linked in facebook twitter rss

  • Interbrand
  • Brandchannel

your chance!
your chance!
Also of interest...
 

Barilla


  Barilla
pastability
by Barry Silverstein
March 25, 2010

The story of Barilla starts like many family businesses: with the dream of an individual. Pietro Barilla wanted nothing more than to market fresh food in his pasta shop in Parma, Italy in 1877. His son Riccardo joined the family business, and they made pasta and bread by hand, selling it throughout Parma from yellow, horse-drawn carts.
 
 

The business grew. The father and son team bought new equipment and eventually rented a warehouse, but one thing didn’t change – the quality of the durum wheat flour, or semolina, used to make the pasta. Today, 133 years later, Barilla still has a pasta production facility near Parma, but the company is now a global food conglomerate that remains private and family-owned. It is run by Guido Barilla, Pietro’s great-grandson.

Barilla is the number one pasta brand in Italy. Just three years after its introduction in the United States in 1996, Barilla became the number one pasta brand there as well. In addition to its flagship pasta brand, the Barilla Group owns such brands as Harry’s, a leader in French bakery products, Golden Toast and Lieken Urkorn, leading German bakery brands produced by Kamps, and Wasa, Scandinavia’s leading flatbread.

Barilla may be over 100 years old but its approach to marketing is young. When the company wanted to promote its pasta on television, for example, it adopted a slice of life creative strategy in both Italy and the United States instead of focusing heavily on product.

In one classic Barilla ad from several years back, a dashing Italian-speaking man on a street in Italy bumps into an attractive English-speaking woman. We then see the woman in a restaurant waiting to be served. The man, it turns out, is the restaurant’s chef. He himself brings a dish of Barilla Tortelloni to the surprised woman. The romantic undertone is palpable, and it is only heightened by the lilting melody sung by Andrea Bocelli in the background. This and similar Barilla ads prove even pasta can be sexy.

In addition to television, Barilla’s US-based activities have taken advantage of other media, public relations, and sponsorship opportunities. Barilla was an early sponsor of Bode Miller (unfortunately, it was during his less-than-auspicious Olympics appearance in Torino), and an original sponsor of New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. For the past six years, the company has sponsored the “Barilla Marathon Eve Dinner” for thousands of runners who participate in the New York City Marathon. At February’s “South Beach Wine & Food Festival,” Barilla sponsored an “interactive dinner,” at which participants were encouraged to cook, with the help of local culinary students.

Last September, Barilla sponsored a research study called “Share the Table: The State of Dinnertime in America,” which indicated that American families were struggling to make family meals a priority in their lives. The study resulted in the launch of “The Barilla Family Dinner Project,” accompanied by a website that includes hundreds of recipes and tips to improve the dinnertime experience. Barilla enlisted renowned chef Mario Batali and country singer Martina McBride to help promote the campaign. As part of the project, Barilla promised to donate up to $150,000 to the Meals On Wheels Association of America in support of home delivered meals to needy individuals.

Because the United States is such a huge market for pasta products, Barilla formed a subsidiary, Barilla America, with corporate offices located near Chicago. Using experts from Italy, Barilla cross-trained their American counterparts in Italian pasta-making techniques. Barilla America opened a plant in Ames, Iowa in the late 1990s, sourcing durum wheat from North America and manufacturing pasta on the North American continent to the same standards as the pasta manufactured in Italy.

Barilla has managed to keep up with contemporary nutritional requirements, too. In 2005, the company introduced its PLUS line, a premium, multi-grain pasta that’s high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber.

Barilla was voted “the most respected company in the world” in a 2006 poll conducted by the Reputation Institute. In 2007, the company was one of six globally recognized food and beverage companies to be designated by the Ethisphere Council as among the most ethical companies in the world. The Barilla brand was named a “Brand Growth All-Star” for 1997-2005 by consulting firm Bain & Company, one of only seventeen consumer products, and the only pasta product.

In 2008, Barilla had net sales of more than 4.5 billion Euros. The company currently exports products to more than 150 countries. This is one family brand that has come a long way since the days of its founder, Pietro Barilla.

