Land O'Lakes puts regional spin on national brand

If you market a national brand, does a one-size-fits-all approach still work for your product? You may want to take a closer look, because more frequently, the answer to that question is “no.” Increasingly, consumers of national brands are subdividing into “communities” of users who may all enjoy those products, but talk about and communicate with those brands differently, depending on a slew of variables. Savvy marketers understand these different communities of consumers who purchase their brands and communicate with them based on local preferences.

Pw 8517 Land0 Lakes Salted

For Land O’Lakes, Arden Hills, MN, one variable is geographic location. The company had been marketing its Land O’Lakes Butter in the same size carton and butter stick shape across the nation since 1921. Both the package and stick’s physical dimensions have been notably different than the shorter and stockier ones used by regional butter brands west of the Rocky Mountains. Consumers in the Western U.S. told Land O’Lakes they preferred the regional brands’ carton and butter stick dimensions. They perceive that the western-style cartons, at 3.125”x1.56”, are larger, even though the butter sticks’ one-quarter pound volume by weight is the same as those in the Land O’Lakes carton.

The difference in carton and stick sizes among the local brands reflects historical variances in butter printers or packaging machines.

Land O’Lakes is responding by adopting the local brands’ carton and butter stick dimensions in 10 western states. The company will continue to market its stick butter in the company’s traditional 4.75”x1.25” carton size elsewhere in the United States.

 “Land O’Lakes runs the new package on its own line, and it required us to purchase new machinery,” says Brian Delgado, Land O’Lakes spokesman. “But the goal is worth the cost. We’ve put a regional focus on a global product.”

Graphically, the new regional Land O’Lakes carton resembles the brand’s global look. The well-known brand name and Indian Maiden logo have been re-proportioned to fit the new carton size. In addition, each butter stick in the new carton is being wrapped with Land O’Lakes FlavorProtect® Wrapper. The wrapper is designed to retain freshness and repel odors better than traditional butter wrappers.

Land O’Lakes is phasing in the new packaging at supermarkets in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The company withheld details on materials and suppliers used in the new cartons.

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