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What to Know Before You Take a Better-For-You Brand into the Big-Box World

Getting product on shelf at a big-box retailer is the holy grail for many better-for-you (BFY) brands. It may be a goal you and your leadership team have been methodically pursuing over time, or perhaps it’s just landed in your lap. (You should be planning for this, if you aren’t currently.)

Perhaps your BFY brand has good traction at Whole Foods and is growing at a small but profitable clip. Then suddenly Walmart or Costco call and want to get your brand on the shelf. Everything about your business — product, manufacturing, logistics, pricing — suddenly changes overnight.

How do you manage the relationship? Retain control of your brand image? Ramp up production? Stay true to your roots?

Here are some strategies for mitigating the risks when you make the leap.

Upscale Grocers vs. Big Boxes: The Channels Are Different

Whole Foods and upscale regional chains like Wegmans or Sprouts are essential markets for BFY brands to provide you enough national exposure and velocity to maintain reasonable growth. It’s relatively easy to get on the shelf at these chains. (In fact, the challenge may be getting out before the retailer replaces you with a competitor or knocks off your product with a house-branded one. Even these upscale channels can be vicious places to compete.)

But what landed you there won’t get you into Costco. Many darling BFY brands have gone into Costco, started out with good velocity, and then disappeared. Why? They were unprepared to compete in a high-volume, bargain-driven environment.

Big box opportunity and the growth it promises is exciting, confusing, chaotic, and scary. These retailers are going to demand the moon from you. They’ll want input on every aspect of your business, from dictating your margins to imposing packaging and product changes to determining who else is in the channel with you.

Before you go into a meeting with one of the big guys, you have to have your brand story, your pricing strategy, your values, your business practices, your margins — all of it tightly nailed down.

A Strong Brand Story Avoids Consumer Confusion

Understand that the audience that shops Whole Foods also goes to Costco, so they’ll expect to see the story of your brand being told in the same way across those outlets. While Whole Foods shoppers are less price-sensitive, club- or box-store shoppers aren’t averse to paying more for products they feel represent high quality for the dollar.

High-end BFY products can thrive in the big-box environment if they maintain a consistent brand story everywhere. Changing your tune to meet a retail channel’s demographic sows confusion and distrust.

In other words, it shouldn’t be a disconnect for consumers to find a high-quality BFY product like yours at Sam’s Club. You need to have built enough brand equity through other channels and on social media that selling at a club store isn’t a negative for your audience.

We don’t recommend making the big-box leap until you have your brand story straight and enough proof — through velocity at shelf and consumer raves on social media — that you can advocate for what the channel might consider a premium price.

The Financial Challenges of Ramping Up Production

This may be the most panic-inducing aspect of making the move into club, big box, or convenience store chains. You need to expand production, and quickly. And if your business is under about $50 million in annual sales, it’s likely that you’ll need to borrow money to make that happen.

Retailers want to know you can support their demands, and they won’t put you in store until they have proof that you can. They might test your product in a region with 200 stores; if it sells well, then you’ll have to immediately triple production to roll out across the entire chain. If you’re unable to meet demand, you’ll get discontinued because you can’t restock empty slots.

That means you have to invest — to build a new facility or buy production time elsewhere — before you’ve got the business. And quickly, because while you’re scaling up, your competitors may be rolling out a similar product in other outlets. While your sales team is knocking on doors, your operations team should be researching backup plans for production.

Managing The Risks of ‘Growth Implosion’

Without a strong brand narrative, an eyes-wide-open view of the opportunity, and clear plans for production, brands that enter the big box space risk falling prey to growth instead of riding it upward. They either can’t scale quickly enough to land the business, or they can’t maintain production to meet Costco’s demand. We call this “growth implosion.”

So prepare — your pricing structures, channel strategy, brand promise, proven velocity, and production — in order to make a bold move. And it’s OK if that preparation tells you that big box isn’t the right place, at least now, for your brand.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

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Put a Wrap On It: The Rise of Packaging in Fresh Food

As consumers become more in tune with how and where their food is grown these days, the perception of food packaging has shifted — thus opening the door for brands to radically innovate in design and messaging to entice new buyers.

Shoppers are looking more closely at certifications to ensure products are made with trusted ingredients and best production practices before placing selections into their shopping baskets. Informed by news stories about food and nutrition, they have become more savvy as they shop the center of the store — and the trend has been spreading to the perimeter and into fresh products.

What about produce? Most consumers buy fresh produce in market-style bulk volumes and they have to rely on faith that those products are, in fact, pesticide free, organic, fair trade, etc., as labeled on the shelf tag. Even with those little PLU code stickers on each tomato and signs on the bin of loose-leaf baby kale, there is something not entirely comforting to the consumer that that sticker tells the whole story.

The Rise of Branded and Packaged Fresh Food

And that’s the reason why we’re seeing a rise in packaged produce: Branding, packaging, and graphic design help consumers confidently purchase these products.

Today when I go to my local grocer’s produce section and pick up a pack of baby greens, I’ll see a clean label made with soy-based inks on recycled paper applied to a crystal-clear container made from recycled plastics with the words “Washed 3X,” clusters of certification icons, inviting graphics, and typography — telling me all the right things to ease my anxiety about the product’s origins and safety. The packaging gives me confidence that I’m making a smart, safe choice.

The power of graphic design in produce is exciting. Brands like Organic Girl are leading the charge in fresh packaging and winning consumers over as their go-to choice based on convenience and trust. Designing food packaging has changed the way consumers shop, turning them into label readers with choices instead of label gawkers. Branded produce is bringing life and interest to a formerly quiet department.

