Silk Almond Milk
Over the past year, the marketing channels utilized by Silk for its almond milk products include its website, social media, TV, and banner ads. Since we were unable to find any studies or surveys on the consumer perceptions of Silk's almond milk, we compiled data on its sentiment on social media. An in depth analysis of the company's marketing strategies has been outlined below. The spreadsheet can be assessed here while screenshots of these ads have been entered into this document.
- Within the past year, Silk has leveraged a variety of marketing channels in the US including TV advertising, social media, and banner ads for its almond milk products.
- From January 2019 till date, the company has done up to three TV ads for its almond milk.
- The company's social media platforms, particularly Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, are mainly used to market its almond milk. This is because more than half of its consumers are under the age of 34 (also known as millennials) and younger gen xers.
- According to the Pew Research Center, the cohort which mainly uses these social media platforms is millennials.
MESSAGING AND EXAMPLES
- About a year ago, Silk launched a "Progress is Perfection" marketing campaign with the help of Fallon Minneapolis, a marketing agency.
- As described by the company, the campaign is "intended to celebrate little moments in life."
- The campaign was also based on the premise that there is a lot of pressure from society to strive for an unnecessary form of perfection but progress in anything is perfection.
- On social media, the company encourages customers to post their progress stories using the hashtag #progressisperfection.
- One of its TV ads is titled "Don't Stop Me Now," the 30-second ad was published in January 2019 and begins with a dad making a strawberry smoothie with Silk almond milk after which he goes on to play basketball.
- The ad also features older women jogging and a younger woman mowing a lawn in gym clothing while a cover of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" plays in the background. It ends with the tagline "Progress is Perfection."
- The engagement rating for this ad is 7.1 out of 10 and it has a 59% positive sentiment. It last aired on the 15th of June 2019 on the E! channel.
- There is also a 15-second version of this ad which has an engagement rating of 4.6. The 15-second ad only features the dad making a smoothie and playing basketball while the song "Recipe for Progress" by Queen plays in the background.
- The main message passed across in these ads is the power of motivation. Individuals are shown attempting to reach their fitness goals and with the help of Silk almond milk, they are one step closer to achieving their goals. It last aired on the 24th of March on Hallmark.
- In March 2019, Silk published another ad for its almond milk titled "Hood Ornament." The 15-second ad features a mother and her child in a grocery store. She picks up a Silk almond milk and a voice congratulates her saying by "Nice work, progress maker." The tagline for this ad is also "Progress is Perfection." Its engagement rating is 1.5 and it last aired on the 16th of June on Hallmark.
RECIPES AS A FORM OF MARKETING
- On its website, YouTube channel, and Pinterest, Silk publishes recipe ideas featuring its almond milk.
- These recipes are mainly published on its websites for search engine optimization — a well-known marketing strategy for websites.
- One of its most viewed recipes is the Morning Buzz Breakfast Smoothie made with a banana, brewed espresso, peanut butter, and the Unsweetened Silk Almond milk.
- The recipe video now has over 650,000 views. Silk is aware of the fact that most people buy its products because they are seeking a healthier alternative to dairy. The company publishes plant based, vegetarian, and vegan recipes such as its fast & easy fettuccine alfredo which can be made with its almond milk.
- For the most part, Silk mirrors the same posts about its almond milk across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, the brand's posts on Instagram and Twitter are more personable that its posts on Facebook.
- On Instagram, it reposts people's real life stories about their struggle to strive for perfection.
- On most of its posts within the past year, it uses at least two hashtags - #ProgressIsPerfection and #LoveMySilk.
- The progress is perfection hashtag has 7,724 posts on Instagram while the love my silk hashtag has 4,756 posts.
- On June 4th, Silk posted a picture of a sick mother with her son on Instagram. According to her, "Every day I choose to make time for THIRTY MINUTES of self-care! Putting in my time for a workout and enjoying post workout shakes with Silk Vanilla Almond milk changed my entire mood and my outlook on the day!"
- On Twitter, where it has 48,616 followers, Silk retweets tweets of people's positive reviews of its almond milk. The company also responds to these tweets.
