Yogurt: A Case Study in Target Marketing & Product Differentiation

Self-serve frozen yogurt shops are the new fad, quickly replacing gourmet cupcake stores along city streets and on college campuses (Red Mango, anyone?). What’s so special about the sweet treat? Well…not much. It’s all about how it’s advertised and marketed.

Frozen and blended fruit yogurts are not new to the grocery store shelf. Having become well established in the breakfast and dessert markets in the last ten years, frozen yogurt and Greek yogurt companies are now targeting their products to expanding numbers and new market segments. Initially targeted at health-conscious individuals who would tolerate a lumpy, bitter breakfast product, yogurt companies now advertise recent changes in recipe to meet the needs of a wider audience with a sweet tooth.

Texture, flavor, and nutritional value are three main points of differentiation which breakfast yogurt companies can use to set their products apart. Frozen yogurt stands can offer a wider range of prices, toppings, and flavors to stand out from competitors. For yogurt companies in general, similar branding styles indicate that all are appealing to the same groups of markets. The neat, clean, aesthetic of most yogurt containers (which often feature a white background) appeals to the health conscious by implying that their product isn’t overly processed. Bright colors and images of fruit further appeal to this group and additionally appeal to children and young adults who are looking for a “fun” snack or dessert. Frozen yogurt shops, such as Red Mango, try to create a calm and light atmosphere, appealing to teenagers or families with a few extra dollars to spend.

In a market as specific as this, it is extremely difficult for a company to differentiate their product. Yoplait, though, seems to have done this with their “it’s time to lick the lid again” campaign.

In this ad, Yoplait sets itself apart from other breakfast yogurts such as Chobani by providing a product that is sweeter and pre-mixed, enabling consumers to “lick the lid again” as they might have on a traditional, older Yoplait product.

Although I’m a very serious Chobani addict, this ad is really appealing to me. If you’ve ever eaten (or even looked at) Chobani yogurt without stirring it, you’ll understand why. Furthermore, this ad is a very strong example of target marketing. It uses upbeat music, bright colors, and a healthy message to appeal to the 35-and-younger, primarily female demographic.

How do you feel about the recent popularity of frozen and Greek yogurt? And do you have a preference in any of the top competitor Greek yogurt or frozen yogurt brands? How had advertising changed your perception of them?

References:

Gee, J. (2013). Yoplait greek commercial . Available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHCEWuMVEFE

Schultz, E. J. (2013, August 12). Yoplait banks on ‘less sour’ taste to make up ground in greek yogurt. Retrieved from http://adage.com/article/news/yoplait-banks-taste-make-ground-greek-yogurt/243631/

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3 thoughts on “Yogurt: A Case Study in Target Marketing & Product Differentiation

  1. Your analysis of yogurt packaging was pretty eye-opening. They even FEEL lighter. But it’ll be interesting to see where the move to become more colorful will take Yoplait. Greek yogurt could probably use a little brightening up.

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  2. I think people choose frozen yogurt because they feel it is healthier for them, however I think it is all a hype and a fad. Personally, yogurt has always been a natural thing for me, especially because in Europe it is huge. I also, like you said, love Chobani and think it tastes a lot better than Yoplait or any other brands. The new thing now is being more healthy and organic and natural, so I think because of that, there is a new interest and attraction to yogurt as a better alternative. good article!

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  3. To me, Greek yogurt is an awesome way to get mt daily calcium and protein, but I understand that some women use it as a dessert/sweet snack option for themselves or for their children. I think Yoplait will so some great results from the way that they differentiated themselves from ultra-healthy Chobani.

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