 
     
  

Barry Silverstein has been a frequent brandchannel contributor since 2007. He has thirty years of advertising and marketing experience and is currently a freelance writer and marketing consultant. He founded and ran his own direct marketing agency and held executive positions with Epsilon, a leading database marketing firm and Arnold, a major ad agency. Silverstein is the author of three marketing books, including the McGraw-Hill book, The Breakaway Brand, which he co-authored with Arnold CEO Fran Kelly.

  
 commenting closed Add Social Bookmark bookmark  print
 suggest topic  recommend ( 7 )  email

  brandchannel profile archive   2011  | 2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  |  2005  |  2004  |  2003  |  2002  |  2001
 
 
Dec 17, 2010 JanSport - Back in Style -- Barry Silverstein
  Going beyond the outdoor enthusiast market.
   
 
Dec 10, 2010 Cadbury’s Caramilk - Chocolate Tempation -- Renée Alexander
  Sinfully sweet treat draws flack from concerned parents
   
 
Dec 3, 2010 Howard Johnson - On the Road Again -- Barry Silverstein
  Symbolic of a bygone era, Howard Johnson’s restaurants dotted America’s highways through the middle of the 20th Century. How are they adapting?
   
 
Nov 19, 2010 V8 - Almost 80 and Still Making a Splash -- Barry Silverstein
  A grand old brand concocts new ways to reinvent itself.
   
 
Nov 11, 2010 Crystal Head - One Spooky, Outlaw Spirit -- Renée Alexander
  Comedian Dan Aykroyd pitches Crystal Head’s skull-shaped vodka bottle
   
 
Nov 5, 2010 Mark’s - New Name, Same Value to Canadians -- Renée Alexander
  Mark’s Work Wearhouse rebrands to simply “Mark’s” in Canada.
   
 
Oct 29, 2010 Biltmore - From Landmark to Brandmark -- Barry Silverstein
  If America had royalty, the Vanderbilts would qualify — and Biltmore is their legacy.
   
 
Oct 22, 2010 RedMoon - Pet Food Done Right -- Barry Silverstein
  Canada’s RedMoon creates custom pet food with a twist.
   
 
Oct 15, 2010 Clorox Green Works - Walking the Talk -- Sheila Shayon
  The #1 green cleaning brand in the U.S. aims to walk its talk.
   
 
Oct 8, 2010 Cuba - Still Sways to Che -- Renee Alexander
  The halo effect of Che Guevara on Cuba’s brand is still strong.
   
 
Oct 1, 2010 North Dakota - RU Legendary? -- Renee Alexander
  One of the smallest states in the U.S., North Dakota can't boast famous landmarks, but makes a big splash via smart branding and social media savvy.
   
 
Sep 24, 2010 Corning - Clearly an innovator -- Barry Silverstein
  How Corning brand became recognized for its leadership and innovation.
   
 
Sep 17, 2010 Kenmore - A classic appliance brand gets a makeover -- Barry Silverstein
  Kenmore, the classic American appliance brand, is getting a makeover.
   
 
Sep 10, 2010 Pinkberry - Seize the Whirl -- Sheila Shayon
  Brandchannel interviews Pinkberry CEO Ron Graves about how the brand is ramping up across America and internationally.
   
 
Aug 27, 2010 Sleeman - Notoriously Brewed -- Renee Alexander
  Sleeman Breweries may be owned by Japan's Sapporo, but it's proud of its "notorious" Canadian heritage.
   
 
Aug 20, 2010 Social Twist - Bring Your Friends -- Sheila Shayon
  Social Twist aims to turn social media into social marketing through the lens of trust and referrals.
   
 
Aug 13, 2010 Kit Kat - Extending Sweetness -- Barry Silverstein
  Kit Kat has mastered the art of line extension – the practice of producing many variations of the same brand in the same category – perhaps to the point of absurdity.
   
 
Aug 6, 2010 Sezmi - Personalized TV, at Your Service -- Sheila Shayon
  In a rapidly evolving era when U.S. cable and satellite operators are competing fiercely to deliver personalized, portable TV, Sezmi offers a fresh alternative at a fraction of the cost.
   
 
Jul 30, 2010 Stella Artois - Premium Chic -- Yew Fei Chan
  With a stylish branding campaign and a new label, Stella Artois Black, Stella Artois is upping the stakes in its bid to make the brand the sophisticates' bewitching cold brew of choice.
   
 
Jul 23, 2010 Alibaba - Online Riches -- Barry Silverstein
  Alibaba.com, the Chinese business-to-business global trade platform that went public in November 2007 with a record-breaking IPO, continues to break down barriers.
   
 
Jul 16, 2010 ngmoco:) - Playing Games -- Barry Silverstein
  From the name of the company to the mobile games it makes for the iPhone and other smartphones, ngmoco:) seems to be functioning in an alternate universe.
   
