WARNING: Cheesy case study. “It takes a special breed of person to truly appreciate the never-ending opportunities for pleasure that life affords us.”

That’s the message from the makers of Velveeta. They believe that “With a bit of Velveeta and the right attitude, any day can feel like yours for the taking. That’s La Dolce Velveeta.”

Are you living a beautiful cheesy life?

For background, sales of the cheese product spiked in 2020 by 24%. Fueled by the global pandemic, Velveeta seize on the opportunity to develop a new identity. A new logo was launched with a supporting ad campaign called, “La Dolce Velveeta.”

Here is the new ethos of the brand, according to Kelsey Rice,

“Velveeta exists to make outrageous pleasure a way of life.”

Microweird marketing stunts such as cheese-scented nail polish and pricey Velveeta martinis (called a “Veltini”) have supported the new campaign.

CNN reported that this was Velveeta taking a “rare chance to reintroduce itself to new customers, and to those who hadn’t bought Velveeta in years.”

I disagree. I think this about making “heavy users” of the product feel better about themselves.

In Pink Goldfish 2.0, @David Rendall and I uncovered an interesting insight from a 2014 Harvard Business Review article entitled, “Make Your Best Customers Even Better.”

Authors Eddie Yoon, Steve Carlotti, and Dennis Moore detailed how the Velveeta brand experienced its third consecutive year of declining sales in 2012.

What could Kraft do to reverse this trend? Could they get new or lapsed customers to try the product? Could they get infrequent purchasers to buy the product more consistently?      

Instead, the brand managers studied how the brand was being consumed. Research found the top 10% of Velveeta buyers account for over 50% of all sales of the product.

And here was the insight. They found these consumers were not getting enough Velveeta in their lives. Kraft decided to focus on this key segment of 2.4 million consumers.

The results were anything but cheesy. Kraft began finding ways to put Velveeta into other products. New product spin-offs totaling over $100 million in additional sales in the next 18 months were a game changer.

It shifted a paradigm for Kraft back in 2014. According to marketing director Greg Gallagher, “The previous thinking was that the quickest, easiest path to growth was to identify light users or lapsed users. But when we talked to superconsumers, we learned that in fact they wanted to use Velveeta more— they were starving for it.”

Takeaway: All customers are not created equal. In the words of Yoon, Carlotti, and Moore, “Show the love to those that love you the most.”

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Stan Phelps

Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at StanPhelps.com.