Bringing the Big Apple Brand to Life

Branding for Big Apple Food Stores

Big Apple is family-owned convenience store chain with 70+ stores across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. In 2015, the company was experiencing a lack of brand awareness and a decline in fuel sales due to low gasoline prices. That summer they partnered with Vreeland to help raise their brand profile and drive in-store sales to offset fuel losses. 

One of the first things we tackled was to identify their best audience by defining what segment of customers held the greatest likelihood for sales and loyalty. Like so many brands selling commodities, they were highly motivated to reach as broad a demographic audience as possible. After all, no brand wants to narrow the playing field and risk alienating customers and losing out on sales, right? The truth is, the broader your audience, the more money you’re going to have to spend to reach them AND the less chance you’re going to have of connecting with ALL of them in an effective, compelling way. In fact, you risk having to be so generic that you might not connect with ANY of them. We conducted an in-depth competitor analysis and uncovered the best opportunities for Big Apple to corner its own piece of the market, enabling us to zero in on who they are, what they want and how can we reach them.

Next, we developed a brand platform including brand values and attributes that were in strong alignment with the primary audience. We also crafted the voice of the brand – the hard-working, fun-loving, trouble-making Uncle Rick, who just happens to be Big Apple’s biggest fan. We brought the brand to life with a laser-targeted radio campaign packed with value added on-air contests and event sponsorships designed for maximum listener engagement

The Uncle Rick character was designed to appeal to Big Apples core audience while remaining fun and relatable for just about any down-home New Englander. Two years into the campaign and the brand is enjoying year-over-year in-store sales growth, as well as the benefits of a catchy campaign that listeners love.