The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) is the national trade association of the metal and composite can manufacture industry and its suppliers. CMI members are committed to providing safe, nutritious and refreshing canned food and beverages to consumers. Which is why CMI took the consumers’ concern about the safety of can linings seriously and replaced more than 90% of today’s food cans with alternative linings.
To establish a solid foundation and build trust in next generation linings. The desired outcomes were to:
Identify key stakeholders
Since CMI is a collaborative, member organization, we established a steering committee representing all CMI can manufacturers and can coating companies to provide strategic guidance on our efforts, leveraging the collective strength of the industry.
In order to shift the perception needle on can linings, we first needed to identify the key stakeholders influencing the can industry. In a strategic mapping session, Look East and the steering committee identified different stakeholder groups and defined their level of interest and influence. Segments included media, NGOs, food companies and more.
After these important groups were defined and prioritized, we recruited stakeholder ambassadors, drafted materials for them to use and scheduled briefings to help them understand critical information and messaging about next generation can linings.
Educate key media on the evolution of can linings
After establishing the target audience through digital ethnography, it was time to develop a compelling values-based story and test the messaging to be sure it would resonate.
The Look East team started by gathering information for key industry topics of concern from the steering committee. We then developed a message to address each concern and tested the information with consumers, gathering feedback and finalizing the messages for market consumption. These messages would later be used for media training with the third-party experts and briefings with media.
After the messaging was developed, we met with media outlets that were open to industry briefings on the latest safety research and connect them with the third-party experts.
Engage third-party experts
In order to help CMI remain informed about evolving stories that involve the can industry, news about linings or CMI, Look East employed our media monitoring (LINK) system. The Look East team would gather and distribute a weekly report and provide insights on any traditional and social stories that had been covered in the past week. This kept the steering committee informed of any new or growing concerns from online conversations.
A Rapid Response Team of third-party experts in the field was assembled to respond and engage in discussions about next generation linings with media to correct misinformation. Third-party experts included professionals with extensive knowledge in sustainability, nutrition, toxicologist and other fields that relate to inquiries received by the can industry. To date, members from the Rapid Response Team have been featured in more than 15 online media sites.
Broaden consumer acceptance of canned foods
Look East conducted digital ethnography research to identify the consumer segments most likely to influence high impact CMI target audiences.
“Wellness Mommas” were identified as the most influential audience. They take on the responsibility of trying to get their family to eat, drink and exercise in healthier ways, and their food and beverage choices reflect what they think is best for their family’s health.
After gathering the data from the digital ethnography research, the Refreshingly Real campaign, was established to encourage acceptance of canned foods and beverages by a normally food-critical, health-focused consumer audience – “Wellness Mommas.”
Refreshingly real (LINK) was rolled out on three social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and the content used was to engage an online community with content focused on showing how cans can make mom’s life a little easier.