Case Study

Reinventing the Brand Ecosystem for Smithfield Foods



Smithfield Foods



Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Restaurant and Food Service


Goals & Objective

Unify the brand experience across a diverse portfolio & optimize and streamline management of the digital ecosystem.

The Challenge

Each brand in Smithfield’s portfolio had evolved independently, leading to inconsistent brand experiences and market perceptions. The sheer number of brands led to complicated digital ecosystem management, with varying strategies and levels of support needed across different brands — from organic social, influencer, and retail partnerships to websites, photo shoots, and paid media. This complexity was compounded by each brand having different business requirements, overlapping marketing activations, disparate budgets, and the challenge of aligning numerous internal and external stakeholders.

The Strategy

To address the fragmentation and complexity of the Smithfield brand portfolio, we implemented a tiered approach to brand management. This allowed us to:


Prioritize and service brands based on their strategic importance to Smithfield.


Develop a standard approach to marketing the brands that enabled us to leverage learnings from Tier 1 brands and translate them to lower tier brands.


Strategic Prioritization

Brands were categorized into four tiers based on their market impact, strategic importance, and resource needs. This ensured that high-priority brands like Nathan’s Famous received extensive support and resources to maximize their market presence and align with their historical significance.

Customized Resource Allocation

Each tier received a tailored level of support, ranging from comprehensive marketing campaigns and significant media spends for Tier 1 brands, to a more maintenance-focused approach for Tier 4 brands. This allowed for efficient use of resources and helped prevent resource wastage.


Focused Brand Management

By delineating brands into distinct tiers, brand managers could focus their efforts more effectively, applying distinct strategies and campaigns that were most suitable for their respective tiers. This focused approach helped in maintaining high standards of brand integrity and consistency.


Operational Efficiency

The tiered system facilitated smoother internal operations with clearer roles and expectations, reducing overlaps and confusion in brand management. This allowed brand managers to execute more coordinated and effective strategies.

Improved Brand Perception

With tailored strategies for each tier, every brand was able to strengthen its market position. High-priority brands achieved enhanced visibility and reinvigorated brand images, while lower-tier brands maintained stable market presence without diluting the overall brand value.

Clemson vs. N.C. State

Adaptive Strategy Implementation

The flexibility of the tiered system allowed Smithfield to quickly adapt to market changes and brand performance, reallocating resources and shifting strategic focuses as necessary to optimize outcomes.


The Results

  25% increase in product sales

  Executed 1000+ programmatic ad placements

  Coordinated more than 10 photo shoots

  Coordinated 64 active digital campaigns

  Produced over 100 unique social media posts monthly

Photo of father and son grilling meat during the barbecue party in their yard

The Takeaways


Scalable Brand Strategies are Crucial

Tiered management allows for scalable strategies that accommodate different brand needs within a portfolio and can significantly boost overall effectiveness.


Unified Branding Enhances Market Position

A cohesive brand experience not only simplifies marketing efforts but also strengthens market presence and consumer perception.


Effective Collaboration Drives Success

Coordinating efforts across multiple teams and partners is essential for managing complex brand portfolios efficiently.

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