iögo: Launching a New Yogurt, Repositioning a Dairy Company

Challenge

How fast can a company turn around? The iögo story is one of business transformation. It provides a strong example of Canadian innovation and success, generated in partnership with CASACOM’s long-term client Ultima Foods (UF). In 18 months, together, we repositioned an entire business. UF had to transition from its 40-year heritage of being a ‘Yoplait’ company to one with a new culture, vision and values.

UF is a joint venture between two major Canadian dairy cooperatives, and since 1971, had the Yoplait license for the country. But in late 2010, the situation changed dramatically when Yoplait acquired Quebec-based Liberté followed by the purchase of 51% stake in the Yoplait brand worldwide by General Mills (GM).

Simultaneous to the intense negotiations with GM, and not knowing the potential outcome, UF decided it was necessary to develop and launch a new brand of yogurt called iögo - “the new way to say yogurt” with seven product lines and 44 flavors. In spring 2011, we were charged with helping UF begin the transition from its 40-year heritage of being a ‘Yoplait’ company to one with a new culture, vision and values.

iogo1

Strategy & execution

We worked closely with the client and the ad firm to develop a winning strategy. We:

  • Ensured all issues were mitigated before the launch (an 18-month confidential process).
  • Developed and consistently told consumer-focused stories that went beyond products, and educated on the business story, company values and community commitment; engaged consumers towards the brand.
  • Conducted a national study about yogurt preferences and extensive market data research, enabling it to write, design and produce a 22-page booklet called “40 Years of Yogurt”.
  • Created faces for the new company and brand, leveraging these ambassadors online and in person. It was important to consistently reinforce the brand and product differentiators, while keeping it fun and creative.
  • Built anticipation/intrigue via teasing techniques to engage consumers/influencers; created a iögo mania and tailored activities for each region in Canada and for each type of audience to ensure relevancy: influencers events, online influencers campaigns, flashmobs, etc.
  • Developed content for social media platforms.
  • Worked within tight/new deadlines, as well as produced detailed documents updating progress on media relations, event logistics, materials development, etc.

Results

In the first months after the launch, we already had surpassed all objectives, starting with an unexpected 12% of market share.

  • We earned 77% awareness and secured 92M media impressions of positive coverage.
  • Social media results went above targets: 1.5 million impressions on Twitter during the first month and over 50,000 Facebook fans after 3 months.
  • The iögo website was visited by 243,000 (unique) people. Instead of the 4% of annual growth, the yogurt category grew by 9% from September to December across Canada. Retailers attributed this growth to the iögo launch.
  • The iögomania went on for a year!
  • CASACOM won a prestigious PRSA Silver Anvil Award in 2013 for this campaign.