All natural – how human connections help build reputation
Ogilvy & Mather Spain
In the last few years, the war between manufacturer brands and distribution (or private label) brands has resulted in a major fall in sales for many manufacturer brands. We have all worked with clients who are working hard to recover that share.
The dairy sector is a case in point. During the last 10 years, manufacturer brands have seen share decline, largely due to the lower prices of private label goods. The reason why consumers are betting on these cheaper products is clear: the economic crisis. But this answer is as evident as it is incomplete.
For us, immersed in the strategic management of communications for the dairy brand Central Lechera Asturiana, this is a question about consumer commitment. Consumers are loyal and make compromises with those they feel do the same for them, whether that’s friends, employers or brands. Why would someone be faithful to a milk brand if they think all it provides is a container of milk?
We have analyzed the brand, its products and imagery, and, above all, we have listened. It is very important to understand consumers’ feelings, fears and worries. But this led us to reinforce our commitment but always keeping people in mind. But we also have to ask: who is the brand to consumers? Why does it have so many loyal consumers? The answer is clear: Central Lechera Asturiana is a cooperative of farmers – real people. They are all Asturian farmers (from the north of Spain) and all their the brand’s milk is from here. The brand has its values and is always faithful to them. It also has an irrefutable truth, and can build on this truth – nature and the milk’s origins – a real and relevant commitment to consumers. This is a long way from the “natural” promises made by other brands, which haven’t always been backed up by their labels.
The brand’s commitment to consumers is to be 100 percent natural, but truly natural, as it has always been. Consumers are tired of confusing labels, and tired of products that call themselves natural but that contain emulsifiers and other additives.
When Central Lechera Asturiana says there is nothing added, that means nothing. No artificial ingredients, no stabilizers, no artificial sweetener, no preservatives. Nothing more and nothing less than pure milk. If, to fulfill this commitment, the brand has to adapt its recipes, they will be changed. And if that increases production costs, so be it. A commitment is a commitment.
The brand regards its marketing as maintaining a relationship between people; human beings. We understand that for the brand to gain loyalty, it must behave like a group of farmers who have cows and feed people, who only look for the best and at a reasonable price. It deals with people who feel emotions, and who feel these emotions when buying milk, butter and yogurt. This is Central Lechera Asturiana.
The launch of the campaign based on this fresh understanding has added momentum to a recovery in market share that was already under way, adding two percentage points to market share, and extending the brand’s lead over other manufacturer brands by five percentage points.
The brand is now performing at its highest level for five years. It leads the dairy category on measures including "brand attraction" or "recommendation", recently was named the brand with the best reputation in Spain in the RepTrak 2017 rankings by the Reputation Institute .
Success comes from striving to understand how consumers buy and prioritize. That, and by being who we are, without additives, without extras, and without stretching the truth.