Posted by Will Butterworth on April 20, 2012
With the growth of Tesco’s venture brands Yoo and Chokablok taking up a fair amount of page space of late, my roommates and I got to thinking about which will be the next category to feel the pressures of own label in not only the traditional sense, but also from an equally well branded incumbent.
One of the brands we identified that may find itself under threat is Gü who currently sit in the specialised category of premium puddings. Familiar with the threats and pressures that playing in an own-label dominated category bring with it, most of their recent advertising suggests that they have been looking to increase their frequency of consumption by positioning Gü as a permissible temptation. In their journey from ‘just for dinner parties with important friends’ to the ‘everyday indulgence’, we have seen the rich and premium brand go from strength to strength in both hearts and minds.
Whilst seeming like a fairly straightforward strategy the dilution of premium into every day is not something that will necessarily affect a brand positively. Not only this but with supermarket venture brands seemingly in the assurgency how long will it be before the likes of Tesco attack with an equally quirky and personable me Tü?
So what to do for Gü?
Having sampled many of their products in numerous client workshops and dinner parties over the years we made the following two observations:
- Frü is not as good as Gü or indeed many OL products
- Gü is great at chocolate
So for us the way forward for a brand like Gü and others who may soon come under threat from venture brands is simple; identify what it is that makes your brand or product great and leverage it in as many new ways as your brand allows, thus insuring yourself against any major category plays from retailers. For Gü this would mean proliferation into hot chocolate through a potential JV with Starbucks, ice creams, yoghurts, biscuits, cookie dough, confectionary, RTD milkshakes and many more.
We want to see Gü taking chocolate and running with it; deep diving into the seasonality of flavours that can be combined with chocolate and tapping into new occasions. Personally I’m really looking forward to trying a rich and smooth Gü hot chocolate and if it’s anything like the puds it will be pure liquid perfection in a mug…that is of course if they do ever get round to making one.
Posted by Richard Oldham on August 3, 2009
This weekend’s story that the sale of Gü has got potential buyers including Nestle and Mars queuing up for a piece of the pie shouldn’t come as any surprise – the story of Gü has been a triumph of branding, demonstrating the phenomenal value that exciting brands and strong marketing can deliver. Initially, of course it is the founders who will benefit, but in the future I’m convinced that Gü will continue to deliver strong value for shareholders too.
To my mind, Gü is a textbook example of a brand that has (more or less) done everything right in its six years of existence:
- clear segmentation of the desserts market to identify a highly profitable niche of consumers who are prepared to pay a significant premium for quality, imagination and style
- highly targeted channel and communications strategies, leveraging the partnership with Waitrose to build a strong consumer following before heading out to the mainstream
- a consistent renovation and innovation roadmap, building and refreshing the core offer of intensely indulgent chocolate desserts and then exploring profitable niches in bakery, fruit desserts and beyond
- a geographical expansion plan that feels robust and scalable (and even includes selling ‘mousse au chocolat’ to the French!)
More than anything, though, I love the fact that Gü was a pioneer in explicitly bucking the trend towards healthy, worthy and puritanical eating … it recognised that life isn’t just about punitive health, but that when we work as hard as we do, we need small indulgences. What’s more, it has proved that we’re prepared to pay a significant premium for these experiences to be of the highest quality … little pots of golden goodness.
So, what next for Mordecai Wosner and James Averdieck, the Gü-rus of Gü? A future in brand consulting perhaps? I’m sure they could offer many brands some valuable lessons in focus, strategy and innovation.
Posted by Giles Lury on March 23, 2009
When I came across these sweets on a recent trip to the US, I immediately thought that someone must have seen Gu and Fru and was jumping on the bandwagon.
But a little investigation soon proved that first impressions can be misleading. I now know that Yogenfruz is the baby of Aaron and Michael Serruya and is a major retailer operator specialising in frozen yoghurt and smoothies.
And given that their first retail operation began in 1986 and Gu Puds’ first product went on sale in 2003 – the smiley “oo” seems to have originated on the other side of the pond.