Kiwifruit brand Zespri has achieved significant commercial growth, experiencing double-digit expansion in both volume and value share in 2021. This growth has largely been sustained by their core markets, but to hit their ambitious target of doubling their business by 2025, they need to achieve significant growth outside of these markets.
Whilst their brand tracking programme provides rich insight into brand performance in their core markets, they had an insufficient understanding of consumer perceptions and their competitive position in expansion markets; insight which they required to build a truly effective brand growth strategy. They needed to move quickly and use their finite research budget to maximum effect.
Realizing the need for an affordable, agile point-in-time brand measurement approach, Zespri chose BrandEvaluator on Kantar Marketplace to help them understand their current brand position in the United Kingdom, which they identified as one of their key growth markets. The solution is based on the same commercially validated Meaningful Different Salient framework (MDS) that is used to measure brand equity in their brand tracking studies, as well as the innovation and creative testing they already do on Kantar Marketplace. Using a consistent approach to brand measurement across the business means that internal stakeholders already understand and trust the framework, allowing them to act with greater confidence. This, combined with a frictionless automated set up meant they could get the study off the ground fast and then receive and act on the insights incredibly quickly.
The results from the project highlighted that the Zespri brand is still in a very nascent stage of development in the UK, with few people having experienced the brand. As Zespri had suspected, their brand is currently relatively small in the UK compared to most competitors (including retailers) on all three of the ingredients of a strong brand, as measured by MDF. As a result, Zespri’s Demand Power, or overall brand equity share, is quite low.
These findings have given Zespri a precise map of their current position in the UK fresh fruit category on all major factors that contribute to brand strength. More importantly, their research has also provided guidance on strategies that are likely to result in successful brand growth.
The BrandEvaluator project has also provided insight on how to achieve success by revealing the top consumer perceptions that would support the brand’s appeal in the UK fruit category. These findings have given Zespri a wealth of information to formulate their go-to-market strategy.