terms that people frequently search and are commonly looking for.  Ongoing, inspiration content is created and crowd sourced from the bakers to serve more inspirational needs.

On the social end of a social category, Duncan Hines was just named the top CPG brand on Facebook based upon engagement for 2015 by Social Bakers and has been consistently ranked as the top CPG food brand based upon loyalty and Net Promoter scores by Loud Door and Facebook research!

  • Duncan Hines is the best performing CPG brand on Facebook based on Total Interactions.  Coca Cola (owning the largest US CPG community on Facebook) has 8x the fans (12.6MM vs. 1.6MM), but received 34% less Total Interactions than Duncan Hines. 
  • Only Duncan Hines appeared as a top performer of Total Interactions (#1) AND Interactions per 1000 (#4).
  • Duncan Hines had the #1 most effective social media post so far this year in the CPG category, beating M&M and Snapple by about 10%.  M&M and Snapple have 8.9MM and 1.9MM more fans than Duncan Hines respectively. 
  • Duncan Hines has blown away the benchmarks in their category with 21x the average Total Interactions and 10x the average Interactions per 1000 Fans, with only 2x the average Number of Fans across all brands in our CPG sub category.

The Duncan Hines Social Strategy is working to reach our most valuable consumers, as they are proving themselves to be decidedly more loyal and more engaged than the competition, our sub category and the CPG industry on the whole.   In an environment where competition is getting tougher and the category is in a decline, Tenthwave is effectively using Digital and Social Media to combat the tides for Duncan Hines.  

If we had to summarize the secret to our success, we would say:

The frequency, quality and modest media amplification strategy for our social content is working to provide relevant and compelling branded inspiration that gets our consumers to share with a greater frequency than other CPG brands. For Tenthwave, this proves that reach is not just about size or healthy media budgets when the quality of relevant content is high and the consumer relationship strong.