A brand is, above all, a commitment, a contract that it signs with its employees, its customers and partners. It is a tacit contract, of which each stakeholder expects a lot. And it all depends on the company’s ability to anticipate and understand the evolutions of society and to act upon it.

A brand is also a vision of the future and an innovation policy that embodies this vision in products and services that live up to these commitments.

This commitment, this vision, this willingness to innovate must be realised to establish a relationship of lasting trust with its teams, its customers and its partners. Making these commitments visible, is our job as designers.

To illustrate my point, I will take the example of Herta with whom we have been working for more than 26 years.

This brand leader, a French favourite for the last 7 years, is now responsible for over a million purchases every day. How can we explain such success? In such very diverse market segments? And for so long?

From the outset, Herta gave itself a clear mission based on 4 pillars:
1. simplify the lives of its consumers
2. bring the best to the greatest number of consumers. the best pro
3. guarantee food safety
4. stay tuned-in to be able to continually innovate

These commitments materialised through actions.

In 1996, Herta revolutionized the ham market by winning the top category of The Jambon de Paris. By breaking with retailers to answer the needs of its consumers, it doubled its sales in one year.

In 2000, Herta stunned the frankfurter market as Knacki, Knacki Max, Grilled Knacki and, most significantly, Knacki Balls were losing ground. With its poultry and vegetable variations, the brand adapted to the changing lifestyles of its consumers. Today, this represents almost 70% of market share (vs 39% in 2000).

The following year, Herta launched the program “Herta Commits”, a CSR programme which resulted in the reduction of salt in its products.

Then, in its legendary pastry line, the brand launched their cake and cookies version developed the croque monsieur, ham on a spit and the vegetal revolution with the launch of the range Le Bon Vegetal. One hell of a gamble for a leading charcuterie producer! As it turned out, a winning gamble, as in less than a year, Herta was the leader in the vegetal caterer segment.

With the nitrite-free range, Herta proved once again that it is standing by its commitments.

Of course, there have been some failures, but the brand has always borne in mind the mission that it undertook and was able to remain true to its policy. It stayed in tune.

Today, more than ever, it is a race and no longer a case of the large crushing the small, but the fastest that overtake the slowest. It has become necessary to take the initiative because, just like in rugby, one cannot convince an adversary to review his tactics by using a defensive strategy.

Jérôme Lanoy
President and founder of Logic Design

To dig deeper into this subject, Logic Design organized a conference in partnership with ADN on June 13th: Change for good! Sustainable commitment to the transformation of brands. For more information, contact c.lejeune@logic-design.com