Good brand performance has never been so important for protein brands due to a shift in the industry. Check out which brands are performing best - and why.
If you’re a marketing or brand manager for a protein brand, you may have noticed a shift within the industry. No longer is marketing tailored towards men who want to build muscle or to women who want to lose weight. This increased popularity factor of protein brands has led to increased brand competition, so it’s imperative that your marketing and brand strategy keeps the pace. This means tracking your brand performance.
Once consumed exclusively by bodybuilders, protein powder was taken as supplements to gain muscle mass. Now, protein brands are showing up in everyday recipes and in a range of fortified health food products, that target a whole new clean-living niche audience. With an increase of product availability outside of the gym (e.g. in supermarkets and smoothie bars) plus the rise of Instagram fitness influencers, it’s safe to say protein brands have crossed into the mainstream.
As protein brand and marketing managers, it’s time to rethink your strategies and aim toward better brand performance. This is where a brand tracking tool can help you plan your next move to make sure your brand’s health is the best it can possibly be.
We look at four established protein brands on the German market (Foodspring, Myprotein, ESN, and Bulk Powders) to determine which had the best brand performance. We looked at their level of brand awareness, brand consideration and brand associations to find out the following: Where do these protein brands sit in the general public's eye? We’ve got the data and will now rank the top four brands in order from least to best performing.
To calculate brand performance, we allocate each brand a brand score. The brand score is the weighted average which is made up of aided brand awareness and brand consideration (30%). The final brand score is a score out of 10.
Bulk Powders is a British protein powders brand founded in Colchester in 2005. With over 200,000 Facebook followers and over 25,000 Twitter followers, Bulk Powders social media campaign asks users to share their fitness journey by using the hashtag #thebestme. What a better way to spread brand awareness via word-of-mouth?
Over on their Instagram account (with more than 175,000 followers) these stories are added to a global #teambulk movement, with this visual style of social media being a popular platform in order for their customers to post their gym selfies and videos and creating engagement by sharing their story via Instagram Stories.
Looks like Bulk Powders really put power into their social media, but it seems it wasn't enough to completely win over their German audience.
ESN (Elite Sports Nutrients) is a Made in Germany brand that has been selling supplements, superfoods and fitness accessories to the European market since 2004. They may have less social media followers than Bulk Powders (Facebook (50,000+ followers), Instagram (150,000+ followers), plus Pinterest and YouTube), but it seems they have come out on top in terms of brand performance thanks to their content marketing. The ESN website has an educational content marketing strategy with subpages about healthy living, muscle building, losing weight and endurance as well as an online magazine.
ESN also host a series of offline events in Germany called Kieztalk. They promote the brand as being made in Germany, with a focus on quality products and service. Their brand strategy focuses heavily on the made in Germany aspect and educational quality as well as building community with their customers at offline events. A surefire way to get into the heart's of their German audience.
Foodspring appear to take what ESN are doing in terms of content marketing and promoting their "Germaness" and bring it to another level.
The Foodspring website experience is a visual one, offering high-quality photographs and content with a focus on clean and certified organic ingredients. The brand was created in Berlin and this is mentioned several times throughout the copy but also leverage off other global ingredients and hip superfoods such as goji berries and coconuts from ‘pure’ and ‘natural’ environments, reflecting their clean product strategy. They are also using affiliate marketing and have a refer-a-friend program.
In addition, Foodspring offer an online shop, recipes, a free body check and an online coach. You can also engage with them directly online via their live chat which pops up on every landing page. This ease in accessibility seems to have served them well.
Founded in 2004, MyProtein markets itself as Europe’s number one sports brand and the number one sports nutrition brand globally. Based in Manchester and operating in over 70 countries worldwide and they boast over 2000 products in their product range.
They have several social media accounts broken down by country, with the German MyProtein Instagram boasting over 115 000+ followers. This sort of segmentation allows them to adjust their social media campaigns accordingly. Their campaign hashtag is #FuelYourAmbition and the account features images of recipes and fitness models working out.
Similarly to Foodspring, their product packaging is simple and chic in its design, and in recent years have rebranded to appeal more to the Instagram audience. This strategy seems to appeal as they ranked highly in aided brand awareness and brand consideration.
Both MyProtein and Foodspring closely aligned in brand score. MyProtein has the numbers advantage - with 8 million clients worldwide and ranking number one globally for value for money. They employ email marketing and a user-friendly website as their digital strategy and also run an affiliate marketing incentive program. Foodspring ranked second, quite possibly due to their successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign which focuses on influencers with a health and wellness audience.
However, there is a significant drop in ranking for the next two brands, who had completely different branding strategies. It was interesting to note that brand consideration ranked consistently high across all brands evaluated which may indicate that consumers are not necessarily brand loyal. ESN and Bulk Powders both engaged in more traditional forms of marketing (TV advertising & event/community building) - perhaps focusing their strategy to be more digital may increase their brand score.