South African sports nutrition brand, USN, have made significant inroads into the UK fitness market over the past decade with their range of protein powders and supplements. Although USN’s specialist products have strong market share and appeal within bodybuilding circles, the brand isn’t that well known outside of the sector.
The company recently introduced a range of ready-to-drink and snack bar products aimed at those seeking a high protein boost in a convenient format. Critically, the range targets a very different audience – not bodybuilders, but ordinary people leading healthy, active lives. The new range is branded ‘Trust’.
USN is a trusted source of nutrition – wherever you are on your fitness journey. Whether it’s gaining size and strength, building lean muscle or managing weight and nutritional choices, USN has an unrivalled product range to meet every need.
By extending recruitment beyond the core sports nutrition category and launching a ‘grab & go’ range, USN want to gain a share of the wider, mainstream sports snack market – something they haven’t done before.
We were tasked with developing a launch campaign to promote Trust. A key objective being to claim market share in the grab-and-go category where brand leader Gorilla dominate. We planned to do this through an engaging and targeted launch campaign combined with on-going activity to include in-store POS, digital ads, outdoor media, events and social. As awareness of Trust was virtually non-existent with mainstream audiences, USN appointed Ant Middleton as brand ambassador – to raise its profile.
Thoroughly researching the snack category allowed us to spot trends and insights. There has been a 5 fold increase in the number of brands launching protein variants in a bid to capitalise on the trend – for example Weetabix, Mars and Nature Valley, to name a few, have all launched protein-based equivalents of their best selling products. We also found that 40% of adults are actively looking to lead a healthier lifestyle and would turn to protein-rich snacks as a convenient source of protein. We found that protein has evolved from a niche, muscle-building supplement to having broad, everyday appeal with mass consumers.
Delving into audiences in greater detail led to the creation of 3 key audience archetypes: Kate – the fitness fanatic; Dan – the lazy lad and Henry – the ‘everyday athlete’. Each having different traits, behaviours and personalities, but all three prime targets for Trust. They are you and me. They are everyday athletes.
How do we start to engage with ‘everyday athletes’? Building on the Trust name we developed a narrative which would form the basis of our campaign and activity.
“Exercise is part of your day-to-day life. From pounding pavements to the school run, swimming lengths to morning Pilates, beating your personal best at the gym to catching the next bus to work. You’re an everyday athlete. And you’re always looking for a reliable source of nutrition to help you achieve your goals. A quick, convenient, tasty boost of protein that will revitalise, restore, and get you ready to go again. Trust is the answer. A range of sports snacks and drinks that gives you the power to take on the challenge of your active, everyday life. A challenge that Trust can help you win.”
Using Ant Middleton – former special forces action man turned author and TV personality – as the basis of our campaign along with the tagline ‘The Power of Trust’ created a strong visual identity and message.
This was further developed for online and social with subtle variations in message depending on the channel and audience, but always with the signoff statement ‘The power of Trust’. Promoted posts on social helped convey the product’s key USPs (1) 20g protein, (2) No added sugar, (3) Convenience, (4) High fibre and (5) Low fat.
A colour palette was developed along with an overall campaign style which was rolled across in-store POS and event materials.
Online sales and distribution in the major multiples have also helped boost sales beyond initial expectations. Launching in 25% of Holland & Barratt stores, Trust quickly became the fastest selling RTD in the category.