The New Fresh Perimeter: 4 Insights

The fresh footprint is getting bigger at retail; it’s not just fruits, veggies, meats, and gallons of milk. Packaged fresh now includes items like snackable cheese trays, hummus and pretzels, meal prep kits, green juices, and more. I’m seeing marketing trends and shopper tendencies that will continue to shape this new fresh packaged category, including:

Farmers’ markets are shaping shoppers’ expectations. Shopping at farmers’ markets is a wonderful experience that makes us feel good about what we are buying and who we are supporting. The opportunity consumers have to speak and deal directly with the source provides a transparency that is hard to match. The trend of fresh in grocery echoes this experience, from the way food is being packaged to the way the retail environment is designed.

Design conveys authenticity. Packaging that shows off the actual food — with windows and clear substrates instead of photographs — takes us right to the farm when we interact with the package. Consumers care about the origin of their food across the fresh category, not just in produce. So a pack of fresh pasta might use classic typography, elegant colors and clear windows showing off the product to make the product feel like it came right from Italy.

Packaging enables convenience. Grab-and-go products especially communicate the freshness and convenience of a healthy, quick meal. Pre-made salads, portion control cheese plates, and serving-sized fruit cups provide alternative meals that consumers can feel good about — and that feel-good messaging (i.e., high protein, low sugar, all natural) is reinforced on the label or wrap.

Sustainability is a concern. Pre-made dinners and delivery meal services are also driving the fresh trend in packaged foods. But as the fresh category adopts bags, boxes, and wraps, a big concern is overpackaging and recyclability. I expect that consumers will quickly start to question how these packaged-fresh brands give back to the environment and their investment in sustainability and fair trade initiatives.

Yes, a consumer might feel weird buying fresh produce in a plastic container. But they’ll feel better about it knowing that Organic Girl puts extra effort into using recycled plastic in their packaging and making their packaging recyclable (consumers who don’t have access to recycling facilities can send their empty packaging back to the brand’s office). That might seem silly, but it absolutely backs up the brand promise of 100% organic, high quality, great-tasting products. To convince a shopper to choose branded spinach over a bundle with a PLU twist-tie from the bulk bin, it’s not enough to tout the quality of the product. Organic Girl goes all-in on purity, nutrition, and sustainability.

I’m not advocating for the produce department to look like a plastic festival. But consumers (and I count myself among them) are adopting a different shopping mentality that emphasizes content over value and that opens up so much potential for innovation in packaging design. The future of fresh may be packaged, but the foundation is more about transparency and education so consumers can make better decisions.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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Founder Fears Associated with Private Equity and Acquisitions

Better-for-you food and beverage has become the investment world’s industry darling. And with good reason. All but the most resistant non-believer understands that what we eat and drink and do to stay active have a direct impact on our health.

Combine this with the pace of change that technology affords entrepreneurial business, combined with the appetite for change of the typical technology-minded investor and it is just too fast for most incumbent brands. That’s why the longstanding practice of big companies buying startups to help them stay relevant is in high gear. And there’s no reason your company can’t be one their acquisitions and tomorrow’s breakout brand.

This white paper discusses a set of often unspoken expectations that minority investors, would-be acquirers and founder-owners need one another to understand in order to help you avoid getting swallowed up by anxiety.

The white-hot world of better-for-you food and beverage has more players from the equity world looking to get in before “old guard food brands” can discover the next rising star. A lot of these new players are holding companies and tech investors looking for a way to transition from Silicon Valley thinking to something more holistic.

This better-for-you flurry has got a strong head of steam. According to, the number of food investors has doubled in the last 5 years. Food has so much interest that its seems as though food & beverage investments now outnumber technology investments.

But this capital-infused high comes with its own challenges.

Food & Beverage Brands’ Key Investment Players

The tech investors tend to make their money by pushing people and systems to the edge. They are not accustomed to being in the people business and, sometimes, can have the attitude of disposable people and disposable relationships. Tech investors love ABC’s Shark Tank and sometimes fancy themselves as the sharks (and that is okay as long as the brand’s founder is aware).

Founders create a gem of a brand with their own tears, blood, and sweat. They live and breathe their company culture (even if it’s bad). So, while they are looking for capital to grow their organization, they are often reluctant to bring in partners who have a track record of being heavy-handed in operations, equipment, HR, and, well anything other than sales, marketing, and funding. This isn’t because the founders don’t understand these key areas as being critical to building meaningful, operationally significant brand systems. It’s more primal that that. Many founders, when faced with the specter of an investor putting multi-expert-hands in their proverbial pie, simply recoil. It makes many of founder-owners feel that potential equity partner or investor is only about growth at all costs — and when they don’t talk openly, the relationship is bound for the therapist’s couch (at best).

To work through this, the founder needs to ask questions of the core acquisition team and talk to other brands in their past and current portfolio. This is the only way to discover if the investor’s normal mode of growing an acquisition fits well with the culture of the current brand.

What Investors Need To Understand About Founders

Food and beverage brand creators are running on emotion and will likely question their gut instinct in the face of investor bravado.

Once contractually together, investors will often push for changes that the founder owner hadn’t anticipated. This can be resolved during the due diligence phase if the founder owner can look at and ask the following important (and often undervalued) question. Will my new partners possess and behave with the same moral compass that we used to build this business?

Food & beverage founders face a common set of fears when seeking investors.

  1. Founders fear that the industry may perceive them as a sell-out, especially if the acquiring entity and/or investor do not allow the brand to continue with the moral compass they created.
  2. Founders are weary that the earn-out portion of the deal may remain unattainable if the acquiring company’s pro forma is merely lip service in an attempt to calm the their nerves. The founder is concerned that the EBIDTA demands of the acquiring entity will put pressure in places inside the organization that will change the company’s stance on ingredients, sustainability, and hard-earned business relationships. So, in a worst case scenario, the founder could be labeled a sell out, not get paid, and be seen in the industry as having been bamboozled by people with deep pockets and a shallow conscience.
  3. They are not gonna “get” me, and I will be stuck reporting to a room of accountants and analysts who don’t believe in the brand beyond the balance sheet.

Investor Types: Which Is Best For Founder-Owners?

