I can still hear the sound of the voice-over announcer, declaring, "Breyers only has milk, cream, sugar and real vanilla beans," ...
Newcomers were nipping at the heels of this market leader, thanks to new technology that allowed land-shipping over the Rockies without cartons of ice cream exploding from air pressure,
Fast forward 20 years: All Natural Breyers Vanilla ice cream still maintains its shelf space, despite fierce competition.
As I enjoy yet another sweet scoop, I can't help but reflect on those long hours at Y&R developing the brand strategy and market position that endures to this day.
What are the lessons for growth-oriented companies without mega-budgets? What's the best way to differentiate your business from competition?
Here are a few lessons from the ice cream aisle.
Helping a brand mean something: the key to longevity
Here's the ad we created - I'm pretty sure it was about as unnatural a vanilla bean plant as frozen dairy desserts are ice cream. But no matter; the strategy was simple, the distinguishing characteristic was apparent, and upmarket black packaging reinforced it all.
Products and brands need an initial point of difference - emotional, physical, functional - for distinction drives trial, popularity and volume.
Eventually, however, a brand or product travels along a trajectory, until it is quickly imitated, and therefore less distinctive. In the end, selling more does help to feed the preference engine but it can't do it alone, or forever.
Helping a brand mean something is the key to its longevity and vitality.
What does ice cream have to do with creating marketing impact for your company?
Creating meaning begins with our attempts to generate valuable content for our buyers. This in turn is built on arriving at a true understanding of the person behind the transaction.
Learning how your buyer goes about fulfilling critical wants and needs, how these buyers search online, compare alternatives, make a buying decision, largely without the help of a sales intermediary, is key.
If a brand provides helpful content that is in sync with buyer wants and needs, it can obliterate even the grittiest residue of vanilla bean, or even a little corn syrup.
Here are some takeaways for the B2B business owner:
- Today's buying behavior is based on a complex set of digital marketing needs.
- Marketing technology changes, but people haven't really changed. Connect with the person at the other end of the mouse, from day one, on their terms.
- Have a perspective, distinguish your voice, mean something. A buyer needs clarity about your brand's value and meaning to result in a sale. All buying decisions are grounded by this.
How well do you understand your buyer? Does your content resonate? Is inbound marketing a better way to attract and connect the right prospects to your business?
Schedule your FREE Whiteboard Consultation and marketing assessment, for some new thinking about attracting new customers, growing sales, and making an impact.