One for your Christmas list ladies, it's decadence comes at a high price, but this delicious scent is worth every penny
So Trends – What’s the Point?
At Hornall Anderson we’re nosy, we like to have our fingers on the pulse and we like to know what’s going on in the world. We delve deep into the trends which are likely to influence businesses over the next few years. So how can we spot the next big thing?... At the Future Laboratory in Shoreditch, a team of global snoopers are uncovering what’s hot and what’s not in the world of food and drink and are putting under the microscope brands, movements and influencers which they believe will shape the future.
You may ask: ‘Is this information really going help my business?’ Look at some cautionary tales from those who thought some trends would be here one moment and gone the next, but who now understand their impact. Did the people at Kodak think: ‘Digital photography? It’ll never take off.’ Or look at the recent collapse of BHS, where it tried to be all things to all people but actually appealed to no one.
So on an unseasonably hot autumn day, we headed down to the Future Laboratory to hear one of the world’s most renowned and respected future consultancies, LSN, a vision of the Future Laboratory, give us an update on what is going to influence trends in food and drink over the next three years and believe me, it was fascinating.
Healthy eating is here to stay
It’s no great surprise to hear that people are tired of being told what to do by ‘experts’. We are warned to cut out fat, told to forget about gluten and cautioned that sugar is the new crack. But consumers still want to know exactly what they are eating and drinking. They want to understand the effect their consumption has on the world, their minds and bodies. Deny them at your peril, advises Steve Tooze, Foresight Editor at The Future Laboratory. In this time of 24/7 information overload there has never been a more apt time to say: ‘Power to the people.’
We are seeing a much greater convergence in the world of food and drink with the adjacent worlds of health and beauty, technology and well-being, which is helping to drive innovation. There is a march towards fresher foods, with nine in ten of us thinking it is healthier and 80 per cent believing it tastes better, according to research and consulting firm Technomic.
This requirement for healthy food options is being driven, not only by the millennial generation, but by the next generation snapping at their heels: Generation Z, the first generation weaned on the mobile phone. These kids are no fools: 45 per cent want to consume products with all natural ingredients and 67 per cent believe healthy eating is trendy. The claims on pack they want to see back this up: natural, low calorie, organic and vitamin enhanced are the main marketing messages they are looking for. And a huge 49 per cent believe health claims and being good for you are a reason to buy.
This is bad news for the drinks industry, which for the first time has posted negative figures. And there is more gloomy news to follow. One fifth of the UK’s 16-24 year olds now claim to be teetotal, while 66 per cent think alcohol is not important and 75 per cent try to drink less deliberately. So for anyone that may think trends aren’t important, I hope you’ll see why we all need to get involved. It is this information which will lead to innovation in the future. Trailblazers such as Seedlip are leading the way, with backing from Diageo, to develop a non-alcoholic spirit brand, but there is room for many more and masses of opportunity for challengers to own this space.
Healthy has become the new normal, with the stereotypical view of healthy eaters as hemp clothed hippies consigned to the past. We want to support food brands which help us be healthier and this trend is here to stay. Most of us will admit to a flexitarian lifestyle, while vegetarians have increased by 60 per cent from 2011-2015. And as meat grown in a lab looks set to be available in three years’ time, this can only be good for the planet and all of us animal lovers.
Busy lifestyles driving change
Another major trend which is shaping the way we live our lives, is the moving away from the old fashioned idea of three meals a day at set times. Our busy lifestyles have made eating more impulsive and spontaneous. We simply don’t have the time to eat around set meal times and this is driving massive expansion in the on the go and snacking sectors. However, we need to be careful in the UK as this trend means we are consuming 50 per cent more calories than we think we are. Our demands for convenience are set to grow and for the first time restaurant sales are outgrowing grocery shopping. With delivery only restaurant concepts popping up stateside, it can only be a matter of time before we can order healthy gastronomic meals packed full of flavour and delivered by Uber or even a fleet of robots currently being trialled in London.
