Marketplace Observations: Leveraging Winter to Deepen Brand Relevance

Each January, marketers work hard to gain the attention of consumers who resolve to lead healthier lifestyles in the new year. In these first days of January, two established brands in the crowded grocery packaged goods aisles — Campbell’s and Dole — are leveraging product and marketing innovation to communicate relevancy and uniqueness with topical and fresh perspectives.

Campbell’s continues the rollout of its Well Yes!® product line with advertisements that visually emphasize the drudgeries and hurdles of navigating winter weather. The bleakness of winter serves to emphasize the joy that food can bring to everyday life, and the campaign showcases the inherent, nutritional goodness in the ingredients “you know and understand, with the unexpected flavors you’ll love.”

Humor adds a warm touch to the winter promotion, promising that “the only thing worse than January, is February.” And, humor works to strategically contemporize Campbell’s and shift the personality from the brand long associated with romanticizing winter as an active playground of building snowmen and igniting warm fires to one of transparency and pragmatism.

Dole is tapping the New Year by leveraging coconut water to synchronize with health and wellness rituals that escalate throughout the first quarter. Dole’s new product line extension, Fruit Cups in Coconut Water, leverages the newsworthiness of coconut water to strategically refresh Dole’s fruit cups with a healthy essence that draws reconsideration to sliced and packaged fruits including mangoes, peaches and mandarin oranges.

According to BCG’s recent study of more than 100 global enterprises, innovation is a leading priority for CEOs, with more than 70% listing it as one of their top three areas of focus. Yet only 16% of companies surveyed believe that they’re better innovators than their peers. At EMA, we find brands that excel at innovation to be driven by:

  • Excellence in customer insight
  • A focus on the full purchase experience
  • A commitment to keep the customer at the center of innovation

Campbell’s and Dole strike us as good examples of brands that are listening and building solutions that understand and delight customers. Both are looking to the market for inspiration and strategically leveraging health and wellness priorities to boost relevancy and drive ongoing advantage.