Vanessa Doll of Freshmade Discusses Uniquely Naming and Branding Programs
- by Jordan Okumura
DEERFIELD BEACH, FL - We all want to put our best foot forward, or in this case, brand, as teams from across the fresh produce industry vie for a piece of the consumer wallet. The industry often talks about the combination of art and science when it comes to bridging the gap between the product and the shopper, the produce department and the consumer’s kitchen. Such attention to detail and formula combined with vision and artistry is how some of the best brands in our industry thrive.
To get a look at how a brand coalesces behind the scenes, I took a beat with Vanessa Doll, Director of Client Services, Freshmade, to discuss what it takes when deciding to uniquely name or brand an individual product and what factors come into play when making these decisions.
“There are three types of brand architecture in CPG brand building: Branded House (Tillamook), House of Sub-Brands (Wonderful), and Hybrid (Chobani), in which there is some flexibility where brand equity lies across the entire portfolio,” Vanessa tells me. “Conventionally in fresh produce, we see a lot of Branded Houses, but that’s not always the best approach for everyone. So, we first look to see what the existing brand architecture is for a client, and then we evaluate the product’s UNIQUE white-space opportunity against three key differentiators."
Those three elements in qualifying a product’s features, advantages, and benefits are:
- Flavor: Is there something special about the genetics or the product that makes it taste special?
- Experience: Is it fun to peel? Can it be packaged in a distinct way (like Mighties)?
- Key Benefit: Is it particularly healthy? Super convenient?
Once the Freshmade team has assessed and strategized this three-key-differentiator breakdown, it is off to the races. Freshmade then looks at quality tiering and pricing in the category. If the product can stand out in any of these factors, then it’s definitely worth considering a unique branding opportunity, including both naming and design.
“Many times we find that marketing efforts can be more powerful when sub-brands are used—messaging is more targeted and important product features are highlighted. Product choices become clearer, making a consumer’s journey to conversion very simple,” Vanessa expresses.
The values that Freshmade stands behind when it comes to naming or branding an individual product also help to drive the success of its partnerships and progressive brand management.
“We really try to proactively guide our clients through the architecture and naming process because it can raise a lot of questions, and can honestly be an emotional experience for many. Finding the right name means companies have to try things and head in directions that might not be comfortable—at first. But names grow on you,” Vanessa says.
According to Freshmade, there are four types of names: Descriptive, Associative, Deviant, and Fanciful.
“Deviant and fanciful names are more emotive, creative, and usually less obvious in their connection to the product,” Vanessa reflects, adding, “and I think these name types are a great fit for produce because they are usually playful and resonate with consumers who are more commonly used to seeing family and farm names in this aisle.”
So, how have these factors changed during the past year and especially the past six months? Vanessa tells me that when it comes to considering brand architecture and uniquely branding an individual product in fresh produce, the category has seen a seismic shift from Branded House to House of Sub-brands.
“Just look at the Easy Peel Mandarin category. And why not? The same shoppers in the snack food and cereal aisles are shopping in produce—they are already trained to identify products by unique names and branding, so produce companies should take advantage of this,” she notes. “Obviously, in the past six months we have seen an overall increase in fresh produce consumption, so now is a great time to revisit that portfolio and look for those products that are wasting potential under the corporate brand name. Give them an opportunity to shine!”
While the new norm remains in flux, now may be the time to consider brand impact through the lens of all this incredible change. And Freshmade just may have your ticket.