It is now much easier to be a connoisseur than it used to be. A lot of that experimentation starts outside the home in food services, and then people look for ways to bring those experiences inside the home. Millennials want to learn about what they consume and they demand sustainability. Brands like McDonalds and Burger King are banning antibiotics from being used on their chickens and Kraft is removing nasties from its family favourite Mac & Cheese (without the permission of a focus group and guess what - no one noticed). There is a sea change taking place in the way the big brands do business. Giving back to both the environment and working closely with local suppliers is a key to long term growth and to connecting with a demanding audience. It is essential for brands to replenish the resources they consume and great packaging design can really help to convey the message to the consumer.
Now more than ever, brands need to find new ways to reach out to consumers bored silly with marketing jargon. No better example of this exists than the recent Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (CATS) which took over Clapham Tube Station, replacing traditional advertising with pictures of cats in a bid to provide a peaceful space for travellers, free of adverts.
And that’s why trends are important. It has never been more vital to know what’s ahead so you can innovate, connect with your audience and grow your business opportunities.
For more details on trends and insights please contact Nicola Thomson 0113 3944340
Even being on holiday whilst on maternity leave doesn't stop Claire from sharing images of this artisan bakery & delicious Mahon cheese in Menorca.
From Kim because, quite frankly, there aren't enough kittens or BeeGees tracks in this very cool design agency... AND with over 45% of the nation having pets and even more animal lovers this is a very clever way to pull on the emotions and create brand love
Controversial they may be but one thing that's not in doubt is their beautiful packaging. Loved by Jamie.
Want an alternative to Borough Market, here's a couple of recommends by Jamie.
Jamie is a lover of Night Tales. They carefully select some of London’s top restaurants and food partners to ensure the food offer is top of the game and consistent throughout the summer. Old garages have been converted into food shacks headed up by some of East London’s finest restaurants.
The Man Behind The Curtain recommended by Nic
Amazing restaurant reviews from Samphire & Salsify suggested by Jon
Dope Burgers have fast become the go to place for the meat lovers of Hull, the ingredients are the best quality and those in the know queue without complaint to get a taste of their delicious wares. From meat loving Mike.
English wine is cultivating a reputation for top quality, but some feel the fledgling industry lacks an identity. As a result, FMCG trade magazine The Grocer tasked us with creating one - and this is what we came up with
The Brexit vote left the UK divided. How to react? We suggested voters could either drown their sorrows or celebrate with the perfect wine for this watershed moment. Brexit Cuvée 52:48, which reflects the split in the vote.
Design director at Hornall Anderson Jon Dignam said: “Wine production has such a rich history, so we decided to use some British history in our packaging design for English wine. And Brexit seemed like a great fit. The country was so divided after the results were announced, but now that the dust has started to settle, we saw an opportunity to create something good out of it.” Brexit Cuvée is a premium and tongue in cheek product, with a delicately complex, yet closely balanced blend of sweet and sour grapes. It was exclusively picked for a lively but accomplished taste, with a delicate and bittersweet finish, rather like the results of the referendum, some might point out. Uniquely characterised by its potential to fuel a great debate, this wine is sure to tick all of the boxes, whether you were for or against the decision to leave the European Union.
Jon joked the new Brexit wine could be the perfect tipple at “whine bar” which could be set up to allow consumers the opportunity to have a nice glass of wine, a debate and then shake hands.
FMCG trade magazine The Grocer challenged us to create an innovative air care product to revolutionise the category - and this is what we came up with.
Your home is your haven. Whether you’ve come home from the office after a busy day of meetings, just finished that 5km run on Saturday morning or are planning a day on the sofa with the Sunday papers, its important that your home is fragranced to compliment your mood.
Sense uses reactionary technology to learn your routines, habits and preferences to develop a fragrance experience designed exclusively for you. It works with the Health data in your preferred device (phone, watch, health tracker) to understand how you behave during the day, tailoring your home fragrance to help you amp up or wind down as needed.
