Tag Archives: marketing

Think Inside the Box

think-inside-the-box

Think Inside the Box – Where is your Food Coming From?

Strolling the many beautiful aisles of BiG (Ben’s Independent Grocer) in Kuala Lumpur earlier in the year with an awesome Aussie food client I was suddenly struck by one product that jumped right off the shelf and slammed me in the face!  Amongst a sea of 50,000+ products (the average number of skus in a supermarket) and BiG is one of the best supermarkets I have ever visited and that’s quite a few in quite a few countries.

What captured my attention from One Degree Organic Foods was firstly a QR code front and centre of pack with a call to action to discover the ingredient story and what’s actually inside the box!  Funny you would think you could just read the ingredients panel for that information wouldn’t you?  You might also expect to see the usual blah blah blah statements that hide the truth on that same ingredient panel. Statements like “made from local and imported ingredients”, “sourced locally where possible”,…etc etc.  Not here, the family who own and operate One Degree Organic Foods are farmers themselves or as I like to call them farmpreneurs – the new breed of farmers who are entrepreneurs taking their value added brands and food products directly to consumers and baring their all in the name of authenticity and pride and passion!

We can not say it better than the owners so I will just quote what they say on their website: “We’re not a conglomerate, nor a big-box retailer, nor a chemical company with a food division. We’re a family who cares deeply about family farmers and the integrity of your food.” Does that resonate with you? It did with me in a busy brilliant independent grocer in KL, Malaysia in a cereals aisle that had local and imported options from the 4 corners of the globe to choose from.  I ended up standing at the shelf scanning QR codes and watching engaging YouTube videos of Pecan farmers in Peru, Buckwheat growers in central Canada and connecting with the passion these farmers showed to their land and the ingredients inside the box!

This is example is not only good social business its smart business and its smart marketing.  The best of the best in my mind.  Brilliantly efficient and transparent in a modern age where BIG is bad – who trusts large Multinational Profit Shifting Corporations anymore these days?  In fact in food, many have resorted to ‘faux branding’ creating cottage brands and hiding behind PO Box or Head Office Addresses with ABC Pty Ltd passing off a mass produced food item as something akin to a cottage industry startup family food brand.  If they are not creating ‘faux brands’ they are buying the genuine article and bringing them into their fold – founders and all to run alongside their mainstream food brands.  I have spoken  and written about this recent trend at Food&DrinkLive! in Sydney, Australia 2015 and in an earlier CreatoBlog Think, Act, Adapt and Innovate like a Startup!

Shoppers and consumers are asking nowadays – where is my money going? When I shop whether locally at an independent grocery store or with a major national supermarket chain they are already making a decision as to where they invest their hard earned $$$.  After get to the supermarket shelves or jump online you faced with 100s upon 100s of brands to chose from before you make another decision as to which company will you support. That support is being consciously or unconsciously driven more towards small, independent, family owned businesses more than ever before and there are many reasons for those choices.

Think about your own shopping decisions you take.  Of course price is important and as the famous jingle goes “everyone loves a bargain! ”  However do you also think of the following factors in your decisions at the shelf or when shopping online?

  • How is this food grown? How are the animals treated? Is it sustainably farmed?
  • Is this a genuine real article?  How much has my food been processed, added to, tampered with and packaged up?
  • Where is this food from? What about the ingredients that go into making it? Is it safe to eat and feed to my family?
  • Who am I supporting here? A large multinational or a family owned or small business?

Brands BIG and small need to start to think! act…and adapt to these fast changing times.  Technology is making it practical and cost effective for small to meet BIG and beat them on the playing field. Why? Because they come from a place of realness and not marketing puffery. Consumers connect with founders and their startup stories cooking on the stovetop, growing and processing their own farm produce and packaging up and telling their story in a way that is authentic and real.  You can not copy that if you are a large Corporate and it outpositions BIG as BAD and small is GOOD!

The examples we can list of brands that are doing this well is long and numerous but the list of brands NOT doing this is 100+ times longer.  Why not, take the opportunity to use technology to connect with consumers and customers and share your story? The time is now – there has never been a better time to be a farmpreneur or a small food producer. Here is a few other great examples you might like to explore and if you are interested in taking your own business to the next level of consumer connectivity give us a call or drop us a line.

