linked in facebook twitter rss

  • Interbrand
  • Brandchannel

your chance!
your chance!
Also of interest...
 

Silk Soymilk - smoooth


  Silk Soymilk
smoooth
by Barry Silverstein
December 31, 2007

Long before soy reached its current good-for-you celebrity status, the little-known Silk Soymilk began an uphill battle. "Silk" was an ingenious brand name, combining the “s” from soy and the “ilk” from milk to create a new product category: refrigerated soy milk. Silk also held positive associations with the product’s appearance and texture.
 
 

In 1993, the “Sun Burger,” a vegetarian soy burger, was introduced. It would eventually spawn the highly successful Boca Foods, profiled on brandchannel. At the time, soy milk was sold primarily in health stores, in aseptic packaging so the product could be kept indefinitely on the shelf. Soy milk was a fringe product. It didn’t need refrigeration, so it wasn’t stocked next to cow milk in the dairy case. It wasn’t even thought of as a competitor to cow milk.

In 1996, along came a small Colorado company, White Wave, with the goal of changing the rules. White Wave’s idea was to produce refrigerated soy milk and compete head-on with cow milk. Some thought they were crazy. Turns out they were crazy like a cow… er, fox.

White Wave created a dry soy mixture and shipped it off to the same dairies that processed cow milk. The dairies added water, packaged the product in Silk’s handsome containers, shaped like traditional milk cartons, and distributed it. The dairies used downtime in their processing plants to make the soy milk and generate a little extra revenue.

The technique separated Silk from other soy milks. White Wave decided to be conservative, however, and first market Silk through natural food stores, where they believed the product would find a more “natural” customer base. But White Wave was emboldened when, in October 1999, the FDA announced that soy was considered a heart-healthy food that could lower bad cholesterol.

This was the turning point for Silk. To make the best use of its meager marketing budget, White Wave launched a guerilla marketing campaign, relying largely on aggressive store sampling. Silk was packaged in half-pints, like the little milk cartons kids get at school. These samples were offered free to shoppers on their way out of traditional grocery stores, along with coupons. This way, mom and dad could try the product at home, reducing the in-store pressure to purchase. The half-pints prominently carried the FDA’s endorsement of soy.

At the same time, White Wave lobbied traditional grocers to place Silk in the dairy case, next to the cow milk. The company guaranteed to remove the product if it did not sell.

The product packaging used color photography to differentiate Silk from traditional milk. Cartons carried interesting facts about soy, as well as eco-friendly information. Early on, Silk associated itself with alternative energy, such as wind-power, to show its commitment to healthy living and its concern for the environment.

White Wave invested its promotional budget wisely, purchasing outdoor billboards and signage on buses and trucks in select cities where their distribution was strongest. White Wave used lush full-color photos of the soy milk flowing against brightly colored backgrounds. White Wave purchased sponsorships on local National Public Radio stations instead of commercial stations to lend credibility to the product and target the NPR demographic.

Silk first created and then dominated the refrigerated soy milk category. The brand went from zero market share in 1996 to 85 percent market share in 2003. The chocolate-flavored Silk became popular with adults and rose to the number two best-selling chocolate milk brand in the US.

As you might expect, Silk’s success did not go unnoticed. In 2001, Dean Foods Co. acquired White Wave for US$ 154 million.

Today, the soy milk market is a whole different world. Silk’s worldwide market share is about 67 percent as competitors have flooded the category. But Silk remains the best-selling soy milk brand in the US. Now Silk comes in twelve flavors and is available in 98 percent of grocery stores. As a Dean Foods subsidiary, White Wave is the leading soyfood company in the world with almost US$ 434 million in retail sales, according to the company.

Silk smartly entered into a brand alliance with Starbucks. Starbucks’ US retail locations carry an exclusive formulation of Silk Soymilk for its customers. Starbucks also sells this special version of Silk in quart containers.

As a brand, Silk continues to keep a high profile when it comes to involvement in the world’s challenges. Silk has won the “Green Power Leadership Award” for using and promoting renewable energy from the US Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Silk partnered with sister company Horizon Organic in support of FARM AID 2006, the fifth year Silk sponsored the event.

