Unilever Food Solutions
Inspiring independent foodservice businesses
To actively engage independent foodservice companies in the United States, Incremental created one of the world’s most inspiring incentive programs, Access to Adventure.
Sales growth year-on-year
In the United States, Unilever Food Solutions faced flat or declining market-growth. However, the company also pinpointed an opportunity. It sold its highly-regarded bulk foods to the American hospitality industry through an extensive network of independently-run foodservice businesses. With the right incentive program, Unilever believed it could inspire these businesses to drive brand switching and buy more of its foodservice products.
Especially when you must engage a sophisticated, high-achieving audience, rewards are important, but inspiration is crucial.
After profiling Unilever’s target market, Incremental created a powerful marketing strategy and program to inspire sophisticated American foodservice businesses: rather than simply offering travel rewards, Unilever Food Solutions would offer its independent selling partners the Access to Adventure.
A key idea underpins the annual Access to Adventure incentive program: it’s your chance to take the trip of a lifetime and discover money-can’t-buy experiences.
The promise of adventure informs every part of this incentive program. To launch Access to Adventure Africa, every invitee received a launch kit featuring a high-value gift: a pair of binoculars to take on safari. The adventure itself spanned a helicopter flight over Victoria Falls, a wildlife safari with the Maasai Mara in Kenya, hot-air ballooning across the savanna, whitewater rafting, and much more. Plus it’s not only the business owners who travel; their partners join in the adventure too.
To structure this high-value incentive program’s buying period, Incremental utilised their unique Upside Only™ financial model. This model allowed Unilever to sidestep expensive upfront reward costs. Instead, extra sales generated by the Unilever’s independent selling partners paid for all the Access to Adventure travel experiences.
During the 12-month buying period, regular data-rich eDMs built engagement. These eDMs showed participants their sales, projected sales, time remaining, and the sales targets required to earn their Access to Adventure reward. A simple-but-powerful key mechanic also built engagement by ticking-off participant milestones en route to their adventure of a lifetime.
As well as bringing to life the promise of adventure during the buying period, Incremental also brought to life the business of selling during the adventure. Incremental tailored the adventure’s educational experiences to ensure the high-achieving business owners remained engaged. Incremental curated the educational topics, and, with Unilever’s signoff, organised for international speakers to breath life into hot-button industry topics.
Access to Adventure continues to build year-on-year: the number of companies participating builds; the number of people attending builds; and the sales for Unilever Food Solutions build too.
Thanks to this program, 270 participants – or 60% of Unilever’s entire United States participating base – grew sales by 11% year-on-year.
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