Podcast

LS International 01 November 2021

How Yoplait Renewed Its Model to a New, Mainly Digital, Brand with Myriam Riedel Kienzi

Myriam Riedel Kienzi is currently the Marketing Director Yoplait and Head of yogurt Business Unit France at General Mills. Myriam is joining us today to share with us how Yoplait renewed its model to a new, mainly digital, brand. Topics covered:

– The need for the digital transformation

– Biggest challenges in this FMCG category

– Launching this product during Covid

– The future for the brand; digital versus traditional Marketing

If you are looking for top marketing talent for your team, you can book a session with our founder, Lauren Stiebing, here – https://calendly.com/laurenls-interna…

LAUREN:

– Miriam. Thank you for joining me today.

MYRIAM:

– Thank you for the invitation, Lauren.

LAUREN:

– So you’re the marketing director Yoplait and Head of Yogurt Business Unit for France at General Mills, and today I’ve invited you here to share with us how Yoplait renewed its model to a new, mainly digital brand. And I wanted to ask you, was this a consequence of COVID or was this the strategy beforehand?

MYRIAM:

– It was a strategy, Lauren. So we’ve launched a new brand that is called Liberté, which is a brand well-known in Canada, and we decided that this brand should be launched differently.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– So, it was, uh… the decision before the COVID

LAUREN:

– Great.

MYRIAM:

– And the very, very right one during the COVID.

MYRIAM:

– Yes. I’m sure. So why the need for the digital transformation?

MYRIAM:

– Well, I think in our job in marketing, digital is just enormous.

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

– It’s enormous in media, because it’s like 50% of the media investment in France. Plus 20 points in five years.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– So if you want to reach your targets, you just have no choice. And digital, it’s also for us e-commerce and in France-

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– it’s mainly click and collect for yogurt. And this is a channel that has been growing a lot, especially during COVID-

LAUREN:

– Sure.

MYRIAM:

– where they have recruited a lot, but really you can’t miss digital on an overall population, I would say, and for Liberté, we were targeting younger people.

LAUREN:

-Okay.

MYRIAM:

– So below 35 years old. And so, if you want to target them, you need to go digital. And also, when you create a brand, because this brand didn’t exist in France, so we had a lot of material from the… Canada.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– You want to not have a top down communication. You want to engage your consumers, you want to create a tone of voice. You want to really have discussion and kind of co build with them- LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

-what you are going to do with your brand. So it was really a right opportunity given the target group.

LAUREN:

– Okay, great. And what was the process that you went through to do this?

MYRIAM:

– Well first, for the first time, I think, we did the pre-launch of the brand with one retailer.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– For six months. So it was launched in June 2020. Perfect timing. And then national launch in Jan 2021.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– And because we had this prelaunch, we couldn’t go mass media.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– So we took precision marketing and we took digital. And this enabled us for six months to really prepare the national launch by building some content through social media, especially.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– We get a lot of content from Canada because the rent is black and white, which is kind of… very differentiated in the yogurt French area, I would say?

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

– And also a lot of visual materials that are really beautiful in terms of food shots.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– It’s really, really well done. So we had a lot of things. And then, the process was really test and learn mode.

MYRIAM:

– Okay. From the time we’ve launched it, I would say.

LAUREN:

– And which retailer did you launch it in?

MYRIAM:

– We launched it at Carrefour first.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– And then we launched it everywhere.

LAUREN:

– Okay. All right. What were some of the biggest challenges that you encountered?

MYRIAM:

– Well, yogurt is a real FMCG category, okay? Because it goes fast. In France, it’s a $5 billion category.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– And people buy it every 10 days.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– So we eat yogurt a lot. And so you cannot have time, or not have a lot of time to build your brand. You need to be successful, you need to be quick.

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

– And so it was really a challenge to have the same coverage with digital than what we used to have with TV. And we clearly had no budget to do TV. When you launch a new brand, they don’t necessarily give you the same amount of money than with brands that are established, I would say. We have launched two ranges at the same time. So what are the right creatives? Do you communicate on the brands? Do you communicate on the ranges? And we have one that is more performing than another.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– So we had really to adjust. And then, yeah, in terms of challenges, because we were in this test and learn mode, we were really testing Pinterest, because that’s a media where people plan what they are going to do.

