Whole Foods Market (WFM) came to LCI seeking increased exposure in the Northern Pacific Region, which includes markets from Fresno, California, to Seattle, Washington. LCI won an agency review to become the first outside agency for WFM in the region. WFM faced particular challenges in garnering coverage with the local food media, as well as general consumer, business and lifestyle media. LCI’s challenge was to:
- Position Whole Foods Market as the leading natural and organic retailer in the Northern Pacific Region
- Drive traffic to stores in the region
- Deliver educational awareness of food issues that will support the business
- Position Whole Foods Market as a natural fit within each community
LCI developed a public relations plan that focused on the shopping experience, such as seasonal products, holiday promotions and unique food items. In addition, LCI focused on positioning Whole Foods Market as an industry leader in topical issues in agriculture, food production and consumption. The plan also included promotion of all store openings in the region. LCI’s strategy was to keep Whole Foods Market top of mind with media so Whole Foods Market became a resource for food trends and issues. In addition, LCI emphasized WFM’s community support days and environmental stewardship practices. LCI distributed monthly press releases, pitched various food stories and TV demos, arranged product drops, opened two new stores and positioned Whole Foods Market as a source and expert.
The media coverage was the most comprehensive ever obtained for Whole Foods Market in the Northern Pacific Region. Total gross impressions reached 184 million and advertising equivalency exceeded $4.5 million. LCI secured stories in food, business and feature sections year-round, with regional and local outlets including the San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Monterey County Herald, Contra Costa Times, Portland Oregonian, San Jose Mercury News , KTVU-TV, KCRA-TV, KOMO-TV, KATU-TV and KGO-AM. LCI also conducted radio DJ tours resulting in numerous on-air placements with radio stations throughout the region.