Reposition a Brand

Vitasoy-USA makes a full line of natural organic soymilk. For years their advertising had preached to the choir: the steadfast but limited audience of vegans, vegetarians, and natural health food devotées. Media buys in such publications as Vegetarian Times, Healthy Living, and Yoga Journal reflected that focus on a loyal, narrow customer base. The serious marketing problem Vitasoy faced was the beginnings of a shrinking market share in light of increased competition from other healthful beverage offerings, not only in the soymilk category, but also from rice milks and exotic fruit beverages such as Fresh Samantha (now Odwalla) and Naked. To top it off, the challenge of expanding their market to embrace the only slightly health oriented consumer is made even more daunting by the explosion of beverage choices in general.

Our challenge was to help Vitasoy transition from a trusted name in soymilk among natural food customers to an exciting new beverage choice among mainstream consumers.

Soymilk in general and Vitasoy in particular come with a legion of compelling reasons to bring it home. It's good for your heart. It's great for women's health. It prevents bone loss. It's got Omega-3 fatty acids that prevent certain cancers. The list of health benefits is quite long but clearly the challenge to getting the average consumer to even consider buying soymilk is the taste. Soymilk had not traditionally enjoyed a reputation for tastiness, and yet Vitasoy's refrigerated version was remarkably delicious. In fact, for several years, Vitasoy had captured top honors at the annual American Taste Institute's competition. That "gold medal" credibility gave us our cue for our first Vitasoy campaign.

First, we knew we wanted to show the consumer that Vitasoy was tasty and moreover was becoming a favorite of regular people, too. But we also knew that our target audience might be described as "regular plus," educated, at least slightly upscale, and also willing to try new experiences. So we showed "regular people" in our print and television advertising and expanded the media buy to include more mainstream publications such as Cooking Light, Shape, O, and Women's Day. Television in Boston, Philadelphia and New York featured spots on the NBC Today Show, Live with Regis, Network News, Lifetime, and HGTV. We also coordinated a billboard effort in Boston and San Francisco. We supported traditional media with an aggressive coupon campaign in free standing inserts in the major weekend newspapers in Boston, Hartford, Providence, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Finally, we also purchased sponsorship announcements on National Public Radio in Boston and New York.

Our client was very pleased with the results of this campaign with definite evidence of acquiring market share from competitors while generating new trial among consumers. Vitasoy became the #2 refrigerated soymilk in the Northeast markets (New England, New York and Philadelphia). Vitasoy's dollar share increased 0.5% from April to June, while rivals Silk and Sun Soy lost share. FSI coupon redemptions were 25,586 or 0.66%, eclipsing the 0.5% required to justify costs.

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