As a founder owner of a food & beverage brand, you will sleep better if you know and understand your would-be acquirer’s investment strategy. Are they looking for quick flips? Will they invest strategically in building the company out the way you envision or will they default to a specific point of view once the deal is inked?

Here is a simplified view of common equity partner philosophies.

  1. Moonshot investors think like Google and Apple. These investors buy a bunch of thought-leading brands and let them fight it out in the court of public opinion, believing that, eventually, one of them will be amazing and a must-have for everyone. The other brands are left to languish, fight for resources and ultimately go away. After all, there can only be one Siri.
  2. Spendthrift investors search for brands in distress so that they can acquire them at a bargain. Hostess and Necco Wafers and are great examples that happen to share the same acquiring investor. Roundhill Investments has made a name for itself by acquiring and growing nostalgic brands that have fallen out of fashion with consumers. Hostess is well on its way, It will be fun to see what they can do with the beloved Necco brand.
  3. Aggregator investors are looking for ways to make their marquee brand better. This is great if you have an ingredient-focused brand, or have  product that is more than the sum total of its ingredients. But it gets risky if you think you have a consumer-facing brand but are making most of your revenue in bulk or private label.
  4. Shepherd investors look for brands they can guide to greatness. As conventional food companies see more consumers choosing innovative natural, organic, and better-for-you products over legacy brands, they are seeking ways to meet that demand from acquisition to early-stage investments, and they have demonstrated a willingness to pay high multiples. These conventional food organizations are best suited to make acquisitions like Hormel (acquiring Applegate) and WhiteWave foods (acquiring Vega).

Obviously the best kind of equity partner for a founder-owner who wants to stay involved is the shepherd investor. But how does a founder-owner determine precisely what kind of investor they are talking to?

We recommend having a list of prepared questions about their business practices and their past wins and losses (as well as references from both). Here is starter question to ask a potential investor:

In the last three years, what has changed the most in our industry?

They should be able to speak candidly about the changing nature of consumers, the evolution of their preferences and behaviors, and connect these insights to your brand.

Many other situationally appropriate questions can be formed through a meaningful SWOT analysis prior to getting into due-diligence conversations.

For both parties it comes down to fierce, upfront dialogue. Be true to yourself and your vision from the very beginning. Listen, ask hard questions, answer boldly and with vulnerability, and whatever you do, don’t tell them what you think they want to hear.

Looking for a branding partner that has helped investors navigate founder brands – you found us. Drop us a note and let’s talk.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

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Disposable Diapers Raised My Consciousness

Written for Brand Packaging

In 1996 my parents finally figured out what I did for a living. They saw my adolescent sketchbooks and journals come to life on the walls, fixtures, furniture and packaging of Starbucks.

I was fortunate enough to be brought in to lead the rebrand of Starbucks when the company only had 800 locations but planned to build a store-per-day, forever.

It was then that I began to understand that graphic designers and marketers leave a legacy with the work they produce, not merely by how cool they think they are to their peers. This thought sent a shiver through my bones for two reasons:

  1. Some of the projects were so embarrassing that I’d never want my mom to see.
  2. We accepted work for brands we didn’t believe in—because they were selling products filled with non-nutritional ingredients and promoting unhealthy or sedentary lifestyles—just to fund our agency.

I was burned out and thought about becoming a beet farmer.

But when I looked deeper, there were a handful of projects that stood out—they contained genuine moments when we had helped a brand change the behavior and shape of popular culture. I chose to not only stay in the field of design, but I chose to also further my education to learn about business, leadership and management. I came out hungry for bigger game.

By the time I joined LPK in Cincinnati I had worked on approximately 300 brands, ranging from startups to the Fortune 50. And yet, outside of the world of graphic design, nobody cared. Even I didn’t care—unless it could make my brand more popular to other graphic designers.

Then LPK threw diapers at me.

Pampers tasked LPK with creating a global acceptance of disposable diapers. At that time, many developing regions around the globe had resisted disposable diapers. In addition to being viewed as costly, most families in developing regions preferred cloth diapers for deeply held cultural reasons that had to do with how motherhood was viewed (mostly by men). Research uncovered that the infant mortality rate in these regions was alarming and that cloth diapers combined with water conditions were leading contributors.

Using trend analysis research, I worked with a team that ultimately suggested P&G should do two things:

  1. Champion motherhood as a cause globally.
  2. Connect Pampers to UNICEF to change the way diapers were perceived in developing countries.

This led to P&G’s “Million Ways of Motherhood Program,” while Pampers worked with UNICEF to help virtually eradicate infant mortality in these developing regions.

Once senior leadership at P&G bought into and started running with the idea, fireworks went off in my head. I thought of it as a revolution. I believed that since a solid brand strategy process enrolled P&G, it could work for other brands seeking a higher calling. I realized that by aligning with and committing to helping this kind of company I could contribute to society in numerous ways—not just sell them stuff.

Reborn, I committed to teaching business leaders to view brand strategy as a way to win at retail while using their business as a force for good. I wrote a Manifesto that begins with the line, “I have seen the best brands of my generation destroyed by madness and greed.” and ended it with a rallying cry that, “there was a better, mission-driven approach to becoming a powerful brand.”

Taking it one step further, I created a new firm, Retail Voodoo, dedicated to helping the do-gooders gain enough influence to change the conversation around food, beverage, wellness and fitness. Our vision: Bring world-class brand strategy, big-picture thinking and top-level design to those companies who were hell-bent on changing the world for the better.

At the time we were seen as crazies. But, seven years later, we find ourselves in the middle of a megatrend because more people are seeking clean eating and have made the connection between optimism and exercise. Furthermore, people want the brands they allow into their lives to be good corporate citizens.

You might be wondering how, if at all, the day-to-day practice of brand strategy and design is different in this niche. What’s similar is that the brand owners need to grow their business—their neck is on the line if our work doesn’t produce results.

