Yakult case study: a genie in a bottle

19 Oct 2009|Added Value

Good digestive health. One part complicated science, one part endless embarrassing euphemisms about fiber and keeping your gut healthy. For Yakult, being the pioneer in the burgeoning probiotic yoghurt drink category in Germany was no guarantee for success.

The brand was boxed in. It couldn’t compete with the competition’s overpowering media budget in the country. And differentiating on purely functional properties was going to be difficult. Consumers couldn’t really digest the science of clockwise or anti-clockwise rotating yoghurt cultures. Yakult looked set to be a niche product in a bloated market.

We were asked to explore the opportunities. After the market and brand drivers had been identified, the solution lay in releasing a little more of the supernatural from this natural drink. Building a primarily functional, but also emotional benefit ladder.

Yakult became an intelligent elixir which imparted inner strength and incorporated its long history into a mystical brand personality. A return to the brand’s Japanese roots.

Consumption increased. Other countries showed interest in the German positioning approach. And retail interest increased in new products and line extensions.

The Yakult brand grew in the first year by 15% and in the second by over 30%.

How did we Add Value?
We explored the category, market and brand. And uncovered the combination of functional and emotional benefits that could release the genie in the little pink bottle and build equity for the Yakult brand.

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