Marketing A Lifestyle To Drive Sales
I read a great article over the weekend in The Guardian, Are probiotics really that good for your health?, which went on to detail the rise and rise in probiotic drink sales.
It struck me as a prime example of how marketing a lifestyle can bypass any benefits the product claims to have (in this case, benefits yet to be verified by the European Food Standards Agency) !
Why wait for confirmation that your product actually improves people's health when you can persuade them with adverts and brain wash them in to thinking so.
Yakult is widely known in the UK and was the first to market with their probiotic drink in 1996.
Danone was quick to follow with Actimel, also packaged in dinky bottles; it now has 64% of the UK market, outselling Yakult. Danone subsequently formed a strategic alliance with Yakult and owns 20% of its shares.
Nearly 60% of UK households now regularly buy probiotic drinks.
That's quite a staggering percentage for something that is yet to be proven to improve your health. Some would argue it's the placebo effect, (not the band!) of mind over matter, but surely that's a high price to pay when you can drink water from a tap to cleanse your system.
Bottled water is another fine example of marketing at its' most powerful. Everyone knows that drinking water to rehydrate the body helps on many different levels but since the big manufacturers have started putting more money into advertising sales have increased markedly.
Per capita consumption is currently highest in countries where the practice of drinking bottled water is more established in Italy, France and Spain. However, countries with traditionally lower sales of bottled water such as the UK and Sweden are seeing extraordinary growth.
Selling a lifestyle in marketing isn't new, but when done well can drastically improve sales and your connection with consumers in the market.
Seth Godin also describes how the power of telling authentic stories can help your marketing efforts in All Marketers Are Liars, a great read.