Rebranding Harry & David – the Gift Experts, not Jewelry Store

Two reasons why this article about Harry & David caught my attention:

  1. I noticed the company is based in Medford, Oregon. It’s alway interesting to read Oregon-related articles in national publications.
  2. Branding and social media.

I seriously thought Harry & David was a company that sold jewelry. Am I wrong? What is that company called? Harry & something…

Anyways, this Harry & David is an upscale seller of fruit baskets and baked goods. The 75-year-old company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday; prompting various written pieces in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Bloomberg Businessweek. But according to Bruce Horovitz — the USA Today writer reporting on this story — there’s still hope for the company. A couple takeaways from the article:

  • The company needs to engage consumers more actively with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, brand consultant Peter Madden says. Its Facebook page “looks like a storefront, with 80 things in the window.”
  • Embracing local growers. “You need to talk and act local,” Lauer says. The company should brag about its orchards and growers, she says. Videos of growers should be posted on its website, Facebook and YouTube.
  • Marketing beyond holidays. The brand needs to move beyond holidays and create and promote other “special” occasions for folks to indulge in its products, Lauer says.

What do you think about Harry & David? Can they benefit from a brand makeover? Maybe then I won’t think that they’re a jewelry company. But is it too late?

Photo courtesy of Flickr, dcosand.

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