How to *actually* make your brand stand out from the pack

To cut through the noise of a highly saturated market, you know you need to define your brand’s core differentiators. 

But how do you realistically make it happen?

We have insights to share from our partnership with North American pet food leader Crumps’ Naturals, where we defined a new brand positioning and set the team up for accelerated growth.

Read on for the step-by-step of how we uncovered Crumps’ white space, with helpful takeaways for your brand.

Step 1: Understand the status quo of your competitive set.

To the pet store! Our ventures up and down the (virtual and physical) aisles revealed that most competitors position around: taste, ingredients, sourcing credentials, and the wild provenance of dogs. To stand out, we needed to lean into something completely different.

Apply it: Deep dive into your own competitive set to identify common themes for positioning. What you find will become the “zig” to that you’re aiming to “zag”.


Step 2: Study the most innovative industries and markets.

We discovered a powerful movement in Asia to share life moments with pets, nourishing both their physical and mental health. This was a significant shift from North American brands’ fixation on solely supporting physical well-being.

Apply it: Analyze culture and business trends across a variety of forward-thinking industries and geographies to identify opportunities to apply proven wins to your own brand strategy.


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    Step 3: Define the white space you can authentically own.

    We found our key opportunity to capitalize on what was ignored in North America – the importance of food & treats to build the relationship between pet and pawrent. Pawrents recognize that their pet’s health needs aren’t purely physical but also mental and emotional.

    Apply it: Aim to merge your understanding of what to “zag” with key insights from your competitive research beyond directly competitive markets and products. Most likely these insights will reveal something meaningly different.


    Step 4: Live your differentiators.

    Ultimately, 5&Vine helped Crumps uncover their white space for growth – a niche where they create products that nurture the physical, mental, and emotional health of dogs.

    We crafted the new trademarked tagline:

    Crumps. Nourishes The Whole Dog.

    The pet food industry norm is to focus on ingredients to nourish physical health.

    Examples of Crumps competitors. One side showing "Focus on Ingredients" with two home pages that say "Happier Ingredients. Happier Pets" and "Taste the Honest Difference" and the right saying "Focus on Physical Nourishment" with "Helping Pets Live Happy, Healthy & Long Lives".

    Crumps’ advantage is in supporting physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

    Screenshot of Crumps' Naturals home page that says "Nourish the Whole Dog"

    But we didn’t stop at the narrative. This tagline drove the direction for Crumps’ rebrand, new packaging, product innovation pipeline, and presence at trade shows.

    For example: Why give typical branded merch when we can give dog toys that are mentally stimulating and connect to the brand’s positioning?

    Apply it: Don’t stop at messaging. Embed your new positioning into your product, culture and organization as a whole.

    Prior Crumps packaging to new packaging.

    When you encounter a sea of sameness, don’t feel like you have to follow the status quo of your industry in your location. Challenging typical “norms” is what will help you stand out.


    Ready to challenge the
    status quo and win?

    👋 I'm Rahul, founder and CMO at 5&Vine. Reach out to schedule an intro call about your marketing challenges and let's assess how 5&Vine can help your brand win.

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