But that’s where the similarities end. Retail Voodoo doesn’t accept assignments from brands or products we don’t believe in personally—meaning we must trust their business ethics and are able to see that they are striving to do good for the human race beyond just making a product for profit.

Another difference is how we staff the agency. All of our employees are true believers in what we are trying to do as an agency. It took a few years of turnover—there were a handful of team members that were resistant non-believers. We ultimately had to evolve our hiring philosophy to one that was based upon a person’s potential and energy, not merely past job performance.

People are genuinely surprised (or skeptical) to learn that we walk away from brands with deep pockets but no purpose beyond profit. But we are respectful about it. We probe deeper and ask them why their brand exists beyond making a profit. If that offends them, it’s simply not a good fit. If they don’t know what their purpose is but want help finding it, game on!

Today, as we focus on our mission, it does not include cannabis brands. Why not bend to make room for it since the industry is flooded with venture capitalists that know how to grow a business? My kids. They are proud. They even tell their teachers and friends what we do.

It’s about the legacy we all must leave (whether we think about it or not). When we touch a brand, it catches fire, and I won’t help popularize products that I wouldn’t let my kids share with their friends.
successful examples include:

1. Sahale Snacks
Achieved a 5x growth in the first year and is now the best-selling brand of trail mix in the U.S.

2. DRY Soda
Recorded a 20x increase in topline revenue in 36 months and has earned the title of fastest-growing Carbonated Soft Drink (CSD) in North America.

3. Essentia Water
Reported 84 percent growth over 12 months and has become the fastest-growing specialty water in the U.S.

I see these “specialty” natural brands representing the future of brands—eventually they will be the majority. Don’t get me wrong, people will always want chips and cola, but I see a future where conventional grocery will be the new specialty grocer. This used to sound crazy, but there is mounting evidence of the shift—Costco and Walmart are now the biggest buyers of organic products with Kroger and Target hot on their tails.

We are not for everybody. But when the purpose-driven founder, CEO or marketer realizes how we have stood in the farms, factories, test kitchens and boardrooms of many of the brands they’re aspiring to be more like, we move from being a potential vendor to kindred spirit. They understand we want to help them grow and will make certain they don’t sell their soul for profit.

David Lemley is Founder/Chief Strategist, Retail Voodoo. Retail Voodoo believes that brands can make a difference when they stand for something good. It is the only branding agency with a 25-year track record turning better-for-you brands (in wellness, food, beverage and fitness) into cultural forces for good and financial powerhouses. Clients include: Essentia Water, KIND, Sahale Snacks, Alden’s Organic, Dry Soda, REI, Starbucks and Sur La Table.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

Connect with David
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The Role of Instagram in Package Design

With Instagram being one of the first places consumers will see your brand’s main face to the world (its packaging), how can brands optimize this platform to work as hard for them as good in-store shelf presence does? There are considered ways that brands can use the power of social media to evoke an emotional tribal call to your consumers rather than becoming something people mindlessly scroll past.

In a platform that is filled with clutter, you must find ways to leverage Instagram to give your brand a unique perspective and lure consumers in by both standing out and fitting in.

The first step to success is to identify your brand’s voice and brand promise; this should be the blood that pulses through everything you do on Instagram – from stories to posts to direct messages. This is most important because Instagram is where your package goes from being the most interesting on shelf to something that makes people feel cool when they’re showing it off on their own feed. Instagram is all about what people choose to signal to the outside world – where your product needs to go from visually striking in a two-second scroll to being by consumers signaling a message to their own followers.

After you have clear vision of your brand’s tone, voice and ethos, you can begin thinking about how to best approach Instagram.

How To Launch a Well-Designed Product on Instagram

  1. Do your research. Yes – stare at your phone for a while. When designing a package to stand out on a retail shelf, your main sources of competition are the other brands that your package will sit next too, but Instagram is a totally different playing field. You will need to research what accounts your ideal consumers follow to know what makes them mentally invest in a brand. Also use competitive research as a benchmark on how to zag away from competitor accounts as a way to catch and keep their attention.
  2. Aesthetic is important but not everything. Your social media is an opportunity to sell a potential consumer on your brand’s promise and make them want to feel like they NEED to be a part of tribe. In doing so, the aesthetics of your posts should mimic your packaging in emotive cues, but remember that your words matter too. It’s important to move beyond the pack to create a 360 brand experience rather than simply following what’s on trend at the moment. This extends beyond the story that is told in photos, but also how you communicate with your followers. By responding to their comments in a timely manner and in an on-brand tone of voice you signal to them that their loyalty means the world to you, and in turn they will be more likely to sing your praises to others.
  3. Where package design in concerned, consider its “thumbnail-ability”. Instagram is becoming one of the biggest purchase drivers for retail brands with its new feature to allow consumers to purchase directly from the app or connect to an e-commerce site. Making sure that your product communicates all that it needs to in the right size and format – which in this case, is a small, thumb-sized image. From a visual communication standpoint, beyond just showing how the pack looks and functions, brands should be demonstrating the brand promise, key benefits, and the product name in a beautiful way — whether through photography or videography. You have two seconds to wow them and pull them in. Challenge accepted.

While keeping all these key factors in mind, know that you have such a unique power to positively impact billions of people with your brand if you use Instagram correctly. With the amount of reach available with Instagram, your message can travel extremely far in the blink of an eye. Just remember that consistency in imagery and messaging is a key factor in conveying authenticity, which is most sought after in this sphere. Make sure you use that power wisely.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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5 Obstacles to a Successful Rebrand that Nobody Talks About

How many times has your company rebranded? Even if you answer, “Just once,” we’re guessing that felt like one time too many. And what was it all for? Were you able to achieve your goals? This may be hard to believe even now, but most people still mean redecorating when they say rebranding. They are talking about iterative packaging changes, new logos, and advertising campaigns. No wonder rebrands fall short.

We have identified the most common but usually unspoken circumstances that stand in the way of effectively and predictably changing your company’s market position via rebranding.

