With a 20 year history in the Pacific Islands, Anchor was a well-established brand with high awareness, and sales of Anchor branded UHT milk, milk powder, cream, flavoured milk and butter represented 70 percent of the volume Fonterra sells in the region. But Fonterra saw an opportunity to steal market share in the core powder and UHT categories from other Australian and French brands that trade in the region by focusing on health, nutrition and family.
Through focus groups and accompanied shopping trips in New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea—two countries at opposite ends of Fonterra’s Pacific spectrum—it uncovered a category ‘sweet spot’: all mums wanted good nutrition that tasted great. But they didn’t always know how to do it, as evidenced by the fact that the Pacific Islands have the highest obesity, diabetes and heart disease rates in the world. Dairy met both those criteria, which unlocked the key brand proposition: ‘building strong families’. But with a range of languages, demographics and education levels to deal with, it needed to get the message across in an easy to understand, visually appealing way. So it was translated into the phrase ‘Anchor Strong’, which was in line with Fonterra’s global vision of ‘dairy nutrition for everyone, everyday, everywhere’.
Fonterra also added three new products to its portfolio, with UHT Mega Milk tailored to the youth, a single serve 50 gram powder pack for its developing markets and an 800 gram sachet refill pack for its developed markets.
Before the new Auckland-based marketing team was established, the branding for Anchor was done by Fonterra’s sales team or its distributors in market, which meant it lacked consistency. But that changed with ‘Anchor Strong’, which was a powerful metaphor for strong muscles, strong bones, strong minds, strong families and strong communities and was devised by Dow Design. This phrase manifested itself creatively as symbols of strength made out of Anchor’s products. And when combined with new, more modern packaging, more nutritional cues, more focus on its Kiwi provenance and better layouts in market, Anchor started to become less of a disjointed commodity and more of a unified brand.
All communication tools and materials had to be tailored to deal with subtle variances in each market. And as it didn’t have a merchandising team, it had to rely on its strong relationships with distributors to activate the campaign correctly and on time.
Execution dates were within two weeks variance of the target and, towards the end of the campaign, around 90 percent were being executed to guidelines by distributors, which has helped strengthen Fonterra’s relationships and helped build a stronger foundation for future growth initiatives. After setting a goal across its top seven markets to achieve 50 points of engagement through the number of displays, samplings and trucks in market, it ended up averaging 63. And this led to a three percent rise in sales of UHT milk over FY11 and Mega Milk achieving its target and reaching five percent of Fonterra’s UHT mix. And it’s hoped its soon to launch campaign for milk powder will grow sales by five percent next year.
Fonterra achieved its volume targets with 60 percent share of UHT and 35 percent share of powder. And this succees meant it was able to contribute $20,000 in charitable donations and 10,000 litres of milk to drive education in health and nutrition in the Pacific. Talk about the cream rising to the top.
Award: New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Export
Winner: Fonterra Brands - Export
Partners: Dow Design
Judge’s comment: "What it got in the short-term was certainly a market share lift and a volume lift, but I think in the long-term it also built some real brand credibility with the people of the Pacific. It made a contribution to the health and well being of the Pacific Islands. So there were some nice business and social metrics achieved."