Transforming an Australian food icon

Simon Johnson

Transforming an Australian food icon

Simon Johnson

Pollen were approached by leading Australian fine food providore Simon Johnson to give their entire digital business a re-boot.

It’s very gratifying to work with great brands we love

We began by assessing the current state, both Simon Johnson’s and their key competitors. We did this by working with Simon directly to understand what made the business so successful at a retail level, and what he felt were the key differentiators that could inform our digital territories.

To dig a little further we also spoke to Simon’s long standing retail staff members and of course lots of customers about what they loved about the brand, what kept them coming back. (many for more than 20 years).

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What this told us was two-fold, people loved the unique product and equally the in-store staff knowledge around the creation and curation of these products. The romance was part of why they were so unique.

This is what we had to bring to life online.

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Curated & social content

Let’s be frank, most ecommerce experiences are not very mouth watering, quite the opposite. Though this is exactly what we had to achieve, a site and content strategy that inspired people to eat and cook. We did this in a few ways, firstly we created content that told the backstory of why the products were so unique (the product romance bit) and then created inspiration for users around key dining moments such as Sunday Brunch, The Ultimate Cheese Platter, Drinks at 6 etc - that then used the products to create something even greater.

The beautiful content we created to do all the above, is of course also used as teaser content on social channels to drive users to the site for the full story and ideally purchase.

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Creating great content is hard

How would this be achievable for the brand ongoing? On top of this, we also needed a concept to launch this new Simon Johnson online presence.

Then we came up with the thought, what if we could solve both problems?


So we created a launch campaign that would simultaneously raise awareness of the new online presence and also find a social media content creator for the brand — someone who could maintain the content strategy longterm. Voila, #hiremesimon

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To do this we utilised the ‘go-to’ foodie social channel, Instagram to recruit a new Simon Johnson social media food stylist. Effectively offering our audience a full time dream job doing something they already love to do, crafting and photographing food.

Featured entries

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Pollen have transformed the brands online position, raised our profile and shifted the sales north. Oh, and hired us a great new staff member, which was definitely above and beyond the original brief

Simon Johnson, Founder
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The promotion was also crafted to introduce the brand to a new younger millennial audience. To do this we targeted key social foodie influencers and bloggers to raise awareness of this dream role within the social foodie community, in addition to advertising the role on any job board we could find.

Finally after receiving more than 500 highly styled entries to the #hiremesimon hashtag, we chose our two finalists to compete in a live styling challenge at the main Sydney store. To add extra credence to the campaign and event we enlisted two of Australia’s most reputable chefs (Peter Gilmore + Ross Lusted) to judge the final winner along with Simon.

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Now that we have our wonderful content creator in place, we continue to support their journey and ensure the strategy is producing measurable results for the brand.

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