This white paper discusses strategies to manage leadership and team expectations, sacred cows, and data. These insights, along with our practical how-to response for each obstacle, will enable you to perform some organizational jujitsu, the real reason to embark on rebranding.

Most people think of creative translation issues when they think of rebranding failure. The reality is that the most common obstacles to a successful rebranding are further up funnel, during brand strategy development. And frankly they are further up the management ladder. That is, unless your definition for rebranding is really just redecorating. A true rebranding gets into the why, the how, and the what behind your brand. It’s not just skin deep and definitely not for the faint of heart.

Here are the obstacles no one seems to be talking about. Identifying and planning for these unspoken hurdles will increase the likelihood of succeeding.

Leadership Dynamics

When leadership sees branding as a marketing objective rather than a business objective, their lack of engagement is a hurdle to the rest of their team. When this occurs, it is typically due to an old-school mentality with an inaccurate understand of what branding means.

Another surprisingly common problem happens when not everyone participates in the brand development meetings. These invisible influencers from adjacent functional silos in your company probably don’t intentionally set out to throw off your attempts to use branding as a driver to create meaningful change within the business. Regardless of why they’re not there — whether you skipped them on the meeting invites or they’ve skipped thinking that all you’re going to do is sit around and talk about the artwork and back of pack copywriting  — your brand has an enrollment challenge.

When leadership at any level within your organization rejects new ideas without consideration or dialogue, your likelihood of success is greatly diminished.

The Retail Voodoo Way to align leadership during the rebrand:
We require the key leadership of your brand to participate in every strategy session, complete the exercises, and voice their opinion within the context of the group assignment. We understand business (not just design) and have a bedside manner that will connect with your team at all levels.

Team Dysfunction

When companies are siloed and view each other as obstacles rather than allies, there is a persistent level of infighting and disagreement. Before you can manage the changes necessary to create meaningful change, it is important to get everyone on the same page. People inside an organization that is a prime candidate for rebranding often have conflicting agendas born out of frustration, team performance issues, and frankly a fear of losing their job. Before you know it, people translate this to mean that they need to fear compromise because the internal culture has silently declared it a sign of weakness. The root of this internal bias, whether real or implied, is the false belief that collaboration is the same as compromise.

The Retail Voodoo Way to enroll your team in the rebrand:
We use blind surveys for all key stakeholders in order to get everyone in the organization literally on the same page. This builds bridges and overcomes personal agendas quickly.

Misaligned Expectations

Clarity is tough. All companies are impacted by relationship dynamics. Just like in life, when people don’t talk about it they create unrealistic expectations around timing and costs. And these become the barriers to rejuvenation that the organization was likely seeking through the process of rebranding.

Once the company decides that rebranding makes the most sense, it’s natural for those involved in ensuring the rebrand “sticks” to want everything to happen all at once. Then it becomes even more natural to skip a holistic plan because it needs to involve everyone in leadership – and leaders can be impatient, high concept thinkers who don’t want the minutia (except for when they do).

Lack of alignment around the time and cost implications of rebranding stems from the C-suite spreads throughout the organization. If your leadership sees rebranding as a new logo and maybe a packaging refresh, then they are likely to ask the marketing team to make critical changes without addressing the financial implications beyond the short-term marketing tactics required. Plan for 2 years of marketing and operational implications based upon a rebrand. And then add 50% of the budget and timeline for implementation.

The Retail Voodoo Way to align expectations:
Prior to embarking on the rebranding journey, work with your team to establish how you will program and finance any operational changes needed to deliver on innovation, positioning pivots, and product portfolio alignment. Our philosophy is talk it out early and often. It’s your job to budget dollars and time, but we can help plan.

Outdated Brand Equities

A product legacy has run its course and needs to be cancelled. But this is terrifying for everyone in the company if the product in question is all that the company has ever sold (or it’s the original or it’s the namesake). At Retail Voodoo, we call these outdated brand equites “sacred cows”.

Better-for-you food and beverage has become a new buzzword in the face of fast-paced evolution of consumer preferences (not to mention a playground for private equity), more single product brands, specialized ingredient-focused brands, and specialty processing brands have seen their once sustainable and market-leading position erode rapidly.

Moving away from a sacred cow is tough when you don’t see it. When your core product equity has a brand liability, and the organization responds to changing anything with phrases like, “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” you may be in for a steeper climb than you originally thought.

The Retail Voodoo Way to identify, remove, and retire your brand’s core liabilities:
Innovation and differentiation require new thinking. If it were easy, everyone would be a market-leading brand.

First, we assess your culture through research and key personnel interviews and look for your company’s appetite for change before making any recommendations. Then we will identify your brand’s core liabilities, and use data to illuminate future possibilities that cross reference your brand’s past and present.

Misinterpreted Data

When your brand believes that your employees are your best customers, your team may become prone to make strategic assumptions based off internal consensus and call it data. This confirmation bias allows your brand to make up its own rules and innovate products that only you and your employees would use. When your employees and key stakeholders insist that they are your brand’s best customers, watch out – you have three years to change this before your position in the marketplace erodes.

The Retail Voodoo Way to data interpretation:
Employee and management opinions matter, they just aren’t data. To start, you need external data. We will bring in experts who specialize in authoring the right kind of survey for your brand’s unique situation. And help you curate which the off the shelf, syndicated data (like PEW, Mintel, Neilson, and a host of others) makes the best investment for your brand. Next, we question and then synthesize data into actionable insights that map to a brand strategy before sharing it out with the entire team.

Leaders, teams, expectations, sacred cows, and data. Holy hand grenades! It’s enough to send any marketer over the edge. But don’t go there. Take heart and give yourself a moment. Rebranding requires a level head, a strong spirit, guts, and some organizational jujitsu. If you are considering a rebrand and have exhausted all other, lesser involved avenues to affect change, give us a call.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

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Better-for-you Brands are Missing Their Biggest Market Opportunity

If you’re working inside a natural food or beverage brand, chances are you’re a natural products fan, yourself. So you assume that the marketplace embraces natural, too.

