The Kansas Wheat Commission is a grower-funded, grower-governed advocacy organization working to secure the future of Kansas wheat in the global market through international trade, research, export system studies and continually improved varieties of wheat. Its mission is to increase wheat producer productivity and profitability through research, education and domestic and international market development. The KWC is funded by a voluntary, two cent assessment on each bushel of wheat produced in Kansas.
The KWC came to us seeking a new approach to their harvest blogger tour. The need for a new approach was heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, as an in-person event was not safe. In addition, we felt that although the reach for the blogger campaign was sufficient, KWC could shift focus to a larger, untapped target audience that had little exposure or established affinity for the Kansas wheat farmer and product. Today’s major consumer is no longer the middle-aged women who follow the bloggers of the former tours; instead, it is millennial women who not only consume content, but also create content.
With this new audience identified, we further researched purchasing behavior and channel preferences to determine our strategy, and continued to consider how to create a greater impact with an audience we couldn’t interact with in-person. Subscription boxes have become extremely popular over the past few years because they’ve redefined the delivery experience of everyday items from razors to makeup to secondhand clothing. We wanted to tap into the exciting yet practical formula of subscription boxes to create a more engaging relationship between wheat farmers and this audience. We developed two limited supply boxes, one with baking activities, the other with crafting activities, to send to this audience for free as a way to spend a fun afternoon with their family, all the while creating a connection with and a better understanding of Kansas wheat and wheat farmers.
In order to promote these boxes, we collaborated with Instagram micro influencers located in Kansas that had an audience that matched our target audience and could authentically promote these boxes within their typical content. We chose these influencers because while their audience is small, their followers are more relevant and are more engaged than those of a larger influencer. In addition, this was a cost-effective approach to promotion to keep the overall campaign within the client’s budget.
Both crates sold out in less than 24 hours. While the vast majority of crates went to Kansas addresses, crates were sent to 18 states, including California, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah, Wisconsin, Maryland, Ohio, Washington, Minnesota, Illinois and Georgia. With this reach, we were able to gain nationwide recognition for Kansas Wheat Farmers, establishing shared values and affinity between otherwise very different people.