By Fresh Produce Marketing founder Lisa Cork
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been involved in two client projects that reminded me how common it is for growers and produce companies to make mistakes when it comes to their branding, positioning and customer communications. The common element these mistakes share is they cost you money – sometimes physical dollars but more often, lost or missed opportunities.
Let me explain by example.
I recently created a new brand and packaging for fresh potatoes. The bags look amazing (if I do say so myself) but once a great bag is done, the hard work begins – getting the consumer to buy it.
The potato company has long been users of corporate sponsorship marketing. Supporting a sports team, giving away free products at events are some of the marketing tools they’ve used to create awareness for the company and their products.
Given my history with the brand, I was asked to work with their sponsorship contacts to create awareness for the new potato brand through an upcoming event giveaway.
As I always do when looking forward, I start by looking backwards. In previous years, their product giveaway headline was: ‘We’re giving away ten tonnes of potatoes.’ While the statement is factual, it is missing a key element: What’s in it for the people at the game to walk to a different part of the stadium to get the free bag? And more importantly, do people at the game care how much volume is being given away?
This situation perfectly describes common mistake 1: Wrong Message.
Rather than focus on the volume being given away, the more impactful headline is to tell the consumer (or in this case, the game attendee) how the giveaway benefits them. Given the new potato bag is all about how one bag of potatoes meets your everyday potato needs (roast, bake, mash, chip, wedge), one of the new brand’s benefits is it solves the daily meal prep grind.
Given a percentage of the sports event attendees are women…and likely women who prepare daily meals for their family, I changed the key headline. Rather than, “We’re giving away ten tonnes of potatoes” the new headline became, “Dinner…Sorted.” The supporting copywriting then focussed on how ‘one bag now does it all.’
Do you see the difference in the message? The ten tonnes statement is very grower-centric. The dinner sorted statement is very consumer-centric.
When you get your message wrong, whether it’s your brand, your on-pack comms, your marketing, your social messaging…it costs you money, impact and results.
Case study 2. I am currently working with an organic fruit grower and I’ve had the pleasure of creating a new, very cool, brand for them. Step 2 of brand development is creating their positioning statement. A positioning statement is a key phrase and a collection of words/visuals that communicate two things to targeted consumers:
- What makes the brand unique
- What the brand stands for
Creating a positioning statement, one that has longevity and is congruent with the brand and the company, takes work. It is not just a matter of throwing a few words together. A good positioning statement requires a deep dive into the mission, vision and values of the company. It requires standing in the shoes of the target audience – who is the statement speaking to? It needs to be forward thinking – especially if it is a food product. To be forward thinking, this requires knowledge of food and consumer trends and then determining where the product fits now and in the future.
To give you a real example, guess how many positioning statements I created before nailing the perfect statement? I created…and rejected over 115 positioning statements before finally landing on the one that was exactly right.
Herein lies common mistake 2: Wrong Positioning
If your positioning is wrong or does not reflect who you are as a company and who your targeted consumers are…it’s hard to get your branding and marketing message right. The moment your branding and marketing messages are off track, it costs you money and missed opportunity.
The third and final mistake is: Wrong Audience
Far too often I work with produce companies who are not sure who they are ‘talking’ to. Or, they adopt a one-message-fits-all approach and hope something will stick along the way. Just like getting your positioning wrong, get your target audience wrong and once again it will waste your money and cost you an opportunity.
Marketing today is more complicated than ever. Endless social channel options, the speed which preference for social channels changes, the challenges of demographic diversity and the differing needs of each demographic segment…it is enough to make you want to scream “stop.”
So what is the key to getting branding, positioning and comms right? The key is to always go back to the basics.
Whenever I start with the new client, we start with a positioning workshop. This is a chance to go back to the basics and evaluate or develop key outcomes like mission, vision, values, goals, objectives, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and then determine if current branding, marketing and positioning is working for or against the business’ mission, vision, values and goals. This definitely sounds a bit simpler than it is, but when you distill a business down to basics, so many things become clear.
If you recognise any of the three mistakes just discussed, remember it is never too late to change direction. The key is being willing to make the change…and being prepared to reap the benefits that result. Call or email me if you want to know more.
Head on over to www.freshproducemarketing.com for my contact details.