But not everyone does. Not by a long shot.

That disconnect hit me during a recent business trip through the Midwest: Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. As I usually do when I’m traveling, I popped into a grocery store to experience different retail environments and find different products from what I see here in Seattle. (Yes, I’m a retail nerd.)

Browsing the naturals section at a HyVee in Omaha, I spotted Ensure, the nutrition drink, shelved among the organic products. And I had an epiphany: There are people who think Ensure is a better-for-you product. OK, technically Ensure is better for you compared to Doritos. But Ensure would never be admitted to a natural products expo.

The experience sparked three major insights for me:

  1. Natural products play differently to different demographics in different parts of the country.
  2. Owners and marketing executives at natural brands, who tend to be West or East Coasters (either geographically or philosophically), communicate as if their entire audience is composed of similarly coastal-minded people.
  3. There is a huge market opportunity for natural brands in the country’s midsection.

Natural Products Means Different Things to Different People

According to Nielsen research, a staggering 20% of Americans are resistant nonbelievers. They refuse to believe that food and diet have an impact on health and wellness. And there’s another huge group of people who are ambivalent about it. Lots of people don’t care about making smart food choices or don’t know how to make them. Part of the disconnect is regional. Better-For-You (BFY) in Nebraska means Ensure next to organic crackers. BFY in New York means fair-trade, single-origin, farm-to-package, organic pumpkin seeds with hand-harvested Mediterranean sea salt. It’s also socioeconomic, psychological, and educational. Natural brands sell at a higher price point. Their packaging and messaging communicate in an arch style that doesn’t build relationships across demographics. And the perception that healthy food tastes like cardboard persists.

Natural Brand Leaders Have Innate Bias

We find that BFY brand owners are unaware of their confirmation bias, that the rest of the world thinks like they do and has the same standards for health and wellness. Yeah, you drive an electric car and meditate and gladly plunk down $5 for that packet of single-origin pumpkin seeds. Maybe your friends and colleagues do, too. So it’s easy to navel-gaze and project your own preferences onto your entire audience. Which means you’re missing a huge potential market — because you just don’t see them. When we started working with Essentia, the performance water, they were great at appealing to elite athletes and medical professionals who shopped for enhanced water at Whole Foods. The marketing team had built a set of assumptions about their niche, and they were only talking to those people — people who were like themselves. But we had ample consumer data that showed that non-white-athleisure-wearers were also likely to buy supercharged water. Our research identified new customer segments, including African-Americans and Hispanic men, who were interested in a hydrating product and would otherwise buy Gatorade. We created a prototypical persona: a Hispanic construction worker in Houston who needed a better option than plain water to keep him going. Based on those insights, we repositioned and repackaged Essentia for a broader market, with expectation-busting results.

There’s Huge Opportunity — But it Takes Work

If you seek to grow your brand beyond your current customer base — and sales will stagnate if you don’t — then you have to recognize that there are people out there who are not like you and your colleagues. And you have to build a relationship with them. How? Look beyond your glass house. Identify the geographic/demographic/
psychographic segments outside your base who are your strongest prospects. Understand their needs that your product meets. (Learn how to use U&A studies to find out what you don’t know.) Don’t assume they’re up to speed. These aren’t regular natural product buyers. You need to educate the consumer about why BFY products matter to them, and bringing these new customers along is a much longer journey. Your look, your package copy, your online presence, and your advertising all has to gently, respectfully educate. Know their biases. Remember those resistant nonbelievers Nielsen uncovered. They don’t see the benefits of BFY products. They have what we call a “sufficient quality” bias — they determine a product’s value by whether it’s just good enough for the money. They think natural food tastes like crap. You have messaging work to do. Preaching to the converted is easy — they’re already in your fold, they’ve bought in. But there’s no path to growth there. The opportunity — and the challenge — lies in evangelizing about your brand in the bigger world, convincing the skeptics, and winning over people who think a bottle of water, sugar, and artificial ingredients qualifies as a natural product.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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Food & Wellness Brands, Beware: How Redesigns Go Wrong

When you were a kid, you probably begged your parents to let you have cookies before you had dinner, right? You wanted the sweets before you ate your vegetables.

Now that you’re running marketing for a food, beverage or wellness brand, you want the good stuff (cool-looking, trendy identity, and packaging) before you’ve had the good-for-you stuff (business strategy).

We’ll be the grown-ups here and tell you: No design until you’ve done the strategy first.

This design-before-strategy trap is becoming even more prevalent: We’re finding that about 75% of our prospective clients just want something pretty and they want it now. Why the rush? These are the most common reasons we see for moving forward quickly with design changes:

  • Brands haven’t allocated appropriate resources (dollars or people) to develop a sound foundational strategy.
  • CEOs and CMOs have been burned in the past by hasty redesigns, and they’re not convinced they should spend the time or money to do it right. See the irony here?
  • People in business tend to overestimate their own taste and expertise; they’ve supervised design projects before so they think they can fast-track the latest one.
  • Design is a tangible outcome and research is not, and it’s hard for people to be patient enough to wait for that outcome.
  • There’s a false sense of urgency: the sales team wants the change now, retailers are barking at the door, and competitors are coming into the market.

We get it. Setting the stage for an effective design or redesign takes time: The process we walk our clients through typically runs six to eight months. It’s intimidating: Research might reveal mistakes you’ve made; category reviews might show that your competitors are trouncing you at retail. It takes resources: You need to allocate a budget and secure the commitment from your leadership team.

And it’s worth pointing out that brand strategy does not equal creative strategy; one comes before the other, which is important to keep in mind when you set your expectations for working with an agency.

