As Hannibal Smith of the A-Team was want to say, “I just love it when a plan comes together” and nothing gives me that deep feeling of satisfaction more than a really sorted brand.

An example of what I mean is the cereals brand Dorset Cereals produced (unsurprisingly) in Dorset in the UK and whose well-earned distribution has already extended to my local Bahrain supermarket.  I’ve always stressed to my clients that the secret of a strong brand (and incidentally the trick to building one cost-effectively) is consistency. Inconsistency is the biggest enemy of a strong brand.  In my Brand Discovery seminars I explain how this works using examples of the relationships we have with people around us.  If you get used to people and the way they behave in a particular environment and then encounter them in another where their behaviour is different you have an immediate double-take while you re-process the data you have accumulated on that person and realign your opinion of them,  Its the same with brands, but in those moments when you are reassessing your relationship the brand is vulnerable.  Its one of those moments when you, the customer, can be enticed by other brands to choose them.

No such problem with Dorset Cereals.  It’s not only that they have they managed to strike exactly the right balance between “contemporary”, “natural” and “traditional”. Their consistency is indelible from their totally engaging website to the language they use in every communication. Non of the boring “18 servings” for Dorset. Their matt finish, quality-looking muesli boxes proclaim “18 glorious bowlfulls”.  Snippets of information like “some of the best bits may have settled at the bottom of the pack so shake it before opening” and “Have you tried our Proper Raspberry Porridge yet? Its like a big fat hug from your favourite aunt …” add humanity to the product and the brand.  It’s just so easy to establish a relationship with a brand that has a clear personality. Last month I mentioned a simple line “Another great perfume produced in France by Zohoor Alreef” that I had added to perfume packaging to emphasise range and quality.  People really don’t pay enough attention to these small details when they are designing packaging, but this isn’t always the package designer’s fault, I find that this is usually because they haven’t defined their brand tightly enough in the first place.  That’s what I do with my Brand Discovery programme.

The really great thing about Dorset Cereals Muesli is that it is real muesli, as natural as the packaging and communications lead you to expect it to be, with minimum salt and no added sugar. A truly end-to-end brand that their competitors need to take notice of.  This is a plan that has truly come together and I congratulate their strategist, brand manager and marketing team for their showcase brand development.

Phil Darby
January 3, 2014

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