We love working with independent family owned fast growth businesses @Creatovate.  In fact, we have by accident or choice managed to specialise in it with a focus on the twin pillars of sustainable (profitable) growth – Innovation and International Business – what are you waiting for? Get out and tell your story – its real, it’s authentic and consumers and customers want to hear from you!

If you are interested to come and hear Dermott talk about creating value for consumers and customers in consumer packaged goods you might like to come to Changing the Landscape – The Flexible Packaging & Label Makers Association on 10-11 November 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  Dermott will give a keynote talk on 11 November titled – Creating Value for your customers in the 21st Century for FMCG’s

Dermott Dowling is Managing Director @Creatovate, Innovation & International Business consultancy. Creatovate help businesses create, innovate and growth through sustainable innovation processes and spreading their wings outside their home base.

Bibliography & Additional Sources:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/03/too-many-product-choices-in-supermarkets/index.htm viewed on 16/9/2016

The Big Group: http://thebiggroup.co/BIG/?p=about

Transperant Supply Chain https://www.onedegreeorganics.com/transparent-supply-chain and our team https://www.onedegreeorganics.com/our-team

 

 

 

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A case study on reinvention and growth: Swisse is not selling vitamins, its selling wellness.

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Published on anthillonline September 12, 2013 By Dermott Dowling

http://anthillonline.com/a-case-study-on-reinvention-and-growth-swisse-is-not-selling-vitamins-its-selling-wellness/

We have all heard of the 4Ps of marketing but at Swisse they are different.

At Swisse, the 4Ps stand for in order of priority:
1) People,
2) Passion, and
3) Products before 4) Profits

Putting values first and Strategy second, Radek Sali and his co-owners at Swisse Wellness, set about revolutionising the Wellness industry and taking it out of traditional health stores and pharmacies into the mainstream mass market.

In just under five years, revenues have increased from $15 million to a forecast $250 million for FY2013. The brand has been taken into 30,000 stores in the US. And, the company has created an army of celebrity ambassadors, all hitting different target markets.

All of this has helped propel Swisse from a “vitamins only brand” into the mainstream “wellness” market. The result is a lift in brand awareness from 20 per cent to 95 per cent.

All this in just under five years.

Radek Sali, smart dressing and constantly smiling CEO of Swisse Wellness recently shared some insights and lessons about creating exceptional growth to a packed VECCI luncheon.

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1. Building strategic partnerships

Without a doubt, the strategic partnerships the company built in the 1990s helped build credibility that underpinned the company’s growth.

Most doctors will only spend one day in their University course on wellness. Yet, there are already over 15,000 published studies on the benefits of healthy life and diet on maintaining and prolonging your health and wellbeing.

To concentrate on the promotion of wellness in the market, Swisse created a host of partnerships. It invested one per cent of revenue ($7 million over the past 3 years) into R&D in this area. This R&D investment was more than the company profits during that period.

These partnerships have helped to build Swisse credentials in an industry previously tarnished with the ‘alternative’ medicine tag, a categorisation which Radek prefers to call ‘complementary medicine’.  Sali also noted that this category now accounts for 14 per cent of consumers spending on health and wellness.

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2. Ambassadors

Today, it is very hard to avoid the constant barrage of Swisse celebrities selling new remedies to a healthy life, wellbeing and happiness. There is the original ambassador Ricky Ponting, other sports stars and now, more recently, the heavy hitters of Ellen DeGeneres and Nicole Kidman who were a key part of the US market launch.

Sali pointed out that Ponting had been a long time Swisse advocate and user of their products during his playing career. He explained that asking if people would become an ambassador often costs less or, no more, than hiring an actor for their commercials.

But, it hasn’t been all epic wins. In the case of Geoff Huegill, Swisse were approached when he was 139kg and committed to reinventing himself as a medal winning swimmer. Sali turned him down. But, he ate some humble pie later when the company went back to Huegill to ask him on board after his gold medal haul at the Commonwealth Games.

Sali considers it a “learn, grow and improve” moment, which underpins the next fundamental lesson.

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3. Values and positive culture

We have seen and heard it several times before in successful businesses: the importance of creating a positive culture and having core values for guiding the company.

