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Danish Food Sector

Differentiating Danish companies in the global food sector

Client: Danish Food Sector

Situation

Although Danish chefs were becoming recognized for pioneering new techniques and creating award-winning restaurants, the broader Danish food sector was hardly recognized for its leadership. Established Danish companies struggled to differentiate themselves in crowded global markets and innovative challengers struggled to break though. Although the food sector was full of diverse interests, there was a belief that the right Danish reputation could help them all grow.

The related government ministries and industry organizations came together in a project team with a range of companies, large and small, to tackle this challenge. The goal was to define a positioning strategy, story, and set of principles that were indisputably at the heart of the Danish food sector. Then, for each company to leverage and reinforce this in their marketing.

Solution

We started by developing a range of positioning scenarios that were all true, relevant, and high value to everyone in the global food industry. We then tested the scenarios in a range of interviews and workshops. Participants included over 60 senior executives across the food value chain, from raw materials and technology developers, to artisanal producers and retailers. Although they were each asked to rate and rank the scenarios from their own perspectives, the resulting data pointed in one clear direction.

The result was a positioning strategy focused on the idea that the Danish way is, put simply, “finding a better way” – to never be satisfied with the current level of quality, efficiency, or sustainability. This is possibly best articulated by Carlsberg’s campaign, The Danish Way. In the lead film, Mads Mikkelsen, the famed Danish actor, reflects on why Danes are said to be the happiest in the world. He suggests reasons as he cycles from scene to scene, then says, “The Danish way means, searching for a better way,” as he arrives in the Carlsberg Brewery.

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Photographed by Stefan Johnson