What’s blue and white, but will soon be read all over? The new Dairy Farmers of Canada logo.
First revealed in Ottawa last month, Manitoba milk producers got an in-depth look at what’s behind the updated logo — and streamlined marketing program it ushers in — at the annual Manitoba Dairy Conference in Winnipeg earlier this month.
“What we want to do with our master brand campaign is make sure consumers understand there is a new logo in the marketplace and then make sure that people come online to understand why Canadian milk is so good for them — this is what we call the reasons to believe behind Canadian milk — and last but not least, to ensure a successful transition at store level,” said Victoria Cruz, marketing and retail director at Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC).
The new logo, which features a more realistic-looking cow, bearing a maple leaf and the words “Dairy Farmers of Canada, Quality Milk,” will replace the existing blue cow logo as the certification mark indicating a product has been made with 100 per cent Canadian milk and dairy ingredients. A slight variation of that logo, using only the words “Dairy Farmers of Canada” will serve as DFM’s new organizational logo.
Some at the meeting questioned the efficacy of the previous blue cow logo and wondered if the new logo would face the same issues when it comes to visibility. However, Cruz said there have been changes made to where the logo can be displayed by groups that license it.
“You are totally right,” she told producers. “The logo before could not be seen, because it was on the back of the package, or it was on the front but it was way too tiny to see, so we have learned from that experience.”
The new logo must be placed on the front of packaging, and meet a minimum size requirement to ensure readability, she said.
“When you launch a new logo like that you’re always on pins and needles,” said Blaine McLeod, a DFC board member from Saskatchewan. But he added that the new quality milk logo has already been licensed by Agropur and that the change better represents DFM’s newly developed brand conviction.
“Dairy Farmers of Canada have undergone many changes over the past year to become more modern, efficient and to better represent our farmers,” he said. “And we’re proud to have developed this new brand conviction, a conviction that celebrates the hard work of dairy farmers as well as their huge contribute to the overall physical, emotional and economic health of Canada and Canadians.”
In practical terms, the new logo and brand conviction will mean bringing together elements of dairy marketing that had previous operated in independent silos together, under one umbrella.
Cruz notes it also signals a move away from traditional advertising that simply got lost in the crowd.
“We have to do things differently, we have to do communication that is different, that is unexpected, that is entertaining, that is emotional, that really, really, really breaks through the clutter,” said Cruz. That includes marketing campaigns like last summer’s Project Sleep, which aimed to position dairy farmers not just as agricultural producers, but as trusted champions of healthy living.
It also means going beyond targeting just the middle-class mom with a couple kids, expanding the target demographic to include men, women, millennials and others.
“We are going to be able to adjust our message, according to the campaign, to the right target,” said Cruz.
But this shift won’t translate into a wholesale abandonment of provincial marketing, adds Dairy Farmers of Manitoba chairman and DFC vice-president, David Wiens.
“Our concern is that if it’s simply from a national perspective, then you target all the larger markets and sometimes the kind of flyover places … don’t get the level of attention we feel they should,” he said, adding that provincial board members are currently mulling over whether or not to hand more of Manitoba’s marketing over to the national organization.
Wiens notes that around 75 per cent of Dairy Farmer’s of Manitoba’s marketing is already handled by DFC, leaving roughly 25 per cent at provincial description.
“So now the board is looking at that last little piece of the fluid milk advertising,” he said. “We have a few choices here, we’ve put some of it into provincial programming, but we’re also looking at what DFC has to offer … so we’re just looking at how the synergies would work for us as a province.”
A decision on the issue should be made fairly shortly, Wiens said, but added the outcome won’t affect provincial nutrition programs, school milk, or involvement in high school athletics.
“The majority of the work we’re doing with DFC already, and now we’re looking at that last little piece,,” he said. “And some of it we will carry on as we are now, especially the provincial part, because we do want to have comprehensive coverage within the province.”