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King Arthur Flour’s Marketing Starter
If you had to name a food that defines the COVID-19 quarantine experience, what would it be?
For millions of Americans, the answer is homemade bread. The pandemic prompted a DIY baking craze that led to runs on yeast and flour stock in grocery stores across the country.
That’s been good for business at King Arthur Baking Company.
And while the 230-year-old company could have sat back and watched profits rise, it’s using its newfound popularity to forge a deeper connection with longtime customers and baking converts alike.
King Arthur’s multi-channel Baker’s Hotline connects customers with one of more than a dozen “baker specialists” who spend their days answering bakers’ most pressing questions.
Customers can reach out via Twitter and other social channels, website chat or on the 1-800 number King Arthur prints on every bag of flour.
From Customer Service to Customer Connection
Plenty of companies have customer support lines. What makes King Arthur different is the mandate it gives its baker specialists and the resources it’s dedicated to its hotline during the pandemic.
Baking specialist Maggie Perry told NPR that calls to the hotline have increased five-fold. She described her role as “this magical combination of a grandmother, your best friend and a therapist.”
The most common question she gets: “Why isn’t my sourdough starter rising?” But other people just call to say thanks or talk. King Arthur makes space for those conversations.
Where other brands might see a surge in customer service contacts as a cost to be controlled, King Arthur recognized a touchpoint and an opportunity to provide value and reinforce its brand promise.
King Arthur Flour Rebrands
King Arthur Flour expanded that brand promise by cooking up a well-executed rebrand to become King Arthur Baking Company this summer.
According to the company’s founder, Henry Wood, his flour shares common attributes with the legendary King Arthur himself — “purity, loyalty, honesty, superior strength, and a dedication to a higher purpose.”
Those attributes stick in the new brand, and King Arthur recognizes the greater role its baking products play in customers’ everyday lives. The connection between cooking and reduced anxiety is well established, and quarantine baking has become a wellness resource for countless Americans.
With its new brand and elevated customer interactions, King Arthur shows that during a pandemic, its ingredients and its story are essential.