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The brief

ilumi was a new brand launching into the food market which was allergen and gluten free. Each of the meals are packaged in clearly labeled sealed pouches, ready to be heated in the microwave. They contain locally sourced, high quality produce which are full of flavour. ilumi contacted us as they wanted to generate awareness of the brand to drive sales post-launch.

The first phase of the brief involved focusing on the core coeliac market to foster a close knit community that would drive advocacy for the brand.

Having successfully fulfilled the first phase of the brief, it was extended to incorporate a wider awareness programme to increase sales from a more mainstream audience. The biggest challenge was making the products applicable to different aspirational niches such as fashion and beauty.

The idea

Given the quality of the products, we wanted to bring them to life, forgetting the pouches that they’re heated in. Pre-prepared meals are often judged poorly after bad experiences that people may have had in the past, and we were keen to instead focus on the delicious ingredients and processes that go into making the ilumi meals.

We organised a launch event where allergy, lifestyle and food bloggers were invited to experience a cooking demonstration of the products being cooked from scratch. They were then presented with the meals as a sit down 3 course meal where the team could informally speak to each of the bloggers about their experiences of gluten free food and the concept behind the brand as well as insights as to what the industry was missing.

Following this initial burst of activity, we engaged in sampling activity to each of the allergy bloggers in the UK. We then worked closely with ilumi’s editorial team to ensure they were amplifying the buzz being generated by the bloggers. These testimonials went on to form part of the product descriptions for newsletters being sent to subscribers of their website.

After saturating the coeliac market and firmly putting ilumi on the map, we then worked closely with ilumi’s PR team to challenge non-coeliacs to try a gluten-free diet for a fortnight using a diet plan drawn up by ilumi’s nutritionist. This activity was intended to show that just because the food is allergen free doesn’t mean that it’s free from taste and can in fact leave you feeling healthier.

Following the success of this activity, we extended it to incorporate an energy plan sent to established fashion bloggers ahead of London Fashion Week.

The results

We have now secured over 145 blog posts on coeliac, mummy, beauty, fashion, lifestyle and food blogs, reaching over 2.5 million unique readers. The relationships that we have established amongst the coeliac blogging community is so strong that we are now able to engage them for product development activity and working parties to address messaging within the category.

ilumi have now secured 3 rounds of funding and go from strength to strength. We are now engaged in a monthly tasting pop-up events which give us a chance to introduce influencers to the brand directly, who would not normally write about food products. This has also provided ilumi with the opportunity to benefit from direct product feedback from different markets.

Tribal Media is great to work with from a blogger perspective. They instinctively 'get' bloggers and their motivations, so they are all easy around them and don't feel they're being pushed in any way. Very flexible and always contactable, Tribal simply deliver and are a pleasure to work with.

Nigel White, Marketing Director - ilumi