Reimagining Value: How Standout Brands Create New Choices
Consumer values aren’t static. They’re not constrained or predicable either. Consumer values evolve, intersect and recombine in ways that continually open new opportunities for agile brands. The key is to discover the combination of values that are not being served in the current marketplace and to fill that niche.
Take yogurt, one of the fastest growing categories. Successful products in the yogurt category have redefined value by meeting a collision of consumer needs with new product mashups – creating healthy, guilt-free indulgences; acceptable mid-morning and afternoon mini-meals; new options for spreading one’s protein intake throughout the day; and more.
As the yogurt category becomes more competitive, marketers are finding new ways to define value that will make a new brand stand out. Consider these examples:
Dannon Oikos Triple Zero offers the higher protein content of Greek yogurt in a variety of fruit, coconut and vanilla flavors. The packaging prominently displays that each 5.3 ounce cup contains 15 grams of proteins, plus three big zeros: 0 added sugar, 0 artificial sweeteners and 0 fat. Most yogurt products have been marketed to women, leaving a wide-open opportunity for a “brogurt” to capture the market for fitness-minded men. While it’s not the first “manly: yogurt, Oikos Triple Zero looks to be the most successful as the official yogurt of the NFL, endorsed by Carolina Panthers’ star quarterback, Cam Newton. Its clean label support the tagline, “Possibly the Perfect Protein Snack.”
Lifeway Protein Kefir targets consumers who love yogurt but are looking for a variety and additional health benefits. Kefir has been called the “Eastern European yogurt,” and this version offers a distinctively tart and tangy flavor with the drinkable consistency of a smoothie. A 16-ounce bottle provides two servings, each with 20 grams of protein, 160 calories and no fat. Targeted to fitness buffs and athletes, it’s easy to carry along and consume after a workout. Lifeway claims that carbohydrates in the kefir increase protein absorption, while the 12 probiotics naturally enhance digestive and immune system health. It’s a smartly differentiated response to today’s consumer focus on exercise and nutrition.
Stonyfield Farm’s Brown Cow yogurt illustrates how depth marketing can be used to reach a particular kind of shopper in a particular environment. The Brown Cow brand began years ago as an indulgent, full-fat “cream top” yogurt with limited geographical availability. Today Brown Cow has fully embraced the healthy eating trend with a fat-free, GMO-free, clean-label yogurt sold exclusively by Whole Foods – the one retailer most shoppers regard as practically synonymous with organic foods. Think of it as a highly targeted private label version of an established premium brand.
Publix Indulgent, as a store brand, is taking a different approach. Yogurt is one of the very few categories where private labels have struggled to keep up with name brands. Publix is helping reverse that trend with an affordable whole-milk and cream yogurt “disguised as dessert” in 10 different flavors. No good/better/best price-tiering here.
The main takeaway is that standout new products are redefining value, making an impact on consumer regimens and behaviors. Their laser-like focus makes these standouts highly successful at delivering relevant value for very niched segments.
And that’s looking at only one CPG category. For more inspiration on how to jumpstart your own trend-setting brand innovations download: Patterns Issue I 2015: Innovation Everywhere.