Marketing 50

POM Wonderful

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As the former worldwide marketing executive for the Franklin Mint and Teleflora (and still, with husband Stewart, the owner), Lynda Resnick, co-chairman of the privately held Roll International, knew more than her fair share about marketing die-cast collectibles and floral bouquets. But pomegranates? Not so much.

But, in 1998, Ms. Resnick who says she's "a woman of a certain age," took on the challenge after acquiring a pistachio farm that came with a pomegranate grove on the grounds.

A marketing team at her company already had plans "to create a shelf-stable product that would compete with Ocean Spray. I said it was a huge mistake. It had to be a 100% juice product."

Add Resnick-commissioned research on the fruit's health benefits and an innovative bottle design created by an in-house product development team-"It looks like one pomegranate on top of another and once you hold it you can't put it down"-and POM Wonderful was on its way.

Along with ads that challenge potential consumers to "Cheat death," a PR push was launched to put POM Wonderful in the hands-and cocktails-of the top tastemakers. Mixologist Dale DeGroff created POM-based drinks, and product was doled out to event-catering companies in Los Angeles and New York. POM is now "the No. 1 selling high-end juice in our category, according to [Information Resources Inc.]," says Ms. Resnick. "It's almost meteoric."

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