A new report by independent creative agency isobel reveals what lies behind the success of the UK’s fastest-growing new food and soft drink brands, and outlines in ten clear steps how established brands can emulate their impressive performance.
The report surveyed more than 250 marketers from long-established companies to see how they measure up against the burgeoning challengers who are shaking up how brands think, act and communicate to consumers. It became clear that many were at risk of losing their direction, and there was a need to reignite brand passion.
Brands with Mojo
isobel talked to founders and c-suite execs from 12 fast-growing challengers, including Ben Branson of non-alcoholic spirit alternative Seedlip, Kabuto Noodles’ Crispin Busk and Cat Gazzoli of baby food company Piccolo, and identified the key unifying characteristics that link to their success.
Key findings in the report include:
If your product is below par, fix it immediately: We’re living in an age of unprecedented scrutiny, so it’s more important than ever that products measure up. As Crispin Busk puts it, for success “you have to have a product you can believe in and be proud of”. Now sold in more than 1000 stores, Kabuto is proving a very real threat to market leader Pot Noodles, even beating them to the top spot in some supermarkets.
Of the 250 marketers surveyed, more than one in five (21%) said they believed their products were ‘below par’.
Be consistent: One thing fast-growth brands have in common is consistency. Seedlip – which has proved a phenomenal success, with Diageo taking a 20% stake – is a great example. It uses only the finest natural ingredients and has a single, unifying ‘nature’ aesthetic that brings the brand to life across every touchpoint – on the bottle design and bar displays, even at its own Chelsea Flower Show garden.
Yet, a third of marketers (33%) admitted there is little consistency in how their brand story is conveyed.
Keep close to your consumers: If a brand wants to get its mojo back, it must understand its consumer base and develop effective communications. Founder of £2m-turnover baby-food company Piccolo, Cat Gazzoli, says: “We bring the customer with us. There is a dual relationship and communication. Ultimately, you need people who use the product day by day to be involved in the marketing decisions.”
More than a quarter (27%) of the marketers admitted their brands are not customer-centric, and one in five (20%) said they’re not responsive to customer needs.
“Very few established brands embrace the fast-growth characteristics of younger brands,” says Paul Houlding, Managing Partner of isobel. “In the early days, brands thrive off energy, ideas and the verve of youth. Every day brings new discoveries, and if built on, can deliver rapid growth. But there’s often a point at which companies forget to keep learning and only think about ‘doing’, which can be when growth stops. Yet, there’s not a brand isobel talked to that doesn’t want fast growth or to be transformed back to its glory days. Not enough established companies are embracing the traits of these mojo brands, but there’s a lot they can do to bring that magic back and remain relevant for a new generation.”
Seedlip founder Ben Branson neatly summarises, “It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, no one can see into the future. Become friends with the unknown, get up close and personal and embrace it.”
‘Getting Your Mojo Back – Ten Lessons from Fast-growth Companies’ is available for download here.