Most marketers think selling a brand is a challenge. But there’s an even tougher job: selling a generic commodity. Think about it. You see commercials for Chevrolet and Chrysler but not for the automobile. You see spots for McDonald’s and Pepsi, not fast food and soft drinks.
Yet there’s one popular drink sold mostly as a commodity: milk. Two groups, over seven years, have achieved a marketing feat in making this commodity a brand. In the process, they blunted a two-decade slide in milk consumption and raised sales for producers and processors.
”When it comes to a cereal or a soft drink, I could advertise that brand when a competitive product was not advertising, and sales would go up,” says Kurt Graetzer, CEO of the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board. ”Our job is very different: We’re trying to move an entire industry. Our measuring stick involves many more bars to cross.”