Whole Foods Meat Department Rebrand
In 2010, Whole Foods Market asked us to rethink how they tell their story at meat counters in Northern California. We used a variety of research methods to learn how their offerings matched what customers wanted. We became experts on Whole Foods sourcing and standards through interviews with internal stakeholders. We observed shopping behaviors, interviewed butchers and customers, and surveyed the existing signage and messaging. We examined academic studies and market segmentations to better understand consumer attitudes toward meat. Finally, we visited competitors’ meat counters to see how their offerings and messaging compared.
We found that everything customers cared about could be summarized with four Whole Foods values: how the meat tastes (flavor and texture), what goes into the meat (not allowing antibiotics or chemicals and choosing organic feed when possible), knowing where the meat is from (traceability and local issues), and respectfully raised meat (animal welfare and sustainability). We introduced a color-coding system, new signage, postcard brochures for longer messages and even worked with Whole Foods to design new product labels featuring photos of the farmers who raised the meat.
By reorganizing and simplifying the messages, we were able to clearly demonstrate how Whole Foods delivered on their values, right down to every cut of their meat. Follow-up research shows that the signage worked, and Whole Foods continues to roll out the new messaging throughout Northern California. The campaign was also declared “Most Innovative Marketing Campaign of 2010” at the Whole Foods Tribal Gathering.
“I've had the pleasure of working with the Hive for several year on numerous projects. From single store transaction building campaigns to category rebranding projects to pushing the limits of our brand messaging, they always deliver. Their strategic approach and thinking is top notch, along with their ability to be truly imbedded both for our business needs and for our important cultural landscape. DeeAnn and her team at the Hive run a great flank to our internal team that is challenged by a busy, constantly evolving and highly competitive environment.”
Danny Olivas, Executive Marketing Coordinator, Whole Foods Market, Northern California Region