We know that life is full of hiccups so Sense is even able to react to the unexpected turns in your day, using GPS tracking to understand when you’re close to home. No matter what the day has thrown at you, you’re always able to rely on your home, your haven, smelling great.
Sense engages with your devices so you don’t have to. You won’t even realise you’re had one less thing to think about today. And that’s nothing to sniff at.
A gift says as much about the giver as it does about the recipient. What do your gifting editions say about your brand? Do they mark you out as creative, fresh and relevant? Or do they look like everyone else’s gifts?
There is so much that can be done with gifts. In many ways they are an under-used aspect of the marketing toolkit, but it can be hard for over-worked and under-pressure marketers to find the time, space and inspiration needed to come up with the right idea for the gift edition. Here then are a few thoughts to inspire you.
Every day is somebody’s birthday
Christmas may be the focus on the gifting calendar, but it is very far from being the only time that we give presents. Right now, someone, somewhere is offering a birthday gift or an anniversary memento, a trinket for a new home, a new job, or a new baby. There are very few people who only buy presents in December.
The requirement may be seasonal – why are chocolate brands the only ones to really maximise the opportunity that is Easter? – or it may not be. Either way, simply by thinking beyond the obvious times of year for gifting you can open up a whole new range of possibilities for your brand to become a gift.
Removing the risk
Seeing gifting as a year-round programme rather than a one-off exercise also helps mitigate one of the main obstacles to successful gifting: fear of expensive failure. It’s always a risk to do something really new and unusual, and brands can therefore be reluctant to spend money on a crazy experiment, which may prove hugely profitable – or may fall flat.
The result tends to be a lot of half-baked compromises: slightly different packaging or products, with very little expenditure and even less to show for it. Yet if special gift packs are designed with the whole year, rather than just that frenetic Christmas segment, in mind, some of the risk is removed. What might not work for a parent shopping for kids’ Christmas gifts could well prove perfect when that parent needs to celebrate a colleague’s promotion, or take a gift to a housewarming.
And the benefits are much wider than that. Special editions of any kind are a chance to enhance the loyalty of customers you already have and broaden your customer base; if done really well, they are a PR opportunity, too. To give an example: we know that the Marmite fan is a quirky and opinionated individual; the world knows that students, living away from home for the first time, need easy sustenance. What could be better than a Marmite survival pack?
This is not a Christmas gift, necessarily: it could be a ‘Good Luck at University’ gift. And the possibilities are endless, from an Emergency Box (with rice cake and branded cutlery) to a cocktail set… or even jewellery. These are gifts that don’t even require that the recipient be a Marmite fan: they are quirky, enticing brand strengtheners, whether you’re a Marmite Lover – or a Marmite Hater.
Upping the cool quotient
A clever brand will take its brand essence and expand that out, building affection as well as upping the cool quotient. If something works, why not take it to the next level? So, our collector’s editions of Vaseline have proved hugely popular: there is no reason why a Queen Bee special edition Vaseline, presented in a black-and-yellow vanity case or clutch bag, would not prove more popular still. Everyone loves a Jammie Dodger biscuit: why not advertise that fact and build on it, via mugs or aprons – or something as simple as a really beautifully designed Jammie Dodger biscuit tin with retro appeal?
No pain, no gain…
There are huge opportunities here, to engage with purchasers and drive sales, but also to make a brand more premium – after all, a gift should be more special than an everyday purchase.
Done well, a gift edition can encourage a reappraisal of your brand. A clever reimagining of a familiar concept can even get the consumer exclaiming with surprise. So when people reach for their tin of Campbells soup, don’t just pair it with a mug, give the consumer the opportunity to make their own loaf of bread to dunk in the hot, feel good soup. Even better, suggest that they actually use the bread as a bowl to pour the soup into? And what about PG Tips and those famous monkeys? Don’t just give monkeys, give the consumer a chance to bake their own cookies and enjoy with a cuppa with the family. Perfect brand synergy, a chance to reinforce brand personality and bring a family together at the same time.
