heinz beanz bowl

On a scale of one to 10, how is your brand performing when it comes to creating meaningful difference that helps you stand out from competitors?

It’s a question brands will need to ask themselves more and more in today’s changing and challenging circumstances. As consumers navigate the cost of living crisis, establishing and communicating a clear meaningful difference will help brands get ahead. There’s more competition than ever in fmcg, so brands need to make sure they are dominating consumer share of mind. Reinforcing relevance, distinctiveness, and credibility is key to achieving that.

The first can be achieved by looking at how a product or service meets consumer needs, and how this relevance is manifested. To evaluate distinctiveness, brands need to identify their distinctive and memorable brand assets to create and reinforce positive memory structures in the minds of the target audience. And finally, to ensure credibility, brands need to understand their specific source of authority, and identify the reasons consumers will believe the brand’s promise and value proposition.

Failing to communicate meaningful difference leaves brands at risk of anonymity. Brand perception drives consumer choice. If consumers don’t know ‘who’ the brand is and what it stands for, there’s no way to drive consideration.

Defining, evolving, and communicating meaningful difference is how certain brands lead categories for so long. At 1HQ we’ve seen this first-hand: particularly with heritage brands that are at risk of becoming less relevant in the minds of consumers, as outdated associations can cloud consumer choice.

During our work with Heinz, it became apparent the brand had lost its relevance. It was our job to rejuvenate Heinz in line with altered consumer expectations around nutrition and diet. We wanted to remind people Heinz is one of the world’s biggest tomato growers – incidentally, its meaningful difference and a far cry from the perception of the products being artificially made in a factory. We doubled down on this selling point, reinforcing the natural ingredients through the overarching strategy, brand communication and on-pack strapline communicating ‘grown not made’. It worked. We helped Heinz achieve a 10% uplift in global sales.

Brands are constantly battling for share of mind. With limited retail space, if a brand is no longer relevant in the mind of the consumer, retailers will simply delist them. Currently consumers are evaluating brands on value for money, but if a brand is distinctive and relevant it will survive over cheaper alternatives.

Meaningful difference helps brands command a price premium and offers the chance to come out on top time and time again. This isn’t just relevant in the current economic environment: baking your meaningful difference into the core of your brand and communications will future-proof it beyond these tough times.