Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

How to move “natural” from marketing message to a word with meaning

Chobani TV Commercial

Chobani Television Commercial

[View on Youtube]

For this post to make sense, it would help if you first take a minute to view the TV ad in the link above.

Companies everywhere struggle with how to communicate “natural” and make it a marketing advantage. Chobani makes it a marketing advantage by making it a word with meaning.

And Chobani communicates the meaning of natural in a way that’s simple, highly visual, vivid, easy-to-understand and clever.

The natural claim is brought to life better than we’ve seen anyone do it before. And the message is delivered with humility: “One cup of yoghurt won’t change the world, but how we make it might.”

With this ad Chobani also hits back at its competitors – Danone and Yoplait – differentiating itself with the statement: “The only one that’s made with 100% natural ingredients”.

Chobani can use natural as a point of difference in the US, although in many countries and many categories natural is such a category standard – a hygiene factor – that it’s no-longer a point of difference.

But how you communicate the idea of natural – how you bring this word to life in the mind of the consumer – can still make it a point of difference, and this ad shows how.

The point of difference that you are creating may also be not between your brand and your competitors but between your category and other categories. Consumers do not, after all, shop one category without making reference to other categories.

If, for example, they are looking for a snack, they’ll compare every category – dairy, cereal bars, fruit, chocolate, snack nuts – that they think gives them a snack choice before they make their final decision. For a good percentage of consumers, the one that’s natural can hep swing that choice – as pistachios and almonds, the biggest snacking successes of the last five years, have abundantly shown.

Categories are not “going to merge”, they already have – just ask makers of traditional breakfast cereal, who have lost market share not to other cereal makers but to Belvita Breakfast Biscuits, Starbucks, eggs and ham, protein shakes, fruit and a host of other options.

If your product is genuinely natural, you could do a lot worse than follow Chobani’s example of how to bring naturalness to life.

Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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