|Brand:||Open Prairie™ Natural Angus Beef and Open Prairie™ Natural Pork|
|Client:||Tyson Fresh Meats|
How do you build a “Natural” brand that rises above the pack?
Think back a few years when niche suppliers were mostly small town mom-and-pops, struggling with availability and product mix and scrambling to fill orders. For retailers, offering anything outside of Prime, Choice, Select or Angus was tricky; you just never knew what you could consistently deliver. As retailers began carrying more niche products to meet the needs of increasingly-finicky consumers, they still had to apologize every time they were out of stock.
What if a bigger player in the meat industry got into the game? Could retailers say good-bye to out-of-stock signage and unhappy customer faces? Tyson Fresh Meats (TFM) saw an opportunity to use its unique strengths and relationships to develop a brand where supply availability was no longer an issue.
TFM asked Midan to work alongside them as a partner in building this new beef brand. It was Midan’s job to help TFM find the win-win point – the intersection where the processor’s capabilities and consumers’ needs best met. Both had to be weighed carefully in order to be successful. Building a brand from the ground up requires strategic thinking to answer a host of “how” questions: How do we spec it? How do we source it? How do we package it? How do we get consumers interested in it?
Our efforts, as always, started with research. Our research team worked to answer key questions that were critical to the shaping of the brand. These questions included gauging the competitive landscape and defining the target consumer. Once this was done a position statement was drafted and tested. Additional research followed for the brand name, logo and message points.
Open Prairie Natural Angus beef was born in 2009 with careful attention to helping retail and foodservice customers understand the benefits of TFM’s natural beef program. TFM quickly had more customer opportunities than initial supply, which meant they had to work hard to establish the right supplier/customer relationships in order to keep product flowing…all the while working toward breeding more cows and raising more calves to qualify for this program.
Success came in the form of branded sales and private label select supplier relationships. Slowly, steadily, the brand’s volume has grown significantly in the last five years. The brand’s look and feel has been updated as this niche has become more mainstream.
When it came time to think about pork the same way, TFM once again asked Midan to partner in maneuvering the development of a natural pork brand. Many of the same research and creative processes that were implemented to bring Open Prairie Natural Angus beef to market were also used to develop the pork brand. This time, the Open Prairie name and logo were tested alongside other brand names and logos to determine if using one logo for both proteins made sense. Consumers said it did, thus Open Prairie Natural Pork was launched in 2016 under the same logo as the beef program. Since the launch, Open Prairie Natural Pork products have been selling well throughout the United States and are on track to have a successful year.
Result: Working closely with TFM, thinking strategically and incorporating targeted consumer research helped develop a brand that has shown steady growth since its inception, increasing over 40% in volume in the past five years.