But make a really imaginative effort, ensure your idea is not so seasonal that you’re putting all your eggs in one Christmas basket, and a truly special edition can be the gift that keeps on giving.
By Kim Van Elkan, Managing Director, Hornall Anderson
There are four pillars to great marketing but one of them is first among equals: Never forget who your audience is. If you’re reading this article, it’s because you think I have something to say that’s of interest to you, your business, your customers. If I fail to convince you of that, I may have the world’s best ideas but it doesn’t matter, because nobody will hear them.
This is exactly the story of the downfall of our biggest supermarkets. Why is Tesco in the news for all the wrong reasons, its share of the market plummeting after the glory years where £1 in every seven was spent in their stores? Because they’ve forgotten who they’re talking to. Morrisons has the same problem. Meanwhile, the discounters at one end and the premium supermarkets at the other are picking up all those disappointed shoppers. Lidl and Aldi on one side, Waitrose and M&S on the other, know who they are – and which customers they want to attract.
Shut up and listen!
There is a lesson here for everyone involved in branding, marketing and design, whether or not they’re involved with supermarkets or indeed FMCG products. It may be easiest to visualise a brand as a person. Tesco’s former customers currently see a person with their fingers in their ears, singing “La-la-la, not listening”. That is not who any brand wants to be.
Of course, not every brand wants to be Tesco (although quite a few do). But no matter where you want to situate your brand, there’s a lesson to be learned from what’s happening with the supermarkets. Because like it or not, we all need to care about what happens in the middle of the market. These days, some people call them the Squeezed Middle – and sure, these are shoppers who are careful with their pennies; if they splash out, it’s an informed choice. But mostly, what they’re squeezed by is options. The middle is where the money is, and most of the world’s brands are targeting them. Even those that don’t are defined in relation to them – to be on the fringes, you position yourself away from the middle. So, knowing how to market to these people is vital, even for those brands who don’t actually want to do it.
Chucking out your preconceptions
If you want an example as positive as Tesco’s is negative, look at Ikea. The cut-price furniture store understood what the middle of the market wanted: they wanted a great sofa. They could walk into Habitat and gag at the prices, or they could go to a dusty high-street shop filled with rickety hand-me-downs, so when Ikea turned up saying “Here is your great sofa, in the colour you like at the price you want to pay” the world responded – and is still responding.
That’s not just about supplying great products, although of course that’s part of it. Ikea has great branding. From the 1996 ‘Chuck Out Your Chintz’ ad to the distinctive Ikea blue and the child-friendly cafes, Ikea’s brand persona is a person who hears what the middle of the UK market wants and how much they would like to spend on it – and that is what they provide.
Setting trends not copying trends
For the mid-market consumer to fall in love with a brand and offer it that sought-after gift of loyalty, he or she needs to feel that their needs and desires are not just filled – they are anticipated.
The really good brands know what you want before you do. A brand that successfully foresees the desire to look after oneself and one’s family but also to help others, to care for the environment, to live well but not hedonistically or extravagantly and to feel surrounded by people on the same wavelength will flourish.
Who are your people?
It comes down to one word: community. As we all sit in our little boxes, staring at our little screens, we hanker for the feeling of being part of something. We want our kids to feel a sense of belonging; our purchases to do no harm; our friends to be easily accessible (but not permanently on the doorstep); our shopping experience to be easeful and our homes to be filled with the products that reflect who we are and which groups we belong to. There is so much more that brands could be doing to help consumers achieve the sense of community they long for. But to do that, they have to know who they’re talking to: they have to get out there, meet their audience, hear their dreams and their complaints, and respond.
The point at which a major company moves from being a supporter of community to a behemoth that’s out of touch and even possibly destructive to community, is the point at which, as a brand, they lose the love. To pick on Tesco’s again – this was the place that everyone went to buy their most intimate supplies. It was a part of every community, until it became so obsessed with being a part of every community that it accidentally became those communities’ enemy, a juggernaut mowing down small businesses in its quest to take over the world.