- On June 4th, a customer shared her experience as a first time user of the silk almond milk. "I finally gave in and got a jug of that silk almond coconut milk and it’s so good I yelled “whew chile” in the kitchen at work. So I would like to thank the @LoveMySilk company for that delicious milk substitute. That was the best glass of milk I ever had in my life," she stated.
- Silk's response was "This is the type of quality content we love to be tagged in! LOL. Send us a DM, Melani."
- Silk also encourages direct messages on Twitter for people with questions or inquiries. A lot of renowned brands do not offer an option to send a direct message on Twitter. By doing this, Silk is showing that it cares about its customers.
- The brand's Facebook account is more professional than personable. There, the company responds to any questions or concerns about its products.
- About eight weeks ago, a Facebook user commented on one of Silk's posts.
- She expressed her disappointment that she was unable to find a caramel almond milk creamer in stores close to her. Silk responded by making the consumer aware of the fact that there may be little to no distributors where she lives.
OTHER FORMS OF ADVERTISING
- Silk has different Pinterest boards for various kinds of recipes.
- One of its most followed boards is called Silky Smooth Smoothies. It provides different smoothie recipes for people trying to lose weight of just "power up."
- From February 2019 to March 2019, Silk ran several banner ads for its almond milk with the tagline — #progressisperfection.
- Silk's messaging has remained consistent over the past year. Since 2018, the brand has been using the "Progress is Perfection" tagline and continues to use it.
- In 2018, Silk announced that it was the "official almond milk of U.S. Figure Skating." While financial details were not disclosed, the deal was worth six figures.
- As part of the deal, Silk's packaging for most of its almond milk included the USFS logo in 2018 for more exposure.
- The US Figure Skating also provided "backbone for in-store displays and promotional materials."
- The company has not been part of any other co-branded promotions over the past year.
- On social media, there is an overall neutral and positive sentiment for Silk Almond milk. Specifically, 55% of Silk Almond Milk mentions on social media are neutral - which means they mention the brand with no additional context. An example is "My Low Fat Lactose Free Coffee made with [Silk] Almond Milk and Maple Syrup this Evening 🤤☕️ Caz Dayummmm Can’t Do without Coffee ... Can you."
- Up to 39% of Silk Almond Milk mentions are positive. For example, "if you're looking for a non-dairy milk that actually tastes good your best bet is gunna be almond milk! I get the silk unsweetened one but it's surprisingly still sweet and yum."
In order to locate Silk's marketing strategies and promotions/sponsorships, we first reviewed the company's website for any indication of its strategies but this attempt was unsuccessful. Next, we tried locating an annual report for the company. We found that while it is a private company, it is owned by Danone - a French food company. We proceeded to examined Danone's 2018 annual report and 2019 quarterly reports. However, Danone only offered financial data on all its companies, there was no breakdown of each of its companies and the partnerships or marketing strategies these companies leverage.
Our next strategy involved searching for Silk's marketing agency and looking for any case studies released by this agency in reference to Silk. Typically, marketing agencies have case studies of well-known companies they work with to attract other large clients. We found that the company's marketing agency is Fallon but there were no case studies released by this company. We also looked for any existing analysis of the company's marketing strategies. Websites like MBA Skool did not offer this information.
Since the aforementioned strategies were unsuccessful, we manually compiled Silk's marketing strategies after thoroughly going through all its social media pages, its website, videos, and databases like Ispot TV. We focused on marketing for its almond milk products within the past year alone. This means we excluded its influencer marketing in 2017 and its popular ad with Michael Phelps.
We were, however, unable to find any studies or surveys revealing consumer perceptions of Silk's almond milk products. We further explored journals like Science Direct. These journals provided data on consumer perceptions of almond or soy milk in general but Silk was not listed. We even explored surveys by data analytics companies like Nielsen. The same information we found in the journals was offered by these websites. We also looked at databases like Statista to no avail. Therefore, we used a social media tool to provide sentiments of Silk's almond milk products based on tweets, hashtags, and Reddit comments.