Have you ever wondered if brands are secretly persuading you? Are you interested in learning more about the subtle ways that brands call out to their target audience?
Then you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to explain some key marketing concepts and hidden persuaders behind a popular type of product – almond milk.
I’m going to narrow my focus to two popular types of almond milk–Almond Breeze and Califia Farms; two products in the same category that have vastly different marketing strategies (and price points!).
By highlighting these differences, we can gather some important insights about marketing strategy that are applicable to any type of product. I will explain these insights and show you how you can use a buyer persona to call out to your audience.
Check out these two types of almond milk. They look pretty different don’t they? Different package, different colors, different shape… but they’re almost exactly the same product!
The reason these two products look so different is that they are going after two different kinds of customer. They are each targeting a different market segment using clever package design. Let’s take a closer look at each to see how they achieve this:
At first glance, Almond Breeze looks just like a traditional milk carton. It even has a picture of some almonds “splashing” into some milk. This was a calculated choice.
Almond Breeze is emulating this traditional milk style because they want you to make this association. They are going after customers who are trying to find a replacement for milk. They know that their potential customers simply use almond milk the way that they would use regular milk. Therefore, Almond Breeze wants to simplify their decision by quickly offering them an alternative to milk, in an easily distinguishable package.
Califia Farms couldn’t look much more different from Almond Breeze. The first thing you might notice is the unique shape. To me, it looks particularly familiar. It looks like the shape of a woman!
This is because Califia Farms is going after the female market. A large segment of women who drink almond milk are doing so to slim down, as it can be a low calorie alternative to milk.
Califia Farms is communicating this message in a rather direct manner, by literally making their package look like the shape of a woman. On top of this, it is pure, clean, and white, with a prominent picture of a “natural-looking” woman. The calories are even stated right up top, because they know that this is the first thing that their target market will look for.
As you can see, Califia Farms rather explicitly communicates to potential customers that the brand contains everything they are looking for.
Comparing the Two
Almond Breeze is supposed to slot into your life the way milk did, right down to the packaging. It is supposed to fit into your fridge right as milk did, to the point that you barely notice the difference. Califia, on the other hand, is meant for a different purpose, and it communicates that with unique packaging that sends a different message: that it is a natural way to slim down.
So now that we understand the differences, what does this actually mean for you? In the next section, I will explain why these two products represent an actionable message that you can use in your own marketing strategies to attract your ideal customer.
As a marketer, there is one major takeaway that you can learn from these two brands of almond milk. You need to call out to the people you are looking for.
By “calling out,” I mean you need to clearly communicate to them that you are what they are looking for. Of course, in the split second that they likely make their purchase at a store, this is no easy task.
Therefore, you need to think of how they make that decision, and what exactly is most important to them in their decision. You need to first know your target customer inside and out, and then decide how you can effectively call out to them.
Almond Breeze calls out as a milk replacement, showing customers it is just like milk. Califia Farms calls out as an all-natural way to slim down. Both brands have created cleverly designed packaging that make their message clear in the small glance that consumers will give their products while shopping.
How Should I Call Out?
So, you have a group in mind that you want to call out to, but how do you actually call out with the right message?
The answer is that it really depends who you are trying to call out to–but there is one key consideration to keep in mind.
This consideration is that the easier you are to spot, the more people you will attract. This is really just common sense, but it is often overlooked. If you stand out on a shelf, or wherever you sell your product, you are going to attract more people.
So try to be bold, use distinct designs and colors, and try to make sure that you really jump off the shelf. Of course, you want to ensure that these features call out to your target person, but by finding a way to stand out, then you are simply going to be discovered by even more people.
Shift Your Perspective
A helpful thought experiment to call out to your perfect customer is to try to get inside their head. What is it that they look for? What do they most want to see in a product? Don’t think about the branding that you like, think about the branding that your perfect customer likes.
It is often helpful to do a comprehensive audience analysis and create a customer avatar which represents your perfect customer. By knowing how they shop, you will know what would make them likely to make a purchasing decision.
This article was all about almond milk, but the lessons that we learned can really be applied to any product. It is all about knowing your perfect customer and your niche, and calling out to them by presenting exactly what they are looking for. In this article, we specifically discussed this in the context of packaging design, but there are many ways to call out to a customer with your marketing message.
At the end of the day, audience targeting really boils down to knowing your customer, first and foremost. If you know who you are looking for, where they go, and what their buying habits are, then you will be able to develop a strategy to call out to them. Once you have this knowledge, it is so much easier to call out with your marketing efforts, because you know what messages they respond to.