“What’s up with this?” we asked the nearest WFM team member.
“You know, values – the things people believe. They matter. That’s what Whole Foods is all about.”
Of course. Whole Foods Market has hung its mostly organic hat on that for years. A tilt toward unadulterated, un-manufactured foods has been their stock in trade ever since John Mackey and his wife started their first store in 1978. Company “values” still encompass trust and the greater good … and attract a refreshing variety of both staff and customers.
But these days, Whole Foods Market® is far from alone in offering organic fare. Even the most mundane mainstream grocer now carries some organics, and the leaders among them have gone in heavy for it – even Walmart, for heaven’s sake! Not to mention a plethora of “natural foods” competitors out there who would like to eat WFM’s lunch.
So Whole Foods needs a way to stand out … again.
That very evening, the first Whole Foods TV ad we’d ever seen popped into our living room (which either means we’ve missed ‘em when they’ve run before or they’ve just starting running in our area). The spot talked about how values matter, profiled a family-owned farm and touched on organics’ companion differentiator, local providers – another difference that’s becoming less different these days as mainstream grocery marketers climb on the “local” bandwagon.
“America’s Healthiest Grocery Store,” declared the tagline at the end of the spot, nailing down in only four words what America has been saying about Whole Foods for a long time. Witness this quote from Health Magazine in 2008, which asked a group of health experts to pick the Top 10 healthiest grocery stores (Whole Foods was #1):
“Whole Foods has the whole package -- from an extraordinary selection of fresh conventional and organic fruit and vegetables to delicious prepared foods with healthy ingredients and clear labeling. Whole Foods puts a premium on products that are grown or produced locally (read: super fresh).”
The Whole Foods tagline is a home-run. It includes all “10 qualities of an effective tagline”— at least as I’ve perceived them over the years.
1. Simple – uses as few words as possible.
2. Direct – makes a strong, unambiguous declaration-
3. Compelling – connects to both head and heart.
4. Authentic – grounded in Marketable Truth©.
5. Strategic – sets your brand apart.
6. Personal – talks about customer wants and needs.
7. Meaningful – expresses tangible benefits.
8. Visual – attracts eye and ear.
9. Memorable – sticks in the mind.
10. Enduring – works as long as the truth lasts.
I’d like to think that the new Whole Foods “tagline” is a keeper. Could be a test. Or just an ad campaign theme.
But based on this short presentation on Whole Foods' web site (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values-matter), I’d say America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” is a keeper. They simply may be sneaking it in under the “Values Matter” banner.
It should be a keeper, because it tells the truth … and tells it well.
Content © by Brian E. Faulkner Marketable Truth © by Brian E. Faulkner