How to Cook A Turkey: Butterball Gets a Website Right
The Problem: Online Strategies for B2C Goods Can Be Difficult
Developing a web strategy for a brand like Butterball isn’t as straightforward as it might appear. People are unlikely to buy a turkey online, so the goal isn’t focused on online sales or even lead generation. Butterball is selling a product that people are primarily interested in only 2-3 times per year and doing it through a through a third-party (grocers). How do you keep your brand top-of-mind in a situation like that?
Make it useful and memorable
What the Butterball site speaks to well, is answering the three questions that most people have when they cook turkeys:
- How big a turkey do I need for my guests?
- How can I safely defrost the turkey and how long will it take?
- How long and at what temperature should I cook the turkey?
The Butterball site answers these questions by giving a “how to” video the hero spot on the page and adding two calculators to its right. The video is solid (subtlety highlighting that Butterball turkeys come with extra conveniences), but it is the calculators; one for determining how long to thaw the turkey and one for determining the ideal size, that are the core offering. There are hundreds of sites with tips on how to cook turkeys, but the calculators are unique. As an example, the one that helps a shopper determine an appropriate turkey weight, allows users to specify number of adults and children, if you want leftovers and whether you are heavy or light eaters.
You can click on the screen grab below to visit the “how to” section of the Butterball site.
What Butterball Understands
- Holidays are a stressful time and there is a lot of pressure to bring your family the “perfect meal”. Confidence building is a big point of need for their potential customers and brand loyalists.
- The Butterball brand “owns” turkey. Maintaining that brand awareness is important, but so is increasing the overall market for turkeys. That means making it as simple to plan and execute on a turkey meal as possible.
- Providing tools that alleviate some of that stress by removing uncertainty (will the turkey be big enough, how do I ensure I don’t over cook it etc) strengthens the Butterball brand and makes it more likely that people cook turkeys.
That is not to say the site perfect. The fact that this page isn’t the number one organic search result for “how to cook a turkey” or “how to defrost a turkey” is odd. The top results are good sites, but Butterball should be able to own anything related to “turkey” if they try.
Moreover, despite it being a holiday weekend (Easter), this “how to” page isn’t featured on the Butterball homepage. I understand Butterball wanting to grow the non-holiday turkey market, but on Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas, it would make sense to me that this content be featured. In another odd quirk, the “Ask an expert” Click to Chat feature (I am a big proponent of click to chat on websites) wasn’t live midday on Easter Saturday.
Thoughts? Other examples of B2C companies without direct channels doing a great job online? Let me know below.