Branding Advance Brands

An old adage says, "If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door." In today's computer age, Back40 Design suggests that a surer way to success may be to "build a better website. "That is exactly what they did for Advance Brands, one of the county's largest suppliers of fully cooked, frozen meat products, marketed under the brand name, Fast Fixin'®.

The new and improved website has been up and running for about three weeks. Spokespersons for both companies say they are extremely pleased with the impressive difference the website is making in a very short time.

"In less than a month, we've seen a dramatic response to our new website," said Jeannie Oliver, Advance Brand's Consumer Affairs Coordinator. "Five times more people have asked to be placed on our Fast Fixin' Fanatics e-mail list. We definitely attribute the increase to our new website that Back40 helped us design."

Bridget Little is Advanced Brand's Senior Manager Consumer Marketing and Director of Media Relations. She agrees with Oliver that customers' positive response is especially impressive when you consider that promoting the Fast Fixin' brand through their website is one of Advance Brands' primary means of marketing on a nationwide basis.

"We firmly believe that the best form of advertising is word-of-mouth," said Little. "Fast Fixin' is a brand that maintains an especially high degree of customer loyalty. Having a website that encourages ongoing communication with those customers meets more of their needs, plus increases word-of-mouth, which were major marketing goals. We decided the most effective and cost efficient way to meet those goals would be through a multi-purpose website."

Dave Miller, President of Back40 Design, said his company has also experienced first hand the power of word-of-mouth advertising. He credits a solid reputation, spread by one satisfied customer to another, as the primary reason his web development company has substantially grown and expanded. In addition to website design, the company now provides a full range of graphic design services, including brochures, corporate logos, annuals reports, letterhead and posters.

"Customers asking us to do more and referring us to potential customers is what has propelled us to a full-service, graphic design firm so quickly," said Miller. "It was exciting to work with the Advance Brand marketing team, using our website and graphic design expertise to help them build on their own customer loyalty and fine reputation."

Little said that she and Oliver already had a clear idea of all they wanted their new Fast Fixin' website to accomplish. The original website needed to be updated for a fresh look, consistent with the cheerful, family-oriented Fast Fixin' packaging designed by Little. They also wanted to generate an e-mail list of "Fast Fixin' Fanatics." Through two-way e-mail communication, the company now provides information on Fast Fixin' products and nutritional information. It also delivers coupons, recipes and promotes their rewards and fundraising programs. Customers also initiate e-mails, asking questions and making suggestions.

"We knew we were asking for a great deal out of a website," said Little. "It was going to be very complicated, considering all it needed to do. However, the site also had to be extremely user-friendly, easy to navigate, even fun. It had to be administered inhouse, so we could make necessary updates and revisions ourselves. It was a challenge, but we feel we got everything we wanted from Back40's design. Considering the major response we've already experienced, it's definitely meeting our expectations."

Oliver explained that Back40 Design created a template for the company to facilitate broadcasting e-mail messages. The design was consistent with that of their website for easy recognition and association with the Fast Fixin' brand. It allowed the marketing department to quickly compose and e-mail information to the customers.

"We're extremely pleased with the cost effective turnkey approach Back40 offered," said Oliver. "They host the website and are available for any help we may need, in addition to what we choose to do ourselves. They continue to share responsibility for the ongoing success of the website. That gives us a great deal of confidence."

Dave Miller suggested that one of the main reasons for the success of the website is that it was the result of a close collaborative effort with Advance Brands' marketing team.

"Bridget and Jeannie knew exactly what they wanted to accomplish and already had a wonderful design concept for us to build on," said Miller. "They were open to suggestions, allowing us to add our own creative and technical abilities to complement their own. We have many clients who want us to do it all, just start from scratch and go with it. That's great, but it's also rewarding to work closely with a client who wants to play an important role in their own marketing."

Advance Brands' Fast Fixin' products are frozen, fully cooked chicken, beef and pork items. They are distributed nationally and can be found locally in Wal-Mart Supercenters, Sam's Clubs, Albertson's, as well as Homeland and Buy for Less stores. All products come with a full, money-back guarantee and a toll free contact number listed on the package. The website is

Those wanting more information on Back40 Design's graphic design and website services may visit their website at They are also invited to stop in at the Back40 Design offices at 3201 E. Memorial or call Dave Miller at 478-4080.

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