Digital Marketing Redux   //   April 24, 2024

How Edible is showing customers it’s more than just arrangements

It’s been about three years since Edible dropped the “Arrangements” from its name. But it wasn’t until last fall that the brand decided to take its refreshed identity to the masses with a brand marketing campaign, hoping to score new customers and higher sales after a post-pandemic lull.

“We knew that we had a high churn rate,” said CMO Kevin Keith. “As we came out of the pandemic, our sales started declining because people had other options. And then you add in more fierce competition, it became all that much more important to start to reassert ourselves and differentiate ourselves.”

Edible, originally known as Edible Arrangements, turns 25 this year, a timespan that’s seen massive shifts in how people order gifts and ship treats. What started as fruit and treats arranged in bouquets has expanded to offer same-day delivery of fruit platters, chocolates, cheesecakes and other desserts. Pandemic lockdowns fueled businesses as people shipped orders — sales in 2020 hit $587 million, up from $442 million 2019 the year before — but then fell off as other last-mile delivery services took up. By the end of 2023, Edible was back to hitting more than $500 million in sales, a spokesperson confirmed to Modern Retail.

Now, the company is pushing a new marketing campaign to cement its new one-word Edible presence. And while the marketing campaign is the most visible update to the company, behind the scenes Edible is attempting to upgrade last-mile delivery, modernize its stores and create new products to appeal to a broader — and younger — audience. That includes developing a marketplace-style website — edible.com — to offer an array of quick-delivery snacks and treats.

In October 2023, Edible launched its “There‚Äôs an edible for that campaign” across social, connected and linear TV. It was a switch from lower-funnel search audiences that Edible had previously done. From a content perspective, it was a cheeky concept that showcased people in awkward situations — like a bad first date or listening to a relative’s political tirade — recovering by ordering themselves something from Edible.

By the first six weeks, the campaign yielded a 7% increase in branded search, plus about 151,000 more searches. It also saw a 34% increase in direct visits. “We had a ton of direct traffic, which is a sign that you’re getting new eyeballs,” Keith said.

Edible’s business upgrade comes as the company revamps its C-suite. Keith joined the company as chief marketing officer last spring. He came onboard shortly after Sonia Farid Silver, daughter of founder Tariq Farid, took over as president. This January, Mark Mele, formerly of Paris Baguette, came on as chief development officer to focus on the franchise system.

Mary Ann O’Brien, brand consultant and founder of OBI Creative marketing firm, said that Edible’s challenge in updating its brand is overcoming prior perceptions. The humor in the ad campaign helps do that, she said.

“It’s setting a new tone for an established brand,” O’Brien said. “It’s allowing for more life stage marketing — and it’s embracing the genuine side of life.”

But the success of such a national rebrand can come down to the details. O’Brien said that means stretching the ad dollars as far as they can go with as much name recognition as possible. Edible’s ads could put more of its name and logo on the screen, for example. Overall, though, she said many older brands are looking to streamline and go digital.

“Every client we have wants to shorten their name,” she said. “They want to get it down to a name, take it down to one visual item, or you’ll see them go to their initials … it’s easier when it’s simpler. And it’s more memorable.”

Edible’s Keith said while he doesn’t mind people misnomering Edible with its former longer name, emphasizing the shortened name implies that it offers more than just the flower-shaped pineapples and melons it built its name on.

Beyond the paid marketing campaign, Edible is also dipping its toe into influencer marketing. For Employee Appreciation Day on March 15, a campaign yielded more than 5,700 orders from six influencer promo codes for 20% off. Just one of those codes was from a paid influencer, who made three posts that earned 100,000 impressions and an 8% engagement rate. That relationship brought in $305,000 in sales alone. The other five discount codes were used by influencers who are fans of the brand.

Keith said Edible intends to keep investing in influencer marketing in-house, focusing on a “hands-off approach” that is based on working with people who understand the brand.

“It’s not just pay and pray and play,” he said. “Of course, there’s a monetary component, but I want to only deal with people who really love our brand and love what we’re doing.”

On the customer side, Keith said acing delivery is a key priority in Edible’s transformation. The company is also investing heavily in its delivery operations last year and says it can make it to about 80% of the U.S. within one hour. “That’s our secret sauce,” he said. “Try and give your mom Mother’s Day flowers on the day of, or the next day (with other brands). You have to plan in advance.”

The company hopes this will soon extend beyond the delivery of its own products — Keith said Edible is working to deploy a marketplace-style website. “Edible.com” will use Edible’s delivery system but partner up with different snack and beverage companies. The products will span local favorites — like New York bagels — and be at lower price points in an attempt to appeal to a trend-driven, younger audience. That’s targeted to launch by Valentine’s Day 2025, Keith said.

“We’re really trying to reinvent the way we’re perceived as a gifted company,” he said. “We’re a company you can go to when you want to treat yourself or acknowledge someone else, celebrate somebody, throw a party, or entertain.”

Edible will also be revamping its physical footprint. It has 750 stores, all of which are getting a “light refresh.” That includes new signage and branding. Some stores, Keith said, still had the Papyrus-font branding that Saturday Night Live recently poked fun at.

About half of the stores will relocate, part of the company’s new focus on smaller footprints and heading into main shopping areas as opposed to “out of the way” Class B and Class C shopping centers. Keith said that includes trying out five new stores in the coming year — smaller formats that, in addition to taking orders, will have items for sale and in-store cafes.

“Most people thought and still think we just do arrangements, and we want to show the world we do so much more than that now,” Keith said.