Showing you care
Tesco could reverse this trend and become relevant again – they probably will. To do this, they must be seen to care. So, next time there’s a major football event, don’t just discount beer – that’s what everybody does, it’s not listening, it’s operating on automatic pilot. Discount tissues (for the realists), spa products (for the football haters), or coffee (for the morning after the Big Match).
Listening is the first step – responding appropriately is the crucial next step, and the hardest one. Brands come to us all the time, pointing at their competitors, saying ‘we want to be like them’. Which is crazy: branding is supposed to distinguish you from the competition! This is where design is crucial. A visual expression of your values and the way you communicate across every single touch point has never been more important. Offering cheap products dressed up as value is not enough. It’s about finding that delicate balance between tradition and innovation.
Doritos: a delicious success story
When we were asked to rebrand Doritos, finding that balance was a huge challenge. The brand is immensely popular – it didn’t need fixing. But the branding needed aligning across the world and the whole identity lacked relevance with their audience. We didn’t try to fix what wasn’t broken. Instead, we listened to the audience, collected visual data from every corner of the globe, lived with them for days and immersed ourselves in their lives. We studied global trends and we found global glue. The new design is pitch perfect and super relevant with their consumer. And we received the best possible acknowledgement of the success of our changes, not just in sales figures – although they were great – but in validation from, of all places, the Seattle Police Department, who reacted to the legalisation of pot there in autumn 2012 by handing out thousands of bags of freshly rebranded Doritos at the following year’s Hempfest, stickered with friendly guidance on how to behave while stoned.
"Warning: The contents of this package are as delicious as they appear," the sticker read, going on to give pointers including "Don't drive while high," "Don't use pot in public" and "Do listen to Dark Side of the Moon at a reasonable volume." Great brand validation for Doritos – and also for the Seattle PD, who demonstrated their ability to do exactly the kind of reinforcing of community feeling that makes the consumer love a brand.
Get limbering, start listening
Brands, particularly bigger brands, need to limber up. Small businesses are agile – just look at today’s examples, where pop-up stores, clever social media campaigns and innovative thinking help engage consumers with exciting ideas and new communities via brands they may never have heard of before. Like human beings, brands can get stiffer and more lumbering as they age. Or they can do the brand equivalent of getting a makeover, dropping a few pounds and taking up yoga.
They can make themselves look good and they can start listening. The first without the second is a very short-term solution; try the second without the first and nobody will notice. Like Lidl and Aldi, or Waitrose and M&S, every brand needs to know who it is, who its customers are, what they need, and who their people are. Those are the four pillars of successful marketing: allow any of them to crumble and the roof falls in.
By Alastair Whiteley, Executive Creative Director, Hornall Anderson
In the lull between conversations about the next big brand and the fantastic growth of the last big brand, let’s spare a thought for the brand before last: those once-loved but long-neglected brands gathering dust at the back of the corporate cupboard while glittering newbies take up all the room at the front.
Every corporation has one – most will have far more than one. These are brands with soul and personality that have somehow faded away. Look at Marmite. Ten years ago, it was the dusty jar at the back of every kitchen’s cupboard – and the mouldering brand at the back of the Unilever pantry, too. You’d be hard put to find someone who didn’t know what it was, so brand recognition was no problem – but the love for the brand had completely evaporated.
Today, Marmite is a figure of speech. “It’s like Marmite” is a phrase everyone understands, one that encapsulates the idea behind a marketing phenomenon: the brand wasn’t revitalised by convincing everyone to love Marmite. Instead, we homed in on an unlikely selling point: this is a product with such a strong personality that if you don’t love it, you hate it.
How we achieved this turnaround for Unilever – and gave other atrophying brands a similar sort of workout – is well worth considering, because any corporation that doesn’t offer the public the opportunity to reconnect with a once-loved brand is wasting valuable equity.
Finding the uniqueness in your product
And equity is the secret. The Marmite taste was loved by lots of people who weren’t recognising that what they cared about was Marmite. In Twiglets or in Walkers, Marmite was lurking, pinging taste buds but not brain cells. There was no strategy – just a unique black gloop in an instantly recognisable jar.
