Hot cereals have long been part of the healthy breakfast. Most doctors recommend them as essential for good health, and a tasty alternative to the American standard of bacon and eggs. There are a variety of hot grain cereals to choose, from iconic Quaker Oats and the classically packaged John McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal. But we love finding something different and tasty.
New consumer brands, especially when they are independently owned, have a difficult time getting established simply because the retail shelf space is already overcrowded. This limits and even prevents great new brands from making it to your store shelves. As we have said in many previous posts, distribution trumps everything: your quality, your price, your package – because “if it ain’t there, they can’t buy it.”
The alternative today for small artisan brands is to sell the consumer directly over the Internet. But physical products aren’t really delivered over the internet. You can pitch, build community, and collect orders. But physical direct-to-consumer products must be shipped, and it’s costly – so costly in fact that if the item is weighty or inexpensive, the shipping cost will be too high for you to justify an on-line purchase, and you may settle for what they have at your neighborhood store.
But if you did, you’d miss out on some really incredible products, one of which is a hot breakfast cereal called Purple Sunrise. Although this brand is beginning to appear in a few stores, for most of us it’s still an Internet purchase. And is the cost of delivery worth it? You bet! When we first were introduced to the brand, it immediately became a staple in our home. We are part of the brand discovery process because we tell all our friends about it, knowing that they will thank us. Then we see it at their house!
So why are we suddenly hawking “mush” in our brand blog? It fits. Everything about this brand fits our basic brand essentials:
1. Positioning. Purple Sunrise is marketed as an upscale, artisan, gourmet whole-grain superfood breakfast cereal addressing a cross-section of several smaller specialty niches, including Organic, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Non-GMO, and Kosher. By satisfying the strict requirements of these dietary factions, it establishes a base that helps sustain sales while providing a high-quality product that the majority of folks can enjoy.
2. Branding. Their name, “Purple Sunrise,” combines its unique color, presumably from the “Forbidden Rice” ingredient, with the time of day it is generally eaten, morning. The logo captures the purple sunrise over Mount Baker in Washington State, near the Puget Sound area where the mill is located. The catch phrase, “Freshness You Can Taste – Energy You Can feel,” appeals to those who are looking for something better.
3. Packaging. High quality queues abound. Freshly milled cereal is immediately packaged the high-quality anti-oxidant re-sealable foil-lined grain-colored bags complete with oxygen absorbing packs. The colorful label depicts an inviting bowl of Purple Sunrise adorned with a ripe strawberry and banana slices. The cardboard delivery carton is strong and clean. The enclosed list of ingredients depicts colorful images each of the 9 grains. The packaging screams QUALITY and VALUE!
4. Brand Promise. We have been enjoying Purple Sunrise for years. We buy it by the case so we can share it with our friends. The product has demonstrated consistent quality over time, the ultimate measure of brand promise. The real advantage to strict quality control is that we feel confident recommending it, and our friends thank us for turning them on to mush, no less.
Okay, here it is: www.CamanoIslandMills.com. Bon Appetit!
Who Are We.
Having built and sold a bestselling national brand, we appreciate the value of brands and everything it takes to make them successful. Companies are valued by their brand equity. Achieving and maximizing brand equity requires tremendous respect for all your customers, from your wholesaler to your end user.
Starting in our laundry room with no money and no knowledge of the industry, we built the famous Barefoot Wine brand. We learned a lot they don’t teach in school and much of it the hard way. Although our success was in consumer products, our real world experience will be helpful to anyone looking for information and advice about brands.
We have written the New York Times Bestselling Business Book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, which chronicles the history of the famous brand from its inception through its acquisition. Our book is now required reading in schools of entrepreneurship across the country. We hope this book will provide inspiration and encouragement for all those contemplating starting a brand or wanting to improve their existing brand.
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
-Barefoot Wine Founders