Sali noted his own personal ‘reinvention’ from that of the standard Aussie bloke with three suits on rotation, to forcing himself to ‘dress up different’ every day, to be more creative, to consciously smile, say hello to everyone and, create a positive ‘can do’ attitude at Swisse.

An example of how this culture has materialised at Swisse is the “health & happiness” day for employees to take an extra day off anytime in the year to ‘recharge’. This immediately resulted in reduced sick leave and absenteeism.

Another example was the ‘gift’ of ‘feedback’ and embracing the ‘thanks’ that goes with receiving feedback when there is opportunity to improve. Using a sports analogy, Sali pointed out you should not be surprised, or hurt, to receive feedback to improve, just as a coach goes on at quarter and half time giving players advice to lift their game on field.

Some of the perks of working as Swisse include having access to a personal trainer, a masseuse, free organic breakfasts and lunches and, a healthy workplace lifestyle. These elements of the work culture were noted and commented on by Ellen DeGeneres when she visited their Collingwood offices.

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4. Use cash flow forecasts rather than ROI for innovation

Last but not least, Sali spoke about his preference to forecast with cash flows. He believes you should only ‘bet what you are willing and can afford to lose’, rather than chasing illusive ROIs. This is especially true when it comes to innovating in terms of new products, new categories and new markets.

Sali believes it is human nature is to make the numbers work and hit the hurdle rate ROI. However, if you can take the approach of determining what are you prepared and able to bet (and possibly lose) and deciding how bold to be, a business is going to achieve a different outcome.

Sali and the Swisse team have serious and lofty ambition: $1.5 billion in sales in five years’ time. This translates into a massive lift from the $250 million in sales today.

The company has plans to expand into more countries, including Europe and Asia, to create a truly global brand with Aussie roots.

Sali knows it is ambitious and, not without its challenges.

He admits, like everyone he has his ‘oh S**T’ moments and fears but, pointed to the fact everyone is in control of their own destiny and, without asking you will never receive.

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Sali’s six tips to grow your business

In closing Sali, shared the following tips to creating exceptional business growth:

  1. Create a positive culture & values
  2. Work out the ad formula for how to make an impact
  3. Grow into new areas
  4. Get the best team and keep them
  5. Innovate, reinvent and change as needed
  6. You are in control of your destiny

Dermott Dowling is founding Director @Creatovate, Innovation & International Business consultancy. Creatovate help businesses create,  innovate and grow through sustainable innovation processes and spreading their wings outside their home base.


Why come back to work in the New Year?

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Why come back to work after the holidays?

At this time of the year we often look back and reflect on the year that was and then sit back over the holidays and think about plans for the coming New Year.  Here is some learning from a morning spent with the Wizard of WoW! Why? & WooW…Paul Dunn earlier in the year that might be worth pondering over your happy holidays.

Connect before you communicate

Business needs less communication and more connection

e.g. http://www.Zappos.com founder Tony Hsieh says, “1st connect with ourselves, 2nd with our team, 3rd with our customers”

WOW! Add speed

e.g. the iPhone box impresses you before you open the box and find the phone.

“We are in the age of acceleration of everything” Google MD, Asia

BBC World ‘digital goldfish’ everyone has 9 seconds to impress online and our online behaviour has transferred offline into the same expectation.

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Digital Goldfish

WHY? Add purpose!

People will do amazing things if they understand the why and believe in what you believe in (Simon Sinek)

Focus on the Limbic brain and work your way out from WHY? to HOW? to WHAT? rather than the other way around

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Simon Sinek: Start with Why?

WooW…Change Lives!

e.g. Bill Gates 2007 Harvard Graduation speech “I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities, on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.”

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Bill Gates Harvard Address: Have a purpose

e.g. Make giving a part of your business values https://www.b1g1.com/

Bonus learning: Q: What is your most important decision you make when you start your business? A: the NAME!

e.g. Robert Stephens & “the Geek Squad” from 1 man and a bicycle in 1994 to 24,000 people and $1.5b revenue in 2011 “Advertising is the fee you pay for being Unremarkable”.

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The Geek Squad: Be remarkable!

Do you have a Wow! Why? & Woow…for your business?

Take some time to think about it over the festive season and build them into your business plans for 2013.  Happy New Year!

 


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