Duck Food UK Launch

The client: Leading Belgian raw dog food company Duck Food

The challenge: After three decades of success in Europe, the brand wanted to launch in the UK in early 2015. They needed to understand the UK market, how it differs to Europe and how they could shape their marketing communications to have optimal impact in this new region.

Our approach: We ran focus groups so that the client could gain an in-depth understanding of British dog food buyers, their needs, wishes and relationship with their animals. Following the focus groups we used a workshop with the senior leadership team to analyse the results of the research, and to plan the launch communications for the UK market.

Our solution:

1. The name:
A key finding from the focus group was that the brand name Duck was confusing for a UK audience, given that the brand uses a range of meats, not duck meat. Therefore we worked with the team to create an elegant solution, altering the name slightly to Dük, as the name would be spelt phonetically in Flemish.

2. The packaging
After listening to the focus group research and applying some creative thinking, we found that minor tweaks to the packaging such as changing the breed of dogs depicted and emphasising the nutritional qualities of the food could help the brand connect much more effectively with UK customers.

3. The UK positioning
After analysing the focus groups, we were able to see a clearer picture of who the Duck food UK consumer was. Based on this work, we were then able to map out the 5 consumer profiles that would help focus the launch plan and positioning. Keeping the needs and attitudes of these profiles in mind, we were able to create a unique positioning for Duck in the UK based on the 100% natural quality of their dog food.

4. Launch plan
With a deeper understanding of the UK dog food market, we were able to facilitate to discuss messaging and channels for a UK launch. We mapped Duck’s Business Model Canvas, as well as their Value Proposition Canvas. We then moved on to consider what role marketing would play in delivering the business model and communicating the value proposition. We found that they needed a strong social media presence as this was a strong and trusted information source for dog owners. Consumers needed to have influencers throughout path-to-purchase so we discussed targeting potential stockists/distributors and retail theatre.

Results: Duck left the workshop with a much deeper understanding of the UK market and how they needed to position their brand to succeed. We delivered a set of actionable steps that they could use to launch their product in the UK. The brand implemented these and launched successfully. They are now stocked nationwide by major retailers.

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