Beth Sachan & Goo Goo Clusters

How Goo Goo Clusters Make History

Beth Sachan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Goo Goo Cluster, tells Lipstick Economy the story of the 107-year-old Goo Goo Cluster brand and how strategic relationships, creative customer experiences and a local focus have brought a national following to a hometown brand.

What should we know about Beth?

Beth is the Vice President of Marketing for Nashville’s iconic candy Goo Goo Cluster.  Since taking on the role of marketing in 2011 for the iconic brand, Beth has overseen the marketing efforts behind the company’s 100-year anniversary celebration, coordinated sponsorships with the Nashville Sounds and Predators, created chef’s programs, launched successful retail campaigns at retailers like Walgreens and Kroger, and managed all PR and advertising for the Goo Goo Shop in downtown Nashville.

And in her spare time, Beth is a great food blogger at Eat. Drink. Smile ( ) where you can check out food and drink happenings in Nashville or wherever Beth travels.

What makes a Goo Goo Cluster so special?

Beth tells the history of the original Goo Goo becoming America’s first combination candy bar.  When a mixture of marshmallow nougat, caramel, and fresh roasted peanuts were covered in a robe of milk chocolate, the magic happened.  Beth also shared some new product news that will make chocolate lovers even more happy.

How did the brand become so tied to Nashville?

Goo Goo was created here and the parent Standard Candy Company began in Nashville in 1901.  But the long-term partnership with the Grand Ole Opry and country music was what put Goo Goo Cluster on the map.   People all over the country began to hear about this little candy.  Beth tells us how Goo Goo Cluster continues to be part of the Nashville story and how the Opry relationship is being rekindled again.

Has the target audience for the brand changed?

In 2011, the target audience was aging and there was little marketing for the brand.  Younger consumers did not know the Goo Goo brand.  With rebranding, it was crucial to develop a younger audience.  Today, they span the ages and now with a retail store, they reach tourists from all over the world traveling to Nashville.  Their target audience includes event and wedding planners, retailers, tourists, families and their remaining older audience.

How has the retail store become an overall marketing strategy?

Opening the downtown location has allowed the Goo Goo brand to expand to tourists from around the world.  Goo Goo Cluster strategy focuses on home first, Tennessee second and then the South.  Having a retail store in the downtown area has become a key initiative in exposing the brand to a global audience coming to Nashville.

Influencers are part of the overall strategy.

Beth shared how influencers fit into their overall marketing.  She talks about the type of influencers that work best for the brand and how she identifies the best fit for Goo Goo.

How to work with limited marketing budgets?

Goo Goo Cluster is not a large company with a big marketing budget.  Beth says the importance of strategic relationships cannot be underestimated.  It starts with understanding how brands are complimentary and how promotions can be leveraged to the benefit of each partner.   Learn how the chef series began during the 100th anniversary and how it has grown through the years with the introduction of the retail store.  Celebrated chefs have found inventive ways to create their own version of Goo Goos.  From the success of those first activities, Beth gives examples of the many types of promotions Goo Goo participates in annually.

Resources and Links

Goo Goo Clusters

Goo Goo Cluster Chef Series

Bon Appetit

Beth’s Blog Eat Drink Smile

@BethEats on Twitter and Instagram

Beth Wallace Sachan on Facebook