The Problems of Redesigning without Strategy

Design becomes a beauty contest. Let’s line up three splashy new packaging systems and pick one. Which one? The one the loudest voice in the room (the CEO) favors. This is a great approach only if your leadership team knows exactly how to pick a winning, on-brand, culturally relevant design that not only appeals to current customers but also captures a huge new audience. (I have met just two in thirty years who could do this.)

Design is just guess. Without the appropriate competitive analysis, trend forecasting, white-space mapping, and brand-driven positioning language, creative execution is a total shot in the dark. How do you make design decisions that will stand out on shelf, attract buyers, and stand the test of time if you don’t understand what the market needs and wants?

Design is a short-cut solution. You’re under pressure from retail partners seeking greater velocity, and you need a redesign — fast. So you skip the three months of strategy work and go straight to picking colors and typefaces.

Design is knee-jerk reaction. You’re just chasing trends in search of a sales spike. So you redesign every 18 to 24 months in response to what’s hot in ingredients, graphics, or food photography.

Redesigning becomes an endless cycle. When the creative execution fails to move the needle, and it inevitably does, the marketing team takes another swing at it. Bad design begets bad design, and pretty soon everyone thinks it’s the design’s (and the designers’) fault. It’s the natural outcome every time.

What does a smart redesign in our space look like? Check out Kashi’s 2016 brand overhaul. They updated the logo, dropping the swishy rectangular background and emphasizing the leaf motif. The mark plays a more prominent role on packaging, yet it’s still familiar to fans. New boxes feature super-close product photography on a stark white background. A primary typography system reinforces the brand’s iconic green. It’s a pretty major redesign, but still completely in line with what the brand was before. The Kellogg team clearly built the redesign against Kashi’s existing brand strategy and in response to the marketplace, instead of changing for the sake of change.

And we’ll bet that Kashi’s marketers won’t be doing another redesign anytime soon.

You only have to look at Coke and Pepsi to know that a brand’s design can last for years. They hang on to those design systems because there’s so much equity — customers freak out if the brands make even the smallest tweak.

So, that last design your brand team unveiled … How’s that going? Not what you wanted? Thinking about a do-over? Let us guide you through it — the right way.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

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6 Ways Agencies Fail Food & Beverage Brands

As the food and beverage category continues to hone in on the importance of natural brands across all channels, getting investors is no longer the challenge — because better-for-you brands are driving category growth and, consequently, private equity investment in food outpaces all other categories. The pace of change in the last three years has outstripped even the staggering changes of the previous decade. Natural and better-for-you brands have moved beyond the realm of Whole Foods and made Costco and Walmart the biggest retail buyers of organic products.

The game has changed; investment opportunities appear to be falling from the sky for anyone with a clean ingredient deck and a crumb of a brand story.

But we have spent the better part of the last decade deep in the boardrooms, farms, and factories with some of the well-respected players who have driven this change, and we have some potentially bad news. If you have invested in rebranding within the last three years and are not experiencing the growth you expected, your agency may have failed you. This white paper explores six unexpected ways in which we have seen the agency drive the naturals brand off the proverbial cliff.

1. Sanitizing the truth about your brand. When the creative agency doesn’t take the time to learn, analyze, and ultimately challenge the category conventions or the closed-loop thinking of the founder-owner, the company’s culture, product offering, and vision, they inadvertently default to cool and clever tactics. Without mind-melding over the real pain points (or legitimate white space innovation), any creative outreach is more likely to be slick and not grounded in business strategy. And — because they are moving quickly — they tell the brand owners what they want to hear instead of the sometimes deeply blemished truth in order to get the creative ideas approved. The result is unownable beauty.

Need proof? Flip over any better-for-you packaged food and read an origin story that sounds like this.

“I had this challenge/pain point and so I made a company. Insert clever/humorous/witty tone to cover up the lack of depth in the origin story and add sizzle.”

– The Earnest Founder

2. Faking the category audit. Was your category audit insightful or did your agency merely check the box? The most common complaint we hear from brand owners, particularly in the naturals space, is that their category audit was too sterile and looked like something an intern could have produced using Google in an afternoon.A meaningful category audit must include the sometimes-ugly reality of retail. At a minimum, this means that the category audit should showcase lighting conditions, shelf restrictions, and key adjacencies from multiple locations. This along with analysis of your channel strategy is important if your category audit is to show you both potential threats and budding opportunities for your brand.

3. Claiming social media engagement will get you trial and velocity. Many agencies are still telling clients that likes and mentions will drive sales. And perhaps while the meter is running on that vegan snack fitness influencer contract there is some traction. We have seen it time and again — when that contract ends, the likes go away; the brand is forced to resort to buying likes with coupons and promo codes. Product efficacy, a contrarian point-of-view, and transparency to back up any claims of authenticity go further than any celebrity endorsement. And while we won’t discount the growth opportunities of influencer marketing, defaulting to this single tactic won’t get you the velocities you’re looking for. Bottom line, your marketing strategy needs to be multi-faceted.

4. Calling star-power strategic branding. Using celebrities can be a powerful endorsement for your brand, particularly when they fit the positioning of your brand ethos. We have seen the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Kobe Bryant and many others assist with a brands growth potential. However, branded products and famous people in ads only works for a few minutes. Once you stop paying endorsements, your brand disappears. You also do not have control over that person’s personal life. You can look to Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong to see what sort of collateral damage a celebrity can have on your brand. Unless you are a multi-national, we suggest you spend your marketing dollars elsewhere.

5. Assuming your consumer speaks your brand’s language. Marketing or advertising filled with insider jargon, certification claims, and tons of “us” vs. “them” verbiage emphasizes the negatives instead of the lifestyle associated with the brand. These tactics won’t grow a brand, increase its sphere of influence (among people, not influencers), nor get into a new customer’s consideration set. This approach automatically assumes that your consumer-to-be speaks your language. In extreme instances, we have seen this create a retail environment where the front-line employees have been poisoned by the marketing team to think unflatteringly about customers. The right way is to use brand strategy to decide why your brand exists in the world and who you can help because of it. Once clear on your brand’s purpose, the act of profiling your audience moves from merely demographic and leans into ambition, hope, human tendencies, and inspiration. We all want to believe we are working toward becoming a better version of ourselves. Brands, when they consider real people to be worthy of them, help us get on and stay on the path.

