Today I challenged myself to reverse engineer the values of the first company that advertised to me on Instagram. I did this because I wanted to show how using values in advertising and branding makes both so much more effective.
Magic Spoon's Branding
Clicking their video took me to the landing page I screen-shot below. Essentially all of their branding revolves around the notion of communicating “we’re the best” to the consumer. Best taste. Best ingredients. Etc…
Problems With Magic Spoon's Branding
The problem with this kind of advertising is that it doesn’t give you an actual reason to purchase this product. Listing the reasons a product is the best isn’t a message that resonates with consumers very well, because it doesn’t connect buying their product with any kind of a feeling.
How To Brand Food So That It Resonates With Consumers
When it comes to taste, “the best” is entirely subjective. Fine restaurants don’t advertise themselves as being “the best” or giving you a list of all their good ingredients. They advertise by showing you why going there is essentially a flex. It’s a status symbol. People go because they want people around them to know that they can spend that kind of money, or because they want to commemorate a special occasion.
The marketing of kids’ breakfast cereals is actually another a good example of how to resonate with your consumers in action. Commercial cereals generally don’t advertise the ingredients of their cereal; except as maybe a footnote to placate the parents. They advertise by showing a big cartoon and hoping that the cartoon they show resonates with the target audience.
I remember asking my parents to buy Frosted Flakes because their cartoon mascot had that big booming voice, so he sounded trust-worthy, and other kids in the commercials seemed to be enjoying eating that cereal. Connecting with me and millions of other children doesn’t take much more than giving us a feeling that resonates with us.
Going to a nice restaurant gives you the feeling that you’re showing off how much money you have. Getting cereal with a cartoon mascot gives you the feeling that you’re trusting a mascot and the experience of other kids. Communicating these messages to their customers is how these food providers connect with their customers in a meaningful way.
Conclusion and Take-Aways For Magic Spoon
The problem with Magic Spoon advertising by saying “we’ve got the best ingredients,” is that there is nothing for the audience to identify with in an advertisement like that. To resonate with consumers you need to give them something to connect with. Some adults want to show off their money. Children want to be accepted by the group. The ingredients in those foods are irrelevant in both cases; the message that you can show off your money or be accepted by a group does is what resonates with branding for food.
Elegant restaurants often don’t have the best food. And children’s cereals all sell what is essentially the same repackaged high-fructose corn syrup. But both thrive because they tie the purchase of their product to a value in the mind of the consumer.
How To Fix Magic Spoon's Branding
What I think Magic Spoon should be doing is focusing their branding on why you’d want these terrific, healthy ingredients. They should talk about how, if you buy their cereal, you’ll be helping your kids live healthier, happier lives. Everyone wants their kids to live healthy, happy lives, so that’s a concept that will be easy for the cereal buying audience to identify with and connect to meaningfully.
They should replace their lists of ingredients with pictures of kids doing healthy kid stuff, like playing sports, graduating elementary school, and passing sight exams at the doctor’s office enthusiastically. This way the notion of happy, healthy kids is tied to eating the cereal in the mind of the parent buying the cereal.