Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
26 February 2019
The Planters brand, and doing something stupid
I’m pegged by those nearest and dearest to me as having peculiar dietary choices. There was a month of my life, several years back, where my sole passion was Utz Pretzel Nuggets. I craved them. Another — hard-boiled eggs and protein shakes. All day, every day. Right now, you cannot pry my hands away from a canister of Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts. And it has nothing to do with taste. It’s all about the Planters brand.
There’s an old true story I tell clients about my heading to the grocery store on a day my daughter was sick to pick up tomato soup. As I stood in the aisle, with a sea of options before me, my head and heart went directly for Campbell’s. Even though, because of my work experience, I knew the store brand was also made by Campbell’s. It’s the same soup.
But Campbell’s represents a brand I trust. And it was the option I wanted for my daughter’s wellbeing because choosing it meant I was a good dad. So, I was willing to do something stupid like paying more for the same soup.
The same idea holds true for the Planters brand. If I were to stand in the peanut section of my local grocery store, I will, without a thought, willingly grab Planters over the rest. Even though I have no idea if it’s really the best. (Who really compares?)
That’s a brand.
“Equity markers like Mr. Peanut for the Planters brand are signifiers that lead to preference.”
The Planters brand resonates with a powerful equity marker
It’s also a brand with an equity marker, Mr. Peanut. As Planters says, “The man, the monocle, the spats, the top hat.” Mr. Peanut is an iconic equity marker, bringing instant emotion for audiences.
Think of Cinderella’s castle (Disney) or the Nike swoosh. Those are powerful equity markers that bring instant recall that all great and long-lasting brands should proffer.
For those who doubt brand presents the bedrock of stealing market share, think about your own choices. Is there a brand of laundry detergent you always buy. Why? Have you compared each brand with loads of laundry? Of course not. That would be insane.
Equity markers like Mr. Peanut for the Planters brand are signifiers that lead to preference. Like me munching on Planters peanuts right now.
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