Silk continues to use the product sampling strategy that was responsible for its early success. In February 2007, for example, Silk and cereal maker Kashi joined forces to hand out 250,000 samples of each product in a promotion that targeted businesses in three large US cities.

In 2006, Silk ran a new national advertising campaign with the objective of broadening the brand’s appeal and promoting product trial. “Silk Soymilk Cows”—people dressed up in cow outfits—advocated the use of soy milk in television ads. The point of the advertising was to suggest that, if cows were choosing milk for their own families, they’d choose soy milk. Both the message and the humor may have been lost on consumers; the advertising community derided the ads, believing they were silly and ineffective.

Soymilk cows not withstanding, Silk Soymilk continues as the brand leader in a product category that has strong growth on its side. When many consumers are looking for easy ways to add healthful soy to their diets, Silk is a natural choice.

 
     
  

Barry Silverstein has been a frequent brandchannel contributor since 2007. He has thirty years of advertising and marketing experience and is currently a freelance writer and marketing consultant. He founded and ran his own direct marketing agency and held executive positions with Epsilon, a leading database marketing firm and Arnold, a major ad agency. Silverstein is the author of three marketing books, including the McGraw-Hill book, The Breakaway Brand, which he co-authored with Arnold CEO Fran Kelly.

  
 commenting closed Add Social Bookmark bookmark  print
 suggest topic  recommend ( 19 )  email

Silk Soymilk - smoooth
 
 Interesting Article on Silk Soy Milk.

Much of the information is factual to a fault.

I've been a Vegetarian for thirty three (33) years.

Fantastic Foods, dry packaging vegetarian products pre-dates Boca refrigerated Vegetarian Products by 20 years or more.

http://www.fantasticfoods.com/

I've been using Fantastic Foods, dry Vegetarian Products since 1974.

The first Professional Identity Program and Packaging Program for Fantastic Foods was commenced by the Legendary Identity Designer and Packaging Designer Primo Angeli, now retired.

Fantastic Foods Identity and Packaging was recently redesigned by Deutsch Design Works San Francisco.

I find it strange Brandchannel didn't review the redesign commenced by Deutsch Design Works San Francisco.

Packaging Design Magazine wrote a feature article on Fantastic Foods and redesign May, 2006.

http://www.packagedesignmag.com/cgi-bin/searchview.cgi?key=Fantastic Foods 
DesignMaven, Corporate Identity / Designer / Consultant / Evangelist, Maestro Masters Maven - December 31, 2007
 
 Continuation of first post since I was limited to words.

Author Barry Silverstein makes it seems as if Boca was first. Boca may have been one of the first refrigerated Vegetarian products. Not the first Vegetarian Product Manufacture nor pre-packaged
Vegetarian Foods.

In reference to Silk Soy, granted first
refrigerated Soy Milk.

IMHO, Eden Soy, non refrigerated Soy Milk was a Superior Product.

Having said that, I'm glad Soy Milk is now in MainStream America. I've been drinking Soy Milk for over thirty years. 
DesignMaven, Corporate Identity / Designer / Consultant / Evangelist, Maestro Masters Maven - December 31, 2007
 
 The real "ilk" about Silk may be its ultimate ownership by Dean Foods Co., and Dean's connections with the Organic Trade Association (OTA). This mainly US-based trade organization lobbies the USDA vigorously to lower and weaken food safety and certification laws. Over the last 20 years, hundreds of thousands of Americans have been writing letters to the USDA, protesting OTA-backed federal laws that would have allowed "healthy" labeled food (organic or otherwise) to contain hormones and antibiotics in dairy cattle, pesticides on produce, potentially contaminated fishmeal as feed for livestock, as well as toxic sludge, irradiated food and GMO to be included in agricultural practices. Its a good thing the USDA tends to back down in the face of public outcry. 
Michele Champagne, Designer, Interbrand - January 2, 2008
 
  brandchannel profile archive   2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008  | 2007  |  2006  |  2005  |  2004  |  2003  |  2002  |  2001
 
 
Dec 17, 2007 Jimmy Buffett - brand shark -- Jennifer Gidman
  Sand Castles: The rise of the Jimmy Buffet empire.
   
