DeBrand Fine Chocolates Fort Wayne, Indiana
DeBrand Fine Chocolates
Fort Wayne, Indiana
“New online customers make up our fastest-growing segment.”Cathy Brand-Beere, PresidentDeBrand Fine Chocolates has 100 employees.link www.debrand.comGrowing up in a family that owned a confectionary business, Cathy Brand-Beere began making chocolates at age eight and selling them to her classmates. Her dream of opening "a real chocolate shop" became a reality in 1987, when she founded DeBrand Fine Chocolates and opened the first DeBrand store in her childhood home. The company specializes in gourmet chocolates delicately crafted to create a heavenly, mouth-watering experience that has made DeBrand Chocolates a coveted gift. "We constantly strive to maintain an extremely high level of excellence, from the ingredients to the packaging to the way we present our brand," says Cathy. DeBrand has since expanded to include four retail shops in Fort Wayne, a wholesale business, and a mail-order department that ships to chocolate lovers worldwide. The company launched its first website in 1998 and has since relied on online marketing to help grow the business.
They began using AdWords, Google's advertising program, in 2013 to market DeBrand's seasonal and holiday offerings. AdWords helps direct people searching for high-end chocolate gifts to the company's website. "We need to cast a wide net to create brand awareness with people who are looking for high-end chocolates," Cathy says. "At peak times, AdWords ads drive about a third of our total e-commerce traffic." Google My Business helps people find DeBrand's brick-and-mortar stores and see their holiday hours. The company also uses YouTube, Google+, and other social media platforms to entice online visitors. "People eat first with their eyes," Cathy says. "When they see beautiful chocolates on our social media, they're already thinking about buying before they even get to our website."
In 2015, DeBrand launched a mobile-friendly website to make it easier for customers to buy from their mobile phones or tablets. "We now have loyal customers in all 50 states," Cathy says. "Some of our biggest orders are shipping to Florida and California. I don't think those people would be able to find us if it weren't for our online presence."DeBrand Fine Chocolates has 100 employees.link www.debrand.com
Easley Winery Indianapolis, Indiana
“I’ve shifted almost 100 percent from traditional to online marketing.”Meredith Easley, Co-owner30% annual growthlink www.easleywinery.comMark and Meredith Easley carry on the legacy of Mark’s parents, who founded Easley Winery in 1974. Both Jack and Joan Easley had their own careers, but chose to pursue their passion. They started making wine in their basement and were instrumental in changing Indiana law to allow wineries to operate in the state. Today, the Easleys grow grapes on 40 acres in southern Indiana and produce their award-winning wines in the heart of their state, at their original location in downtown Indianapolis. They invite guests to visit the winery for local events, tours, and live music.
When they first took over the business, Meredith recalls, “There was something called the Internet. It was still pretty new. We didn’t have a presence with a website, so we just jumped in.” Since 2001, the website has helped them grow their brand and distribution, which has gone from 3,000 to 60,000 cases a year in seven states and two countries. Using tools like Google Alerts, Gmail, and Google Calendar, they manage their growing operation more efficiently. “Google Chrome is what we run on as a company, and we use Google Analytics to look at what’s happening with our website,” Meredith says. When it comes to creating Easley Winery’s “Internet face,” she says, “Google tools have always been my favorite, because they're so clean and easy to use. I’ve had other people say, ‘Oh, try this, try that.’ And I keep coming back to Google.”
From a basement in Indianapolis, Easley is now on the shelves of major retailers, “competing with global companies.” Online promotions allow them to “give the same impression” as huge companies and be a contender in the wine industry. With all this potential, Meredith wants to keep learning and improving their online presence. She sends her staff to training and plans another website redesign. To continue their tremendous growth, her top goal is to present “the best version of themselves” online, and to be “nimble and faster” than the big guys. Google helps her to do just that.
30% annual growthlink www.easleywinery.com