Delivering the customer experience at home? The example of the Big Mamma marketing strategy on Instagram

Big Mamma is the result of a meeting between two young HEC students, Tigrane Seydoux and Victor Lugger. They decided to collaborate and launch a chain of trendy Italian restaurants at affordable prices. In May 2015, their very first restaurant opened in Paris. Today the chain has 15 restaurants.

How did two young from outside the restaurant industry manage to create an empire that has become one of the largest economic groups in the capital?

They owe their success above all to the strength of their marketing and communication strategy. The authenticity of their products and the warm, talented staff straight from Italy also play an important role.

Every day, each trattoria opens its service and announces with a shout: “Buongiorno! “and “Buena sera! “in front of a long queue of customers. To get to their restaurants, reservations are not possible. First come, first served, but this does not discourage customers, because every evening the restaurants are fully booked. Thus, what could be seen as an inconvenience is used as an advertising argument, the customer attracts the customer.

However, the current health situation (which poses great challenges to brands in their customer relationships) has resulted in the closure of restaurants. As a result, Big Mamma has had to adapt its strategy to bring its values and culture into the home. From now on, the marketing magic happens in the customer’s home.

Big Mamma faced a major marketing challenge: to maintain and enrich its brand image directly in the homes of its customers without distorting the relationship it has maintained with them since its creation.

BIG MAMMA BELONGS TO THE BIG “FOODPORN” COMMUNITY

To study the customer perception of Big Mamma on Instagram, we extracted and analysed all posts mentioning the brand since January 2020.

Top hashtags from Big Mamma mentions on Instagram
Top hashtags from Big Mamma mentions on Instagram

The analysis of the top hashtags allows us to understand to which community the group is attached on Instagram.

We can see that the publications mentioning Big Mamma are part of the large #ItalianFood and #FoodPorn community. A tasty mix of Italian food photos where food and products are put on stage (#foodphotography).

On social networks, the brand participates in the food porn craze by producing visual food content published by consumers or influencers.

This practice allows them to create free and qualitative publicity by highlighting their products in an advantageous way. The aim is to whet the appetite of their consumers.

A REPUTATION CONTROLLED BY POWERFUL STORYTELLING

By detecting the keywords most used by the publications that mention Big Mamma on Instagram, we can see that the brand’s reputation is well controlled. A triptych can be seen among the keywords :

  • The location of the restaurants. Paris is the one that comes up the most in the keywords because the brand has 8 restaurants and a bar there. The cities where Big Mamma is located are not insignificant, they embrace the atmosphere of the brand.
  • The names of the restaurants. Cult places, their decoration or even the crockery straight from Italian second-hand shops, plunge you into a unique and elaborate universe. The customers appreciate this and are used to taking pictures of them. Big Mamma is very interested in this because it is an integral part of the customer experience. Advanced sensory marketing that is establishing the reputation of both the cuisine produced and the places where it is eaten.
    Popular Italian dishes and ingredients. The promise of Big Mamma’s meals is to import Italian cuisine and its atmosphere.
  • The products are carefully selected and come directly from small producers in Italy with artisanal know-how. Each dish and ingredient contributes to the storytelling
Top keywords of posts mentioning Big Mamma on Instagram
Top keywords of posts mentioning Big Mamma on Instagram

MAINTAINING CUSTOMER RELATIONS AT HOME

The number of mentions on Instagram has been decreasing since the beginning of 2020, a reason that could be attributed to the current health crisis with the resulting closure of restaurants or curfew. Nevertheless, despite the closures, the average number of daily mentions on Instagram remains satisfactory.

Number of publications mentioning Big Mamma since 2020
Number of publications mentioning Big Mamma since 2020

The challenge for Big Mamma is to share the experience of its customers outside of on-site catering. To do this, while reassuring on hygiene and safety, the brand promoted its home delivery services in several ways on social networks:

  • Announcing the click and collect with an Instagram post featuring the squadra.
  • Sharing videos of their employees delivering orders to maintain the intimacy of the brand/customer relationship.
  • Creation of the Napoli Gang.

DEPLOYMENT OF NEW CLICK AND COLLECT SERVICES: STORYTELLING IN HOME DELIVERY

Publications reporting on home deliveries of Big Mamma products mention the click and collect service offered by the group. More specifically, the service deployed for this purpose: Napoli Gang. These mentions indicate that the promotional marketing around the service is working. The customers thus affix the name of a brand attached to the brand when they make their delivery, in the same way as Uber Eats. In this way, a strong link is created between them and Big Mamma.

Top keyword associations in publications mentioning Big Mamma and home delivery
Top keyword associations in publications mentioning Big Mamma and home delivery

Created in July 2020, Napoli Gang is a grocery and Italian food delivery service located in Paris. The company’s objective is to become the reference for Italian food at home at reasonable prices.

BIG MAMMA’S HOME-MADE RECIPES

Despite the reduction in publications, periods of confinement are marked by peaks in publications on Instagram of home-made recipes that mention the group. Although customers no longer eat there, they nevertheless become stakeholders and become immersed in the brand’s activity by creating their own story. A strategic rebound effect allowing Big Mamma to maintain its reputation on Instagram.

Evolution of the number of homemade recipe posts mentioning Big Mamma on Instagram
Evolution of the number of homemade recipe posts mentioning Big Mamma on Instagram

To encourage customer participation, several means are used:

  • Adding the recipe for their cheese sauce to the receipts.
  • Restaurants are converted into grocery shops in order to sell the products of their dishes. Customers can then make the recipes at home, including the creation of “Do it yourself” kits.
  • The publication and sharing of their recipes on social networks. During the first containment, the Big Mamma account published a video of homemade gnocchi made by one of their chefs, which reinforces the authenticity of the brand’s experience.
  • The sale of their cookbooks containing the best recipes from the chain’s many restaurants.

All these means have the same objective: to encourage Internet users and customers to produce their recipes and share the results on social networks

SETTING UP PARTNERSHIPS WITH INFLUENCERS

Finally, the craze for the brand is supported by influencers, some of whom are invited to share their experiences on social networks. Since the first containment, Big Mamma has been increasing the number of contests in partnership with influencers, especially on Instagram. Here are some examples: My Better Self, My Little Box, Clerben Wellboy.

This strategy allows the brand to maintain a high level of visibility and even increase its community. On the other hand, it strengthens the acquisition mechanisms for the new home delivery services. Indeed, the prizes to be won are meals for a year with free delivery or one of their recipe books.

STUDY THE IMPACT OF YOUR MARKETING STRATEGIES

Thus, in a logic of resilience following a crisis that was highly damaging for the restaurant sector, the Big Mamma group did not hesitate to readjust its marketing strategy. Through the deployment of new delivery services and their promotion, through home cooking and ingenious recipes, consumers have remained loyal to Italian Food.

Big Mamma proves that the customer experience is scalable.

Do you want to monitor your customers’ speeches, and identify the impact of your marketing strategies?

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