 
Dec 10, 2007 UGG Australia - the good, the bad, and the UGGly -- Barry Silverstein
  This fashionable brand steps into an unwelcome homecoming.
   
 
Dec 3, 2007 Joe Fresh Style - super snazzy -- Renée Alexander
  Can this brand bring fashion and style to the grocery aisle?
   
 
Nov 26, 2007 Natural Lawson - cornered? -- Patrick Williamson
  Natural Lawson displays healthy convenience stores.
   
 
Nov 19, 2007 Pollo Campero - free range -- Abram Sauer
  How chicken is this Central American brand?
   
 
Nov 12, 2007 Nike Vintage - classic kicks -- Alycia de Mesa
  Nike sees a future in its history.
   
 
Nov 5, 2007 Zipcar - merging lanes -- Preeti Khicha
  Zipcar hopes to motor into an urban demographic.
   
 
Oct 29, 2007 Vampire Vineyards - blood thirsty -- Renée Alexander
  Bloody delicious.
   
 
Oct 22, 2007 Hyundai - hazard lights? -- Jennifer Gidman
  Can this car brand overpower its sluggish reputation?
   
 
Oct 15, 2007 Energizer and Duracell - opposites attract -- Abram Sauer
  How batteries are powering their own branding futures.
   
 
Oct 8, 2007 Lands’ End - hard landing? -- Barry Silverstein
  From misplaced apostrophe to clothing juggernaut.
   
 
Oct 1, 2007 Taj Hotels, Resorts, and Palaces - kingly quarters -- Preeti Khicha
  Hospitality means balancing class, culture, and history.
   
 
Sep 24, 2007 Facebook - graduating on -- Kimberly Maul
  The many expressions of Facebook.
   
 
Sep 17, 2007 LA Galaxy - starry makeover -- Alycia de Mesa
  Beckham brings LA Galaxy universal appeal.
   
 
Sep 10, 2007 China - a brand in progress -- Tom Blackett
  China is still soul searching for accurate branding.
   
 
Sep 3, 2007 BOSE - sound positioning -- Barry Silverstein
  Is BOSE poised to rock on?
   
 
Aug 27, 2007 Crocs - still rocking -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Will Crocs continue to walk the walk?
   
 
Aug 20, 2007 The Goodlife Recipe - four paw cuisine -- Alycia de Mesa
  Has designer food gone to the cats and dogs?
   
 
Aug 13, 2007 simplehuman - clean house? -- Jennifer Gidman
  Will regular people pay for elite organizers?
   
 
Aug 6, 2007 Pizza Patron - ¿no mas? -- Alycia de Mesa
  What’s wrong with paying Mexican money for an Italian import?
   
 
Jul 30, 2007 Newman’s Own - on the side -- Barry Silverstein
  Why is Newman’s Own so good for others?
   
 
Jul 23, 2007 Penthouse - hard times -- Abram Sauer
  Will re-branding save Penthouse from marketing celibacy?
   
 
Jul 16, 2007 RadioShack - does stuff? -- Barry Silverstein
  Can restructuring and a sleeker image make RadioShack competitive again?
   
 
Jul 9, 2007 Vera Wang - unbridled business sense -- Alycia de Mesa
  Vera Wang's success shows that a brand doesn't have to remain pigeonholed in its initial market.
   
 
Jul 2, 2007 Ford Taurus - dead bull? -- Renée Alexander
  Ford revives the Taurus nameplate. Will customers embrace it like Lazarus or shun it like a zombie?
   
 
Jun 25, 2007 Ameriprise - dream investment? -- Barry Silverstein
  A relatively new spin-off from American Express, Ameriprise sets its sights on an aging—but lucrative—Baby Boomer market.
   
 
Jun 18, 2007 Boca Foods - soy joy -- Barry Silverstein
  As elements of vegetarianism sprout in the mainstream diet culture, Boca Foods grows into a brand as healthy as its products.
   
 
Jun 11, 2007 Timberland - environmental heeling -- Barry Silverstein
  If one were compiling a list of socially responsible brands, Timberland would be a shoe-in.
   
 
Jun 4, 2007 Diet Coke Plus - new addition -- Alycia de Mesa
  Coca-Cola promises a splash of nutrition with its latest sugar-free cola.
   
