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There's always new ways of reaching old avenues.

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Change is hard.

Especially for Bernick’s- a centurion company who had been changing continuously for those 100 years. That seems counterintuitive – shouldn’t change be easy for an organization who constantly is? Just because it happens doesn’t mean it’s a natural or welcomed phenomenon. Bernick’s knew they wanted to change; yet they didn’t exactly know how. They enlisted Leighton Interactive to design and develop a website that was both dynamic and responsive. They wanted it to be easy to update, a platform for social media integration, and all encompassing to highlight its locations (six), products (dozens), and services (infinite, really). Leighton Interactive did that. Yes, we created that website. We proved our work works.

And we changed Bernick’s forever.

  • HubSpot
  • Content Management System
  • Email Marketing

We listened to what Bernick’s needs were

We aligned our efforts to fulfill those needs. But Wait, There's More


Bernick’s is a fifth generation, family-owned distributor located in central Minnesota. They employ 650+ team members across their two-state territory. Their primary objective was a website that accurately reflected the vast scope of Bernick’s comprehensive beverage, grocery, vending, and service solutions. They wanted their unique culture, rich history, and community leadership to be prominently highlighted. Secondary, Bernick’s site needed to be designed with a Content Management System (CMS) to meet the technical and administrative needs of the company with their scope … in a format that was user-friendly. And tertiary was Bernick’s desire to have the website increase revenue opportunities, likewise for obtaining potential suppliers, Team Members, and the community at large. In fact, contained within Bernick’s RFP they listed 11 goals in bullet form, and attracting and generating leads was number eight. Eight.

Change is hard.

Especially if you don’t know where you want it to come from.


As the initial discovery process wore on, Leighton Interactive recognized an opportunity where Bernick’s was concerned. What if their eighth goal was where the change they desired could be born? What if we could align our values- driven, innovative, adaptable, visionary, transparent, thinker, and reliable with this organization to make big things happen for both entities?

Enter inbound marketing, and enter a pretty heavy rock, altering the landscape on which Bernick’s had built their business for decades. To get in front of the people who they needed to get in front of. To acknowledge the self-imposed limitations they placed upon themselves.

To convince Bernick’s that in order to really change, they’d have to be pioneers. There wasn’t a single case study available that highlighted the success other distributors had with inbound marketing … because no one else in the industry had done it.


A daunting opportunity- our favorite. One of the limitations Bernick’s had was the fallacy they had exhausted every single opportunity in the marketplace. They talked to everybody. Well perhaps that was true, but not everybody had talked to them.


A simplified explanation of inbound marketing is- it turns websites into a magnet. We did that for Bernick’s. Created content- research, persona development, and message/voice. Optimized it for search engines, and shared it on social media. Then, engaged their prospects with landing pages, calls to action, and personalized email. Then we did it again... and again... and again.

Leighton Interactive’s tactics and strategy granted Bernick’s four pieces of content a month, two downloadable offers, eNewsletters written, sent, and managed on their behalf, and social media management and sharing. We created three personas that solidified who their core customers were and then we launched, continuing to create content for Bernick’s.


It didn’t take long for our proof to appear. We had defined the goals of our proposed inbound marketing plan for a 12-month period, forecasting we’d hit our stride in six months after efforts gained traction. With an annual goal of 25 SQL (sales qualified leads; translating to visitors who have taken action on the website and submitted their information with a request to be contacted regarding their needs), Bernick’s signed off.

And change? Change happened. In a big and in a fast way. In the first month, Bernick’s visits increased 1,858 percent. Their leads? 58, and 46 were SQL. In the first month. And the prospects they talked to before wanted to talk to them now. Previous customers came back. The people we had to get in front were now behind us. And change? It’s only just beginning at Bernick’s. That’s our 100 Proof Promise.

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