A relatively new French food and drink brand has been causing quite a stir over the channel.  It goes by the names of its founders ‘Michel et Augustin’.  It sits firmly in the Ben & Jerry and innocent brand camp- combining an authentic food story with a quirky, irreverent tone of voice.

The brand started off 10 years ago in home-baked ‘cookies’, expanded quickly to savoury biscuits then into yoghurts, frozen yoghurts, mousses and juices. Now, with financial backing, their sights are set on the US.

Their ingredients for success have followed some classic principles for a lasting brand legacy:

  1. Personal brand story. The brand has a great narrative built around its two founders, and their belief in great quality, simple ingredients. Sounds familiar, but it works. And by starring in ads & on social media along with other employees, customers feel personally connected to them whether on Facebook, Instagram or in a store demo.
  2. Authentic ingredients. Riding the trend towards real food, they are transparent about exactly what is in each product, and take pride in a cleaner, more natural ingredient list.
  3. Clear target connection. With its playful dessin animé visual identify, the brand overtly targets the ‘bohos’- the bourgeois bohemians- affluent, but looking out for more alternative brands. The London equivalent would be the Shoreditch or Dalston crowd.

However brands with similar scale and ambition should beware of some watch-outs as they grow:

  1. Be careful of over-stretch. It’s great to have a brand that is not just a product idea; however each product must stand on its own merits. Witness the withdrawal of Innocent veg pots and Ben and Jerry’s ‘flavour graveyard’.
  2. Don’t compromise your values. Post Unilever purchase, Ben and Jerry’s, belief of linked prosperity was compromised – the product quality fell, their social initiatives became more short-term. But since 2000, supported by investment in The Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, and with renewed focus on a three part mission (social, environmental and economic), the brand has reclaimed its values, reignited the passion of its employees and refound its ‘mojo’. It now has sales of over $500 million in over 35 countries.
  3. Stay connected to your consumer. Through its premium retail experience in high-end locations, Nespresso sits alongside other luxury brands as an essential accessory in the homes of affluent, stylish consumers worldwide.