Speaking at the 7th European edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit in Amsterdam (June 4-5), organized by Organic Monitor, de Dios said consumers think companies are getting all the benefits, and little value goes back to people and society.
'People look to a brand for guidance'
“As consumers we look for functional value that a product can provide us. We found 74% of brands could disappear and most consumers would not care, which is a symptom of a weak relationship with people and brands,” she said.
“Manufacturers need to see what they can learn from the top performers in the industry by focusing on one area with a common pattern so that when people buy their products they seek to live better.
“If they (consumers) seek meaningful brands they want to improve themselves, it puts them at the centre, inspires them to be wiser, healthier, happier. People look to a brand for guidance or an experience that helps achieve outcomes that matter; educational social, entertaining.”
As an example, de Dios talked about Nestlé and said the CPG firm is a top brand that people consider more meaningful worldwide because their products help others to live better, it is affordable and the company is committed to sustainability issues.
Nestlé educates people about nutrition
“Nestlé mentors and educates people about nutrition and protects, as a guardian,” she added.
“The great thing about these ‘giants’ is they have a portfolio of brands they can leverage according to what a person looks for in their collective values, their brands have a great role in their lives - not to create a better world but a better you.”
According to de Dios, some smaller food brands are starting to become more meaningful than Coca-Cola.
She said Coca-Cola invests a lot in its marketing and storytelling impacts the way a person thinks about a brand but with the internet people don’t believe so much about a brand as before.
“Digital is available for everybody. You can start with a small brand and make it available to more people,” she said.
“It’s easier for a small company which is created from scratch to do something authentic – the problem with the ‘big giants’ is their culture. If you don’t change the culture and the process to make a promise it will not work, no matter how much money you invest in marketing. It’s easier for smaller committed companies to change their internal culture.”
Top 20 meaningful brands
Meaningful Brands, part of Havas Media, recently published its list of the Top 20 meaningful brands with Kellogg’s and Bird’s Eye in 11 and 18th place respectively.
It claims it is the first global study that “measures the potential business benefits gained by a brand when it is seen to improve our wellbeing and quality of life.”
The study covers all aspects of people’s lives including the impact on community in personal wellness (including self-esteem and happiness) alongside market factors like quality and price.
“By exploring 1,000 brands we learned those brands that are meaningful not only create value in human but economic terms with a strong return on meaning,” added de Dios
Top 20 Meaningful Brands
3 John Lewis
12 Proctor & Gamble
18 Bird’s Eye