Three Crown Milk: Repositioning to Attract More Patrons

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With a new campaign that appeals to mothers and a value proposition that plays up the low cholesterol status of the Three Crown Milk, Raheem Akingbolu reports that the promoters of the brand might have identified their major patrons

The last six months have been eventful in the Nigerian dairy market. Top players in the market have come up with different strategies to deepen penetration of their brands in the market. The struggle to gain prominence in the market reached the climax when handlers of two leading brands threw caution into the wind and resorted to direct attack through creative materials. The action attracted condemnation and appraisal from various quarters but they both passed their messages.

Over the years, players in the market have made various positioning statements through campaigns and innovations to have competitive edge. However, some have survived and become stronger while a few brands, especially the reigning ones in the 70s have since kissed the dust.
Since the introduction of the Three Crowns Milk into the market, the brand has not only remained relevant in its target segment, it has consistently maintained a steady market share. Aside the development of winning marketing tips and campaigns to approach the market, the brand has no record of controversy and blemish. Also its strong involvement in the Mother’s Day Celebration, through the Mum of the Year Competition in the milk sector and other key campaigns focused on women like the Cook Like Mine Competition, have all contributed to the brand growth.

Women focused campaign
As part of the strategies relied on to strengthen the power of the brand in the market, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria repositioned it early 2015 on the platform of “Healthy Mums, Happy Families”- a positioning that stemmed from the need for the brand to evolve into providing value experience and give consumers strong reasons to buy the brand. To analysts, the campaign was timely and strategic given the important place occupied by mothers in the family. As a major influencer, it is believed that getting the attention of women is as good as capturing the entire family.

From the conception of its thematic campaign ‘Don’t You Wish’ and its re-positioning as ‘The Healthy Choice’ with the tagline ‘Healthy Mums, Happy Families’ analysts saw the move as a step that would take the brand far. Between last year and now, the campaign is said to have fortified the relationship between female consumers and Three Crowns Milk.
To push the campaign, the company had made a bold move to address an important social challenge –health. Knowing well that most times, the tasks of taking care of the family gives mothers no room to think of themselves and how to also take good care of their own health, FrieslandCampina WAMCO had quickly repositioned Three Crowns milk, as a brand that cares for mums so they can continue to take extra care of the family.

“Milk is an important part of our diet. We begin drinking it when we are young, but our intake decreases as we get older. Some people shy away from it because they fear that it will add too much fat to their diet. Others leave it out because they believe that they no longer need it. You are never too old to reap the rewards of drinking milk. It is a great source of vitamins and nutrients, and it has several health benefits, such as: glowing skin, healthy bones and teeth, muscles, weight loss, less stress and healthy body among others,” the company had stated in a statement issued after the unveiling of the then new Three Crown milk in 380g and 30g powder form in Lagos last year.

Looking back, one can see the different between what is happening to the brand now compared to where it was coming from. The brand was last communicated in 2010 with no clear emotional benefit, a fading functional benefit of low cholesterol and zero presence in the powder milk sector.

The ‘Don’t you wish’ campaign was launched along with the introduction of the Powder packs in February 2015. The new communication was hinged on the positioning “Healthy mums, happy families”, positioning Three Crowns milk as a healthy choice because it contains low cholesterol which helps to keep the whole family fit and healthy. It has a great taste, contains vitamins and minerals to support daily growth and body maintenance.
From available records, handlers of Three Crowns Milk appear to be the first in Nigeria to acknowledge the role of mothers as care givers, believing that if mothers take care of themselves, they can take extra care of their families.

Extending the frontier
Another step that has been cleverly explored in the recent time to push the brand is the way its portfolio has been broadened over the years to gain more market share. Three Crowns Milk grew from a 2 to 5 SKUs in a year, starting with the introduction of its 380g powder pack which was an instant success in the market. This growing market influence and need to drive penetration gave rise to the need to make the brand even more accessible by introducing the N20 Powder and N40 Evaporated Sachet packs.

With perfect campaigns and marketing strategies, the brand seems to have maintained a strong position in Evaporation and Powder market. Like the Peak Milk brand, the market leader in the dairy market, Three Crowns Milk has also been well positioned as the second engine for FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria.

Within three months of a Pan Nigeria launch, Three Crowns Milk was said to have recorded its highest ever volume shares in Evaporated category of 27.6% and maintained its shares throughout the year. The new powder variants was also claimed to have surpassed its internal sales target projection by 30% and achieved a 1% market share in plain powder. According to a test results for the campaign by Millward Brown Consulting, the brand recorded a 98% success rate on Brand impact Metrics and 65% on persuasion.
According to the Senior Brand Manager for Three Crowns Milk, Maureen Ifada, handlers of the brand decided to direct their communication at women because it is the mum who makes the buying decision.

“If you take care of the mum, she would view it in the essence that if this milk is good enough for me as a mother, I would definitely give it to my husband and children’. So, we like to always say that Three Crowns is not a female’s milk, it is family milk. We have only decided that our communication target would be the mothers because they are the pillars of the home, they hold the home together and they make all the buying decisions,” she said.

New Media Exploitation
The brand popularity among the youths could also be measured by the activities on the social media where the brand moved from having zero digital presence to having over 160,000 active fans on Facebook and over 1500 Twitter followers. Today, it is also on record that Three Crown Milk is currently recording an average of 10,000 likes per month on Facebook. This established the platform as a strong channel for the brand to relate with its consumers one-on-one through various activities and engagements. These activities took place throughout the year and was integrated both online and offline.

Key activities were the “Mum of Year” competition to celebrate mothers on Mother’s Day in May with the winning Mum, Mrs. Olamide Olaleye, rewarded with a grand prize of an all-expense paid trip for 2 to Dubai, free shopping voucher, honorary privileges and one year supplies of Three Crowns Milk.

The “Cook like Mine” competition featured different contestants across the country participating in a cook out using Three Crowns milk as the number one ingredient for their recipes. The aim of the competition was to drive additional usage occasion of milk.
Speaking about the rationale behind the “Mum of Year” competition, Ifada said the competition was in line with the brand’s new positioning statement.

She said: “When we repositioned the brand last year, we hinged it on a new positioning statement of “healthy mums and happy families”. As we all know the mum is the pillar of the house, she takes care of everybody, so if mum takes care of everybody, who takes care of mum? Three Crowns Milk is that milk that is positioned to take care of the mum. This is because it is low in cholesterol and so it helps to keep mum healthy.

“If the mum is healthy, definitely the entire family can be happy. That is what informed us celebrating the essence of motherhood because they are the foundation of the family. In a bid to make the celebration more interesting, we tied mum of the year initiative with the Mothers’ day anniversary which holds on the second Sunday in May every year. We celebrate mum all year round, but of course this is a special day, and so decided to celebrate them at this time,”

On nutritional education, she also stated that the company takes it serious and important as a brand and company. In achieving this, she pointed out that they started by going to schools and educate pupils while also leveraging on the brand influence on its social media platforms.
“For our Facebook pages for either of our brands, from Peak 123 to Peak 456, Three Crowns Milk, and the Peak Mother brand and also Peak Choco as well. We are actively informing the Nigerian consumers on the essence of taking milk and how it helps develops the brain and helps you in general. As a brand, it is something we have actively been doing for more than 60 years in Nigeria,” she added.