6. Using squishy strategy so the creative team isn’t fenced in. The agency creates a strategy, the client signs off, and then… the creative team comes up with a cooler idea. So the agency is forced to change the strategy to match the creative concept. Abraham Lincoln once asked, “How many legs does a dog have if you count the tail?” He answered, “Four. Calling the tail a leg does not make it a leg.” Killer creative ideas are not brand strategy. Killer creative’s intent is to get people’s attention so that they notice (and buy) your brand. Brand strategy’s intent is to evolve the company, its culture, offerings, sales opportunities, and ultimately its contribution to society in order to grow a large tribe of believers both inside and outside the company. A case in point: In our work with Essentia Water, we inherited a brand strategy that was clearly designed to produce adverts filled with blonde women in white yoga pants sitting on the beach (despite the fact that the data pointed to a racially diverse audience focused on being active in radically diverse ways). After scrapping that strategy and building one from the ground up, says this brand is on fire.

Consumers’ needs, competition, marketplace, and channels all change. Which means positioning needs to be refined or overhauled every once in a while to make sure your brand stays relevant.

We recommend that each brand that we work with establishes a scheduled audit and tune-up at a minimum of five-year increments — unless something significant has happened with your market or something is NOT working. Obviously, if your brand is losing share, don’t wait five years to make a change. But you should also be aware that a brand strategy driven rebound takes take 12-24 months before you can sit back and know with confidence that you have nailed it.

If you have gone through a rebrand in the last 18-24 months and aren’t realizing growth, I suggest a reality check that begins with the following questions before blaming your current agency.

  1. Is your internal team truly following the new strategy or have you tweaked it to make yourselves more comfortable?
  2. Did your strategy produce an innovation pipeline that has retail buyers looking to your brand for what is next in the category?

If after careful reflection you feel like your agency has failed you, or it’s time for a tune-up, it may be time for Retail Voodoo.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

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The 6 Marketing Ingredients of a Naturals Brand

The “4 Ps” model has been a foundation of marketing management since the 1960s:

Product + Price + Place + Promotion = Marketing

If you manufacture a product, price it right, make it accessible to shoppers, and spread the word about it, you make the sale. Easy.

We’re here to declare this 50-year-old formula dead.

Product doesn’t (really) matter anymore. Patagonia a great example: Yvon Chouinard started the company in the ’70s, selling climbing equipment; now they’re in the food business. You can’t win on price, because Walmart has muscled brands into discounting submission. Place is irrelevant: Thanks to Amazon, people can get any product shipped anywhere. And you can’t out-spend the big brands on promotion.

A New Marketing Discipline

Consumers today seek authenticity from the brands they buy; they want to know what’s in their food, and they expect companies to have morals and values. Now more than ever, people use brands as building blocks of personal identity—they don’t just buy your products, they view you as a reflection of themselves.

Consumers’ expectations of brands are even higher in the naturals category because those who are willing to pay more for natural products care not only about what you’re doing for them but about what you’re doing for the planet.

The 6 Ps of Marketing for Natural Brands

We see it: Many brands are struggling to be relevant in the face of changing consumer preferences. They’re increasingly pressured to do more with less and are vulnerable to better-organized, well-funded competitors.

So we guide our clients to focus on a mix of six marketing ingredients:

1. Purpose

This is your mission, your higher calling, your reason for being, beyond making a profit. What’s your contribution to society or the planet? This should be so well defined that you don’t even have to think when you’re asked about it. If it’s not ingrained in your brand’s DNA, you have major work to do.

2. People

Two components here: internal and external. How do you treat employees—not just your office staff but your manufacturing workers? Wages and working conditions are key indicators. Outwardly, what’s your giveback to your community? How are you pouring profits back into supporting your purpose?

Our client Loma Linda is a great example of this internal/external people focus: The world’s oldest vegetarian brand has a manufacturing facility in Rocky Mount, NC, a community of working poor. The founder raised wages, gave every employee food once a week, and taught them how to cook with it for their families.

3. Planet

Do you have a visible, transparent end-to-end manufacturing and supply chain? Not just for your products, but your packaging as well? It’s a challenge: All of the natural snacks brands we know want to put products in pouches, which are not recyclable or renewable. We’re constantly pushing clients to find different options; cans, for example, while not especially sexy, are sustainable and a package of choice for Loma Linda.

4. Passion

This is your why—it underpins your purpose and drives your people. It’s your origin story. Successful brands have a battle to fight, a wrong that they seek to right. Your enemy isn’t your competition; it’s a challenge that your products help people to overcome. Nike’s foe isn’t Adidas—it’s the voice in all of our heads that says, “you can’t.”

5. Personality

Your brand should sound like no one else; in fact, it should be contrarian to your competitors. It should speak in a language and tone that calls out to your tribe. For example, KIND’s core message—“Do the kind thing for your body, your taste buds & your world” wraps a basic message about health and sustainability in a larger envelope of kindness. It’s a great display of brand personality.

6. Profit

Duh. But some passion brands let profit fall by the wayside in pursuit of the higher calling. We’ve watched founder/owners mistakenly believe that being successful in the business they’ve built equals selling out. So they don’t pursue the right relationships, they let growth stagnate, they get stuck with a $25 million business that costs $30 million to run.

If you’re a better-for-you brand, having a good, wholesome product with clean ingredients is a given. You have to stand for something more: sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices, livable wages for workers, commitment to the environment. You need a prominent, passionate founder (that’s you) with a great backstory and a voice that echoes a siren song to your people.

To this 6 Ps of Marketing, we’ll add a seventh: Partner. That’s us. We’re here to help.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana