Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
23 August 2018
Rachael Ray’s Nutrish brand obeys first rule of branding
The first rule of effective branding is to reflect the customer, not yourself. Case in point, Rachael Ray’s Nutrish brand of dog food.
Yes, a consumer is suing the Nutrish brand for allegedly containing herbicides. So, I’m not recommending the product. But I am recommending its new campaign as an example of a brand obeying the first rule of creating preference.
“As you can see, the Nutrish brand is all about the customer.”
As you can see, the Nutrish brand is all about the customer. It credits pet owners for being heroes for all the things they do for their pets. Even though the characters in the ads are a little geeky, owners can see themselves in the brand.
As an animal lover, yes, I’ve done silly things to appease my pets. And I hope they do see me as a hero. (Mostly, they just want to be fed.) But I’ve cleaned up after them (and, uh, cleaned them), talked to them like they’re human and cuddled them when they’re scared. What self-respecting pet owner hasn’t?
So, yes, I can see myself in the Nutrish brand. Pretty simple, right?
The Nutrish brand is, sadly, unique
Oh, not so simple. Most brands think effective marketing defines the brand itself. Even in other dog food commercials, the selling points are about ingredients. Authentic flavors. Real ingredients. Rational arguments that are completely forgotten once the 30-second spot finishes.
That doesn’t create preference. It might raise awareness just by simply broadcasting an ad on television. But if potential customers can’t see themselves in the brand, they casually ignore it.
Why is this important? Why is the Nutrish brand built to steal market share?
Think of it this way. You see billboards every day. You ignore most of them. Forget nearly all of them. Rarely do they spur you to try the brand.
However, what if a billboard displays your face? You see your name and profile on the billboard. It would be hard to ignore, right?
That’s what the Nutrish brand campaign does. And it’s what all good marketing accomplishes. Too bad so many brands forget that.
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