 
May 28, 2007 BoConcept - chic seats -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  With sleek stores and urban-chic design, BoConcept promises a civilized—and assembly-free—alternative to IKEA.
   
 
May 21, 2007 Habitat for Humanity - foundation -- Barry Silverstein
  Even non-profits need proper branding techniques. Habitat for Humanity has built houses—and a successful brand—for more than 30 years.
   
 
May 14, 2007 LaKOTA - native remedies -- Alycia de Mesa
  With roots in Native American healing methods, LaKOTA pain-relief products promise a natural alternative to Advil and Tylenol.
   
 
May 7, 2007 Three Dog Bakery - the world-rover -- Barry Silverstein
  Three Dog Bakery grew from a pup to the Great Dane of specialty dog-food brands.
   
 
Apr 30, 2007 SoftBank - moshi moshi -- Patrick Williamson
  After acquiring Vodaphone, SoftBank launched a rebranding campaign. Can it succeed in the mobile market where Vodaphone failed?
   
 
Apr 23, 2007 Curves - taking shape -- Barry Silverstein
  The successful Curves franchise makes one think of Starbucks or McDonald's…without the coffee and hamburgers.
   
 
Apr 16, 2007 Teavana - tea chain -- Deanna Zammit
  With more than 100 locations and as many varieties of a premium-priced, caffeinated beverage, Teavana tries to do for tea leaves what Starbucks does for coffee beans.
   
 
Apr 9, 2007 Old Dutch Foods - potato potential -- Renée Alexander
  Eastward ho! A snack-food brand based in Western Canada expands eastward. Will its success be as crisp?
   
 
Apr 2, 2007 Roomba and Scooba - floored -- Barry Silverstein
  iRobot brings sci-fi technology to solve one of man's oldest problems: keeping his floors clean.
   
 
Mar 26, 2007 I NY - stately -- Abram Sauer
  As the I NY brand seeks a facelift, another question arises: What is "New York"?
   
 
Mar 19, 2007 Nintendo Wii - iin motion -- Alycia de Mesa
  Nintendo's Wii detects motion and attracts active gamers looking for an alternative to the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.
   
 
Mar 12, 2007 Craigslist - classified -- Abram Sauer
  Craigslist combines old-fashioned classified ads and new-millennium technology to emerge as a popular, iconoclastic brand.
   
 
Mar 5, 2007 VOSS - high water -- Barry Silverstein
  A water brand from Norway promises premium refreshment—is it worth the premium price?
   
 
Feb 26, 2007 UNIQLO - crossing over -- Patrick Williamson
  With its quirky clothing and against-the-grain branding, Japan's UNIQLO tries to fill a Gap in the US retailer market.
   
 
Feb 19, 2007 Trader Joe's - quirky mart -- Barry Silverstein
  Trader Joe's has inspired a cult-like following seeking an alternative to the typical grocery store.
   
 
Feb 12, 2007 NECCO Sweethearts Conversation Hearts - sweet talk -- Kathy Kehrli
  For more than 100 years, NECCO has put sweet words in people's mouths—and offered a Valentine's Day alternative to chocolate.
   
 
Feb 5, 2007 Fiskars - stays sharp -- Anthony Zumpano
  By employing the latest branding techniques while managing a full fleet of products, Fiskars remains a relevant brand.
   
 
Jan 29, 2007 Walgreens Apothecary - facial expressions -- Alycia de Mesa
  Can a mass-market convenience store/pharmacy succeed with a higher-end line of skincare products?
   
 
Jan 22, 2007 Levi's Eco - blue greens -- Alycia de Mesa
  Will another foray into organic denim boost the fortunes of Levi's?
   
 
Jan 15, 2007 Starbury - rebound? -- Anthony Zumpano
  Will his inexpensive Starbury line of sneakers and gear make Stephon Marbury the heir to Air (Jordan)?
   
 
Jan 8, 2007 Sogno Uno de Savanna Samson - great nose -- Abram Sauer
  As celebrity-affiliated wines proliferate, a porn star brands a vivacious vino.
   
 
Jan 1, 2007 NFL - fumbles? -- Abram Sauer
  By launching its own cable network and seeking an expanded audience, is the NFL in danger of dropping the ball?