Your company got its start based on a passion or idea that has grown into something bigger. It was hopefully built around some central values. But where do you go from here? Could you diversify your offering to strengthen your position? Greggs and Innocent Drinks are doing just that.
As your business grows it’s essential to remain true to the core values at the heart of your brand.
You need to develop the skills and strengths in your business, while at the same time considering how you can expand into other areas that broaden your base. By diversifying you can become a more desired company with more to offer. But be careful to not let your original brand values get watered down and left by the wayside.
To create a loyal customer base, you have to constantly remind them why they loved you in the first place. During a growth phase, it’s sometimes very easy to be distracted by what’s shiny and new. But any move that conflicts with your brand image can impact on your success, as customers become disillusioned with your decisions and look elsewhere.
A couple of current examples of where brands are getting it right are Innocent Drinks and Gregg’s.
Innocent, best known for selling fruit smoothies, have recently announced they are diversifying into more “health and wellness products”. As the soft drinks industry comes under the microscope with the Government introducing the sugar tax, the British public is becoming more aware of the range of healthier options available to them.
Although Innocent don’t add sugar to their drinks, even smoothies and fruit juices are being scrutinised. This prompted Innocent to add coconut water, protein smoothies and flavoured sparkling water to their range of products. However, this has not distracted them from still delivering on their core promise of “allowing consumers to do themselves some good”. In fact, they saw an increase in sales of 23% at the end of 2016, which made them a tidy £8.5m profit compared to the loss of £700,000 in the previous year.
Sausage roll stalwarts, Gregg’s, have also been broadening their portfolio. Increased competition from the likes of Costa and Starbucks battered profits to an all-time low just few years ago.
They identified from subsequent studies that over 80% of their sales came from the food-on-the-go market. So, along with a new CEO came a refocusing of the brand – away from their traditional bakery offering to the food-on-the-go market.
What’s more, Gregg’s have launched a range of healthier options. So instead of just bacon sandwiches for breakfast, they’ve introduced porridge, fruit and yoghurt to their offerings, which has expanded into a new all day Balanced Choice range.
Profits have soared, analysts are impressed and Gregg’s have managed to abide by their mission of “keeping it real” whilst developing a better and stronger brand image. They are even considering expanding into the home delivery market in the future!