Not so long ago, Dorset Cereal was gathering dust in health shops, unable to stand out from the multitudes of mueslis crowding the shelves. Before investing, private equity firm Langham Capital wanted to make sure this brand was more ‘diamond in the rough’ than ‘rotten apple’. ?What If! was asked to investigate the potential of Dorset and to devise a strategy that would lift the brand from anonymity to join the ranks of best-selling cereals.
Combining a top-down quantitative study of the market with a deep dive into consumers’ mindsets, we zeroed-in on what makes cereal lovers tick. While mueslis could bank on a health craze to make their buck, the association with ‘rabbit food’ was a hard one to shake off. This revealed the sweet spot for Dorset. For consumers switching from ‘normal’ cereals to healthier mueslis, Dorset would stand out as the best of both worlds, healthy yet yummy.
Having landed a unique positioning for Dorset, ?What If! set out to reflect this essence in a packaging design that conveyed both the transparency of natural ingredients with the color of taste.
Dorset Cereals rose from the shadows to become a premium and aspirational brand, winning numerous awards and even making it in the goodie bags of Hollywood stars for the 2012 Oscars ceremony. Since the re-launch, its customer base increased exponentially from 20,000 to 200,000 and sales skyrocketed, growing beyond 280%. Acquired by ABF in 2014 for over £50m, Dorset came a long way from its original launch in Poundbury. Now present in 45 countries, its brand continues to resonate with customers of all cultures. That, to us, is the real long-term win.