Yogurt-maker Stonyfield Farms is achieving success with strategy that CEO Gary Hirschberg calls guerrilla marketing. Rather than pouring money into building a brand the old-fashioned way, Hirschberg wants to build relationships with consumers who will remain loyal regardless of how much he spends on advertising. A major part of this strategy is the Stonyfield blog, containing sections like Baby Babble, Strong Women Daily News, and Creating Healthy Kids. And the approach is really paying off.
Paul Argenti, a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, says he’d put Stonyfield at the top of his list of companies that are succeeding with this type of aggressive, individual marketing plan. He compares Stonyfield to Starbucks and The Body Shop — companies that are adept at “hitting people in an emotional way.” He says guerrilla marketing is not just one-on-one marketing, but marketing that people don’t notice. It’s like guerrilla warfare. Less obvious. “Nobody really knows they’re being marketed to,” he says, “I think if you get found out that’s not so good.” (NH Union Leader)
Even though their yogurt is more expensive than other brands, Stonyfield’s sales have gone up 25% in the last year. And they have grown four times faster than the yogurt category as a whole.