Yet this point – a little over a decade ago – was precisely when people were starting to look differently at packaging. Mars had created a Mars drink. Brands were becoming more flexible – literally, in the case of those squeezy plastic honey bottles that were starting to pop up on breakfast tables – and were starting to grow in a different way.
Innovation and participation
So we approached a bunch of entrepreneurial marketers within Unilever. We held an innovation session where we encouraged every kind of weird and wonderful Marmite-related idea. We must have wallpapered the entire Unilever refectory with ideas – and we encouraged staff to slap a red sticker on those they didn’t really like and a green sticker on those they did.
We got a plethora of great ideas: Marmite-flavoured rice cakes or cheese, limited editions, gifts. Why, people asked, are you giving this great flavour away to Twiglets or Walkers? It’s yours – why aren’t you owning it?
Brand synergy: the Two Dark Lords
Unilever decided to do just that. They seized on our first suggestion of a limited edition – the idea of the Two Dark Lords, Guinness and Marmite, seemed an obvious synergy. Both were black, strong-flavoured, incredibly distinctive and badly undervalued by a forgetful public. Most importantly, from a marketing perspective, there was a great story to tell. Still, we were all surprised at the edition’s success.
We kept the momentum going, launching Marmite Champagne on Valentine’s Day 2008, repeating our success with a rather different audience. Other witty, relevant special editions followed, such as Ma’amite for the Queen’s Jubilee in 2012.
There were branded snacks and merchandise and a concerted social media campaign with members’ club, the Marmariti – the online equivalent of that early poll in the Unilever refectory, but one with much more reach: in four months, the Marmarati campaign reached over two million people, with more than 6,000 Twitter mentions and 302,000 page views to the website.
Five Ways to Wake a Sleeping Giant
So, how can corporates do the same for their sleeping giants? Having an entrepreneurial marketer helps, but here are five ways to consider:
1. Emphasise character
The funny thing is that people now say that Marmite is a special case – but any brand with a strong personality, however hidden, can be the same kind of special case if given the right treatment. It has to have character, a sense of humour, and relevance.
These are the things people stick to, and without what I call sticky content – the fun aspects that people latch onto online, retweeting, reposting, sending viral – you have no chance of truly reviving a moribund brand. But of those three vital pillars, only the first is crucial. As long as the character – the unique personality – is there, you can get people talking and create that relationship with the consumer where they will look for your brand, ask about it, want to know where it is and what it is up to.
2. Own the flavour
With Marmite, owning the flavour was a crucial part of giving the brand back its unique personality. With another brand, that flavour may not be literal – but whatever the unique selling point may be, it is vital to pinpoint it, first, then bring it to the consumer’s attention.
3. Provide something special
Limited editions are an ideal way to do this. Just as the Two Dark Lords emphasised the dark and unusual flavour of Marmite and provided a wonderful showcase for its obscure cool, so the Lovers’ Edition played up its ability to inspire loyalty, the XO its bite-a-chilli strength, and Ma’amite its Englishness – and its wit. Re-presenting a brand also conveys the confidence that that brand is strong enough to remain lovable in different guises.
4. Get your brand out there
Merchandising is a powerful tool. Those limited edition jars are still available on eBay, providing free testimony to the strength of the brand; every extra product, from snacks to cushions to keyrings, reinforces the consumer’s recognition of that brand, his or her appreciation of its place in the world – and their ensuing loyalty to that brand.
5. Embrace new channels
Today’s always-on media offers a major advantage for anyone looking to revive a brand, because brands go in cycles – no brand can be at the top of the news agenda all the time. While your premium brands are resting, there’s a great opportunity to bring a forgotten brand back to the forefront of the public mind.
Look at how Old Spice has made a comeback via a series of viral films, or how craft breweries have brilliantly used sticky content to steal a march on the corporate brewers.
By Alastair Whiteley, Executive Creative Director, Hornall Anderson