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Q. How do you protect market dominance when a competitor enters your arena?

A. You change the game.

Our research confirmed that retailers were happy to carry a jar with the Balducci label…

Balducci’s, a single location gourmet retailer in Greenwich Village, feared a powerful competitor entering their space as NYC’s preeminent Italian grocer. Our solution: find a strength where the competition can’t win. For years, the Balducci family imported marvelous pastas, sauces, oils and condiments from Italy; re-bottling or packaging those products for individual gourmet retailers across the country—applying those stores’ own labels. Our research confirmed that those shops were just as happy to carry a jar with a Balducci label as their own.

We designed a branded packaging system and created an advertising and PR campaign to move the new Balducci brand into the world. For our expanded effort in direct mail, we produced a marvelous catalog, offering their products along with perishables (we were among the very first to do so), and we designed the book with family stories, hints, facts and recipes.

The catalog had an unprecedented consumer response, even in its first iteration. It won a Caples Award for MEIER—especially rewarding, as it is granted not only for creativity, but for effectiveness.

Rarely can an agency get an accurate gauge on the worth of its work, but for Balducci’s, we created a fully new division that was then split from the parent company—and sold for close to $100M.

What have we done?

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