 
Jul 8, 2010 Chantecaille - Nature's Beauty -- Chan Yew Fei
  The Chantecaille brand, and family, bring their passion for nature and the environment to their global beauty business.
   
 
Jul 1, 2010 TMZ - Hollywood Insider -- Robyn Schechter
  Celebrity scandal and gossip is a thriving industry -- here's why the TMZ brand is enjoying a reputation for being the industry leader.
   
 
Jun 25, 2010 Honest Tea - Leaves You Feeling Refreshed -- Barry Silverstein
  Honest Tea came from humble roots to become President Obama's favorite tea, and become part of the Coca-Cola stable of beverage brands
   
 
Jun 18, 2010 Canon - Picturing a Future Beyond Cameras -- Barry Silverstein
  While many consumers still know Canon for its legacy cameras, perhaps even more recognize the name from the company’s other products, which include calculators, scanners, office copying machines, computer printers, LCD projectors, and medical equipment.
   
 
Jun 11, 2010 IV-7 - The Next Generation of Germ Defense -- Sheila Shayon
  As the BP oil spill and Gulf Coast disaster continues to grip the headlines, public debate about our increasingly toxic environment and the efficacy and safety of disinfectant products continues to rage. Enter IV-7, a new non-toxic disinfectant.
   
 
Jun 4, 2010 BYD - Driving China Electric -- Barry Silverstein
  As Chinese brands continue to grow on a global scale, brand names previously known only within China’s borders are now generating worldwide awareness. BYD is one such company, having risen from relative obscurity to a brand that has caused quite a stir because of its new electric car, the e6.
   
 
May 28, 2010 Acupuncture Records - China’s Piercing Electronic Music Brand -- Laura Fitch
  Acupuncture Records promotes China’s alternative music to the world
   
 
May 21, 2010 Crocs - Back in Style -- Shirley Brady
  Crocs are back in style
   
 
May 14, 2010 Red Mango - Finally, Frozen Yogurt Done Right -- Dale Buss
  Red Mango, frozen yogurt done right
   
 
May 7, 2010 Habbo - virtual mall -- Shirley Brady
  Habbo, which bills itself as the largest virtual world for teenagers, boasts more than 16.5 million unique visitors and a selling proposition for brands.
   
 
Apr 30, 2010 HTC - on call -- Barry Silverstein
  HTC has become renowned as a high-tech brand and innovative company of firsts.
   
 
Apr 23, 2010 AirAsia - high flyer -- Barry Silverstein
  Malaysia's discount airline is also Asia’s fastest growing airline.
   
 
Apr 15, 2010 PBS - broadcasting with purpose -- Barry Silverstein
  The public’s trust in PBS may help save journalism.
   
 
Apr 7, 2010 Eno - eno-ough? -- Laura Fitch
  Eno builds grass roots franchises in China.
   
 
Mar 31, 2010 Dos Equis - most interesting? -- Renée Alexander
  Dos Equis sheds Mexican stereotypes for “interesting.”
   
 
Mar 17, 2010 Madécasse - rich -- Barry Silverstein
  How Madécasse is putting Madagascar on the branding map.
   
 
Mar 10, 2010 Bacon Salt - kosher -- Barry Silverstein
  Bacon Salt adds flavor to a new brand category.
   
 
Mar 4, 2010 E*TRADE - oh baby -- Barry Silverstein
  E*TRADE doesn’t kid with your money.
   
 
Feb 24, 2010 Bruegger’s - dough boys -- Barry Silverstein
  Bruegger’s brand rises to the challenge.
   
 
Feb 17, 2010 Windborne Music - progressive rock -- Robyn Schechter
  Windborne Music’s unique brand of rock symphony.
   
 
Feb 10, 2010 Barnes & Noble - booking it -- Barry Silverstein
  Why Barnes & Noble is an epic branding story.
   
 
Feb 3, 2010 Kashi - on a mission -- Barry Silverstein
  How Kashi helps itself by saving the world.
   
 
Jan 27, 2010 ASICS - runner up -- Barry Silverstein
  How ASICS keeps pace with bigger shoe brands.
   
 
Jan 20, 2010 Hudson’s Bay Company - medals? -- Renée Alexander
  How the Hudson’s Bay Company will compete at the Olympics.
   
 
Jan 13, 2010 5-Hour Energy - powered up -- Barry Silverstein
  5-Hour Energy overpowers the competition.
   
 
Jan 6, 2010 Cesar Millan - fetching? -- Barry Silverstein
  Why Cesar Millan is leader of the pack.