Activia (FMCG dairy industry), a global dairy brand of Groupe Danone. Launched in 1987.
In the 1980s, the mindset of western European consumers was changing with products like Body Shop where Anita Rodricks was influencing women about natural products and how they were created without testing on animals. It was an emerging new trend. At this time, avant garde-ism was happening in a very expressive way in France in architecture. The big trend was the mixture of classic contemporary style, either by creating new architectural style within a classic environment like the Cultural centre of Georges Pompideau or extending the old building architecture like Pyramide de Louvre. At this time, the yoghurt category was seen as run-of-the-mill, it was not a word-of-mouth exciting category. Everybody agreed it was good for digestion, and mixing it with fruit, yoghurt becomes more pleasurable. Products with living bifido-bacteria are constituents of the pro-biotics group of functional foods that give better digestion. This living bifido-bacteria formula from Pasteur Institute was available without patent protection so different brands had already come into the market by demonstrating functional benefit.
How to make Danone brands make a dent in the market by taking this high added value bifido-bacteria formula which is accessible to all companies? With totally high value innovation, can Danone have a word-of-mouth lifestyle brand in the dairy category to take the consumer’s mindspace to a high ground space as well as provide the value added products in the dairy category.
Make a distinctive displacement from the past in the cold chain dairy category so no brand can match the brand aspiration of Danone’s brands as the driver of health. Take this opportunity to elevate the company’s brand worth with high leadership in France and globally.
We created Activia (erstwhile Bio) in 1987. The retail shelf distinction with forestry green colour had dark and light green nature pierced with a strong emerging yellow graphic sun meshing with the green of nature. This design instantly translated as an exceptional value added product for health. It registered deeply and instantly in front of the shelf, went to the consumer’s home for eating and stayed in the consumer’s body and mind. Unlike most competitive pro-biotic brands that spoke of better digestion as the benefit, we brought the tone and manner of skincare category here. We strategized at a higher ground platform for the consumer’s physical satisfaction leading to mental aspiration for the end benefit which is the optimal feeling and glow of beauty that comes when digestion is better. That’s why we recommended their positioning to be “Beauty comes from within” in the brand and communication platform. This was a total departure from any dairy brand in the world of an added value generic category. Activia today is a global brand and continues to be Danone’s most profitable brand.