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Arla: Eleven brands into one, thanks to a great story

The story:
The Danish-Swedish company Arla Foods is one of the world's largest producers of cream cheese, sold under the BUKO name. In Japan the product has been very popular with professional bakers and confectioners—although for some 30 years it had been sold under 11 different brand names!

Many distributors had their own, exclusive brand names for many years, even though the product itself was identical. This way of doing things became increasingly unsustainable as, faced with growing competition, Arla Foods Japan found that it could only vaguely promote “Danish cream cheese,” not their own brand name. Anything else would create an uproar in the very complicated, relationship-heavy Japanese distribution network. And the company was beginning to see its market share shrink. Things had to change.

Next Inc. was selected as Arla Foods’ marketing communication partner to help plan and implement a smooth transition to a unified BUKO brand.

We began by researching the market and the many distribution channels. After agreeing on a brand and communication platform, we started to create the BUKO story.

To accomplish this, we wanted to go to the heart of the brand itself: Denmark. Over 10 days, two of our writers covered almost all of the small Scandinavian country in their travels. They came back with a great story.

They met with farmers, marveled at ecologically-sophisticated farming practices, and saw many happy cows. They visited Danish families and homes, as well as celebrated chefs.

Their observations, interviews and experiences resulted in a handsome brand story book, which, in turn, became the basis for all communications: package design, PR and media events, advertising, newsletter, website and web content, recipe contests, and other communications and promotions.

BUKO’s story itself became the compass that has directed us throughout our work for Arla Foods. It's an approach that also guides us with our other customers as well.