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

– But the signature of Liberté is ‘taste obsession’.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– And it’s not a call to action. So people were seeing the creative, but doing nothing after.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– So it’s kind of a basic learning, but it’s one.

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

– We launched on Instagram because I- I told you it’s a very visual brand. And on Instagram, we wanted to build a larger community, So first we started with very small influencers, but

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– it didn’t work that well, so we went to bigger influencers, we did collaboration, and this is working really to recruit new people that can be interesting in the brand and in your brand as well.

MYRIAM:

– Okay. And I think that, to be honest, for me, is the biggest challenge when you launch a brand, a food brand, you need to be known. So for this, you have digital, but you need to be tasted, because that’s- that’s what makes a difference in food.

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

– And we have a brand that is ‘called taste obsession’. During the COVID, all the events were canceled. We could not do events for influencers. We could not samples in store. We could not sample outdoors. So that was a very, very big challenge-

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

-to… to make it live for consumers.

LAUREN:

– So what did you do? How did you overcome this, exactly?

MYRIAM:

– Well, uh, we’ve… so for tastings, we’ve done through Deliveroo.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– So basically when you were ordering, so we could really target the 35 years old people and less-

LAUREN:

– Sure.

MYRIAM:

-who are ordering on Deliveroo and they would get a free product in their order.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– We have used click and collect, so each time you were making an order, you would get a free product. So that was really something that worked on. We’ve been super agile as a team. So we’ve tried a lot of things. Some were relevant, some less.

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

– And for me, it’s really, how do you manage that as a team? And it gives a lot of energy. So for example, we have Uber, the taxi.

LAUREN:

– Yeah?

MYRIAM:

– They called us saying, “okay, do you want to be on our digital screens?” Okay, let’s try that.

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

– Okay. And it was good. And now we have DailyMotion, who is saying, “okay, maybe we can localize where you are and recommend the store at the end of the video.” Okay. Let’s try that.

LAUREN:

– Yeah.

MYRIAM:

– So for me, it’s really interesting. The ways the team has worked through that and the results are really good today. So we’re super happy to have done so many things.

LAUREN:

– Great, great. And what are some of the results that you’ve been able to achieve?

MYRIAM:

– Well, first we’ve, uh- I mean, more than 2.3 millions of French households have tasted Liberté.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– And already, one third have repurchased. So it’s really good. It’s been in the first six months of 2021 is the first brand that was recruited the most in FMCG in France.

MYRIAM:

– Okay. So it’s really- it’s really good, we are building the community and, and we see, yes, the results are really good. On yogurt, if you are not good, you get out of stores very, very quickly.

LAUREN:

– Okay.

MYRIAM:

– And it’s not the case.

LAUREN:

– And well, how do you see, let’s say the coming year, the future for, for the brand, let’s say digital versus more traditional marketing.

MYRIAM:

– I think we will keep digital as a big part of the investment, because it does make the job of creating brand preference, of saying something different on yogurt than just “eat me”. But we will also go again a little bit on mass media, through TV sponsorship to reach mass more quickly. Also, because Liberté is a second leg to Yoplait, so we don’t communicate on Yoplait. I mean, we don’t put any word on Yoplait on Liberté products.

LAUREN:

-Okay.

MYRIAM:

– So it’s important for us also to use Liberté where Yoplait cannot go in terms of segments. So because we want to continue to expand, it’s quite interesting, and it’s- it really brings a lot to use digital, to listen to what people say on your brand, to what people want on your brand. And usually yogurt brands, they don’t ask.

LAUREN:

– Yeah. Well, Miriam, thank you for sharing these insights with us and your journey. It sounds very exciting, and a lot of learnings as well to really take a, let’s say, a food brand during COVID, where you couldn’t do tastings and how to really leverage digital, but also let’s say new business models like Deliveroo to get to your goal. So congratulations on that.

MYRIAM:

– Thank you very much, Lauren.