By TREVZSAAGA ID 215007576
We’re passionate (verging on obsessive) about the creative process. Whether it’s coming up with new flavors or a music playlist for the stores, we throw ourselves into it because that’s what we love.
How would they have made it 100 years ago?”
When we make gelato at Messina, we ask ourselves one simple question: “How would they have made it 100 years ago?” The answer is simple – use ingredients in their raw and most natural form and make everything from scratch. ‘Ready-made’ ingredients including coloring’s, flavorings, preservatives and pastes have no place at Messina.
From the meticulous roasting and endless grind of pistachios, to the baking of our own apple pies and brownies, or to the sweet smell of stewed spiced rhubarb, absolutely everything is made lovingly in-house by our little team of mad professors. By using real ingredients, we achieve full bodied texture and flavour in our gelato. Our dairy flavors have low fat content because we use less cream, and our sorbets are completely fat free, dairy free and full of fruit.
Although our inspiration is derived from both our Sicilian heritage and a long history with food, it is our loyal (and slightly mad) customers who provide the real inspiration. They demand quality, a diverse range of flavours, and continually evolving concoctions fit for the most discerning bon vivant! Read what they think on Trip Advisor and Urban Spoon.
WHAT ABOUT ADVERTISING?
Well Messina claims paid advertising is a “waste of money”.
The local brand says instead, it relies on local and social advertising, and while rival Sydney ice cream store Cow and Moon beat it to the title of ‘best gelato in the world’, Gelato Messina is doing all the right things on social media.
Taking advantage of the #foodie trend of taking pictures of food and posting it on social pages, much of Gelato Messina’s social content is food porn. It’s simple but well-received. Gelato Messina boasts a queue out the door most days and nights, with more than 60,000 followers on Instagram and the same on Facebook. The local brand achieved this feat without using any paid marketing.
Declan Lee, co-owner of Gelato Messina explains: “We let the product speak for itself in many ways. Images are everything. We also like to maintain a very specific tone of voice that’s friendly and inviting to all. It’s not aimed solely at Gen Y or Millennials, it’s really about appealing to everyone. Our tone of voice must match the product.”
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN REGARDS TO INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC)
IMC is defined as an approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign, through a well-coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other.
As defined by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, integrated marketing communications ” …recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion and combines them to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.”
According to co-owner Nick Polamo Gelato Messina do not use a wide variety of mediums such as TV, Billboards, Magazines, and online banners for reach and frequency for its product. Messina solely relies on local (word of mouth) and social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and online partners (web pages) for advertising.
Further with names for special flavours like, “Vovovroom” an ‘iced vo-vo’ style gelato, “Robert Brownie Jnr” and “This is how we scroll”, a gelato flavour that includes chunks of Oregano Bakery scrolls, Gelato Messina engages its audience through humour and visual aesthetics.
Messina recently used Instagram to crowd source a flavour, asking fans to suggest a recipe they would like to be made by the company, the flavour was aptly titled, ‘Crowd Saucin”.
Moreover Messina doesn’t have any official ties with brands, but it gets a lot of approaches from brands keen to tap into its community.
Lee added: “We do a lot of collaborations with many brands but nothing that’s contractual. We love it. We don’t spend money on advertising or marketing as such. For me, development of our brand is about partnering with like-minded brands on interesting projects.”
Recent collaborations include Bill Granger, Williams Sonoma, Oregano Bakery, Bugaboo, Pottery Barn and Virgin Mobile AU. Messina’s other co-founder and head chef for Carpiagiani Nick Palumbo has also made several guest appearances on MasterChef Australia, which has helped build a national presence for the brand.
HONESTY (Customer Focus & loyalty)
Finally Lee stresses how honesty is key to the brand’s success: “We’ve grown a loyal fan base by living up to our brand promise. We make the best product we possibly can, from the best ingredients. Honesty in the message and in the process is critical. The rest is easy! We innovate, we are honest, and we create an experience around the product, from customer service to lighting in-store, to music, to the gelato quality.”
While Lee says the team doesn’t measure ROI of its activity, Messina’s large social following has no doubt added to the bottom line and grown awareness and ultimate success. Messina currently have 11 store locations around Australia:
• 7 stores in Sydney – Rosebery, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Bondi, Parramatta, Miranda, & The Star
• 3 in Melbourne – Fitzroy, Richmond, Windsor
• 1 on the Gold Coast – Coolangatta
Messina also has 1 location in the US
So there, MESSINA’s secret to success is simplicity, authenticity, innovation, customer focus / loyalty and above all a cost effective IMC.
1. BusinessDictionary, 2016, ‘businessdictionary.com’ retrieved 3 May 2016, <http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/integrated-marketing-communications-IMC.html>.
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