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'We don’t believe in a cookie-cutter approach,' says Zespri on its purpose-led marketing tactics

'We don’t believe in a cookie-cutter approach,' says Zespri on its purpose-led marketing tactics

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The humble nutrient-dense kiwifruit needs no convincing of its health benefits, which is why marketing kiwi brand Zespri is no easy feat.

Rather than attempting to convince consumers to buy its products, Zespri has to constantly go beyond just selling and rather, needs to identify a gap in the market, according to Ng Kok Hwee, General Manager, global marketing, Zespri in a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.

Don't miss: Zespri's new pillbox-shaped case will ensure you never forget your fruit

"As the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit, Zespri is focused on helping people, communities, and the environment thrive through the goodness of the kiwifruit. We are very fortunate to be working with a product that's genuinely healthy and good. In fact, the kiwifruit is one of the most nutrient-dense fruits in the fruit bowl," said Ng.

She added that the brand is very fortunate to be working with a product that's genuinely healthy and good.

This is why our marketing strategy has been about igniting brand-led demand while securing a more significant share of the fruit bowl

"We achieve this by creating awareness about the remarkable nutritional benefits of our kiwifruit," she explained. 

Ng went on to say that as a marketing team, it went on a journey many years ago to help consumers make informed decisions about the food they are consuming and cultivate the right habits.

"We understand that behavioural change is not something that can be achieved overnight, or with advertising alone. Therefore, we work with many partners through many avenues, including educational programmes, advertising campaigns, influencers, experts and more, to shed light on the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables — not just kiwifruit," she said. 

Ng added that there is a paradox when it comes to healthy eating — we all know that it is good to eat more fruits, but in reality, we often don’t eat enough.

A survey we commissioned in Singapore in December 2023 found that while majority of consumers want to eat more fruits, over a third of them simply forget.

"There is an urgent gap between intent and action that Zespri aims to fill. As a brand that stands for health and well-being, we aim to bridge this gap by introducing innovative and creative solutions," she said. 

Appealing to purpose-driven consumers

In fact, The Fruit Pillbox is one way the brand leverages innovation and creativity to appeal to purpose-driven consumers by leveraging the 'nudge theory' that subtly, gently and repeatedly encourages positive changes in a consumer’s eating habits by forming a habit around consuming fruit daily.

The Fruit Pillbox is a box with seven compartments each filled with a kiwi fruit. It aims to remind consumers of the need to get their daily fruit intake in an easy and memorable manner. 

Crafted from recyclable material and vegetable-based ink, the packaging aims to combat Singapore’s forgetfulness to include fruit in their daily consumption habits.

“Zespri has always believed in the power of creativity for positive consumer behavioural change. We have been leveraging innovation in various areas such as packaging, advertising, and to tell Zespri’s story in more engaging ways,” said Ng.

“By understanding and addressing the evolving needs and preferences of the modern consumer, Zespri continues to innovate and provide solutions that enhance the consumer experience while promoting health and well-being,” she added.

Ng also explained that Zespri as a brand is anchored in health and that it believe that the best way to help people eat better and live healthier is to provide them with nutritious choices that are delicious, makes them feel good, and fun.

"We believe that health should be liberating and that it could mean different things to different individuals. Hence, we want to support and encourage every small step in the journey of health, like adding a kiwifruit to your meal or swapping out a sugary snack, on overall well-being," she said. 

Localised campaigns and influencer marketing

As Zespri operates in multiple countries with diverse cultures and consumer preferences, Ng also shared that the brand has had to find a sweet spot between maintaining a consistent brand identity and localised campaigns.

We believe in driving global brand consistency in what the Zespri brand stands for and leveraging global scale and synergy where possible. But we don’t believe in a cookie-cutter approach,” Ng said, adding:

We empower our local marketing teams to infuse local nuances to bring the ideas to life in a relevant manner. This balance is especially critical for us, in the fragmented consumer touchpoint landscape today.

To amplify the brand’s message, Zespri also leverages influencer marketing. This comes as no surprise as around 82% of participants in Southeast Asia have admitted to being influenced by recommendations from influencers or celebrities in their purchasing decisions, according to a study by

Ng said that the brand engages with a variety of brand ambassadors such as athletes and celebrities, lifestyle influencers and even healthcare professionals who can connect and resonate with Zespri’s target audience.

“Zespri engages influencers for various purposes from awareness building to lower down in the funnel where we can see actual conversions,” she added.

In fact, for The Fruit Pillbox activation, Zespri engaged three influencers to create different slice-of-life content on how it helped them to eat fruits daily to effectively introduce a new concept and idea to consumers.

Moving forward, Ng reminds marketers to continuously experiment with marketing strategies lest the brand becomes stagnant in a competitive and saturated marketing landscape.

“Marketing is also evolving at top speed — from the boom of eCommerce to the rise of ‘shoppertainment’, it’s important for our brand marketers to not only be aware of the trends, but to continue exploring new marketing mixes that work for the brand so that we can maintain our competitive edge,” said Ng.

Join us on 12 June 2024 for an exciting experience as Content360 makes its debut in Malaysia! Brace yourself to join the crème de la crème of the content marketing industry hailing from across the region. Immerse yourself in a dynamic atmosphere, and uncover the latest trends with thought leaders and solution providers from the realm of content.

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