In their words, with Soy Vay’s Liz Tung

In today’s edition of “In their words,” we’re speaking with Liz Tung, National Shopper Marketing Group Manager at The Clorox Company, about two recent House Party campaigns for Soy Vay.

 

You’ve now sponsored two House Party campaigns to drive awareness of Soy Vay’s sauces and marinades; although the brand has been around for over 30 years, it’s still one that many people don’t know much about. How did you decide that a House Party campaign was the right way to spread the word and get your products in consumers’ hands?

In talking to our consumers, what we heard over and over again was that people had learned about Soy Vay while eating at a friend’s house. They’d take one bite of the Soy Vay-marinated dish, and — so delighted by the great taste — they’d ask the host, “What am I eating? This is delicious!” The stories would go on, with the host pulling out the bottle of Soy Vay and showing it to her friends. These sounded like staged TV ads, but they were naturally taking place in households across the country!

We recognized how important tasting Soy Vay was in triggering “talk” — and ultimately trial. So as we were creating our marketing plans, I kept thinking that I wanted to do something like House Party, but on my own: create my own network of party hosts and leverage our social channels to drive awareness of the promotion. But as I got into the executional details and realized the complexity of doing this on my own, I concluded that this was House Party’s bread-and-butter business, and that they could do everything for me — select the hosts, drive online conversation and social buzz, etc. — with their own infrastructure (yet customized to my brand).

We felt that formalizing these tasting opportunities through dinner parties sponsored by House Party would be a great way to amplify these conversations that were happening naturally.

 

What role has word of mouth played in building your brand? Has its importance changed over time?

Word of mouth (WOM) is critical to Soy Vay’s success. It’s a marinade that’s getting served at dinner parties and barbecues around the country, and people find it so delicious that it immediately triggers them to talk about it and recommend it to others. Formalizing these conversations via WOM campaigns has worked well for us, and we continue to rely on them.

We’ve tested alternative marketing approaches to see if there are other tactics that can be as effective as WOM for driving awareness and trial of Soy Vay. And so far, we’ve continued to find that our House Party campaigns are effective in driving awareness, tasting/sampling and conversion to trial.

 

Soy Vay has some very passionate fans. What are some of the best ways you’ve found to harness their enthusiasm to drive sales and brand loyalty?

It’s all about empowering them to spread the word — both in person and via digital channels — and making them feel special. You have to give them a great, positive experience with your brand, and the tools and encouragement to share their responses to that with others. At Soy Vay, we also rely on bloggers to help us amplify our messages through social channels.