Archive for the ‘ Branding ’ Category

Case spotlight: Gavrilović

Gavrilović is the oldest Croatian meat and sausage manufacturer. Founded in 1690 and based in Petrinja, a town 50 kms south-east from Zagreb, the company is being the country market leader for more than 150 years.

Looking for a more modern approach to the market, but without giving up the historical tradition, the firm asked us to develop a new  identity, including a broader brand strategy and a complete restyling of their products ranges.

The logo, a girl dressed in traditional clothes, became then more recognizable, less rigid and a stronger personality. She’s now more lively and attractive, but still keeping the historical heritage with her national costume.

Old logo vs. new logo

We defined also the brand architecture, for standard and premium product lines. On the other hand, the packaging restyling focused into creating an emotional bond between the brand and both old and new consumers.

Salami range of products

Gavrilović is a brand that speaks towards all generations and, in particular, engages the younger audience by keeping a solid presence in the most popular social medias.

Billboard Mortadella ad


The Internet is a serious business #2

Here we go again.

While the most of us are happily relaxing during Summer vacations, big brands are always trying to get the best out of the World Wide Web by continuously engaging their consumers and fandom base. This time is taking the shift PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew, which, in the middle of August, started the marketing campaign “Dub the Dew” for naming its new apple-flavoured soda.

After all, letting the Internet choose the new name for a brand new soft drink is a great marketing move, and it also helps to build brand loyalty. However, if the management behind the initiative was aware that the Internet can be a dangerous place, the company’s new green apple flavoured soda wouldn’t get names suggestions like “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong“, “Diabeetus” or “Fapple” as some of the most voted entries.

Credits: Huffington Post

The website ultimately got even hacked, with an offensive sentence and a misleading banner leading to a RickRolling placed in the voting page.

It was a matter of time before someone in PepsiCo noticed: some names were so politically uncorrect that the campaign was needed to be shut down completely, and now the website no longer exists.

News of the action bounced from website to website, forum, boards and magazines, as well as the popular Reddit. In only 1 day it was already a worldwide-known event. On August 14th, Mountain Dew responded to a tweet by Reuters columnist Anthony De Rosa, admitting that they “lost to The Internet”, and clarifying that the contest was only a local customer program:

As a Reddit’s user cleverly pointed out, “The campaign itself wasn’t a bad idea. They just forgot that the internet is run by children […] They could have controlled the outcome by having the public choose between 5 predetermined names. Much like they did a couple years back when they had the public choose which flavor (of three special edition ones) would stick around for mass production.

That’s not the first time where internet trolling takes place. Among the most recent, Pitbull’s trip to Kodiak, Alaska, or the campaing which apparently is going to send American singer Taylor Swift to play in the campus of the Horace Mann School For The Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Some people may be wondering why a company should then start engagement campaigns on the internet if the risk of being boycotted is high. The point is that marketing campaigns on the web are incredibly cost effective and allow to reach the target customers more quickly and directly, especially if the customer base is relatively young. However, a good pianification should always be in order, and with some more tricks to keep the damages at the minimum (as the above-mentioned Reddit’s user suggested), it’s still possible to come out with a good result. Something that the Mountain Dew management forgot, and that has been hilariously imagined in this funny ragecomic:



The local brand is dead. Long live the local brand.

by Criney Insalata

During my business travels abroad particularly in Eastern Europe, I always look out for local brands.

Their charm and chintzy qualities allow me a moment to escape the realities of business travel – to experience a little bit of the localness that is otherwise missing from the samey hotels I stay at.

The charm of these local brands cannot be easily replicated. They have forged intimate relationships over the years with local consumers that global brands can only envy.

We all have stories about brands from our childhood. I still remember the poems I read on the back pack of my local favorite crisp brand, Willards, about Zuggy the Monster. I would make-up songs about Zuggy and incessantly pester my mother to buy me this brand of crisps until l could buy it with my own pocket money.

Willards Thingz

Unfortunately, years later, this crisp brand died a slow and agonising death. A death brought on by the shinier and exciting complete-with-frills Pepsi brand.

Like many of my generation, I was utterly seduced by the new brand, such that my once favorite, was no longer good enough.

I watched the brand wilt and collect dust on supermarkets shelves until I stopped noticing altogether. I had moved on. My brand hadn’t. The brutal truth about it is, it wasn’t missed.

But, however the strength, more precisely, the money behind global brands, going local and trying to achieve the same level of intimacy as local brands smacks of disingenuouity. Lets look at Starbucks latest initiative of personalizing the brand experience by calling customers by their first names. My local Starbucks in Brixton has christened me Karen, Creane, Crying, Cringey… when all I want is my regular decaf latte.

Courtesy of Starbucks®

Quite frankly, more than having a fuzzy feeling towards Starbucks, I now actively avoid going there. Yet, for all the endearing qualities of local brands, the reality is they are struggling to defend their home turfs from these sleeker international brands.

Of course, one cannot discount their deep pockets and years of careful brand management. It has to be said that there are also a whole variety of other factors that contribute to the weakness of local brands. For example, the rising Chinese middle classes, the Russian nouveau riche prefer Western/Global brands to local ones, as an indication of their social status. This is due in part, to the Communism legacy that excluded quality or design, as a meaningful measuring criterion for products.

Shaking off this perception of ‘poor quality’ image is particularly hurtful in non-food categories and adds to the woes of local brands.

In addition, consumers have changed, they are now more demanding, super-connected, well-travelled and spoilt for choice.

But some local brands have relied so much on the tried and tested approaches, such that the original brand identity that may have been inspired by the Founder’s wife, has remained exactly the same since inception. Ordinarily, this is the stuff that makes up brand heritage, but in this instance, it signifies staticness, the past and a brand is that is out of touch.

So what can be done to stop what looks like an inevitable journey towards the dreaded confines of childhood memories, for local brands?

Obviously doing nothing in the surge of international brands is not an option. And, simply doing more of the same is not an effective strategy.

But there are a few things local brand owners could do to reverse their fortunes:

  1. Rebrand and re-energise the brand identity, bringing the brand identity to the same standard as international brands.
  2. Innovate – Introduce value-added offer on an existing brand or create new sub-brands with international tonality.
  3. Proactively engage consumers. Local brands can use all the tools available to them to fuel conversations with consumers through social media or other traditional means.
  4. Consider penetrating foreign markets – Use the Diaspora as potential brand ambassadors, this worked for Efes a Turkish brand now slowly penetrating the UK market.
  5. Create ‘iconess‘ that celebrates local culture.
  6. Emphasise quality and assert authenticity.
  7. Never stagnate and keep evolving the brand story and the offer.

A combination of the above, plus utilizing local knowledge, will put local brands in a strong position against the international brands.


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