When you think of challenger brands, what comes to mind? A nimble David standing up to a legacy Goliath with towering name recognition and budget for days. Now imagine that you are a David battling multiple Goliaths. That’s the challenge facing Sir Kensington’s, a condiment brand with a mission to reimagine ordinary and overlooked food with fearless integrity and charm.

Sir Kensington’s market is crowded with household names – Hellmann’s, Heinz, French’s, Hidden Valley, Newman’s Own. The competition for shelf space is fierce.

 So from the start, the brand has taken on the mantle of challenger label and set out to stand apart.

The Ultimate Challenger Brand

Every decision Sir Kensington’s has made is to ensure their brand is different from everything else out there. From their product (real tomatoes vs tomato concentrate as the first ingredient) to their packaging (a glass jar vs the ubiquitous squeeze bottle) to their brand (a British knight persona vs all American). They challenge the ordinary and expected in every way.

Hear Amanda explain Sir Kensington’s origins as the ultimate challenger brand.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to their marketing efforts, they aren’t satisfied with the traditional or conventional either. Instead, they look to stand out and create excitement, buzz, and energy around their brand. They had all the ingredients (pun intended): a memorable story, an exceptional product, and passionate fans. They just needed a way to make the most of it.

They turned to Vesta’s online community platform to maximize those strengths through Community Powered Marketing.

But first, what is Community Powered Marketing?

Simply put, Community Powered Marketing is harnessing your community of fans to power your brand growth. Placing your community at the center of your marketing enables you to connect, amplify, and elevate your efforts, activating the relationships you invest in and build through community to drive advocacy, generate social proof, elevate household penetration, uncover predictive insights, fuel innovation and more.

From loyalty and rewards programs to peer influencer marketing, and shopper marketing to content creation, mobilizing your community will not only create more authentic and accelerated impact but it will form lasting emotional loyalty by connecting your consumers more closely to your brand and their fellow members.

Activating Community Powered Marketing through the Taste Buds Community

When your resources are limited and you’re facing an uphill battle, you need to make the most of every asset you have. In Sir Kensington’s case, their consumers – whom they call their “Taste Buds” – are clearly a powerful force. They saw the way they reacted to their products and they knew they needed to develop deeper, direct relationships and harness that power. 

Hear Amanda talk about how the Taste Buds Community got started.

Vesta’s online community platform enabled them to tap into their brand love to face their biggest brand challenges including:

  •   Generating Owned Data Through Direct Relationships
  •   Creating Scalable & Authentic Advocacy
  •   Elevating Innovation with Always-on Insights
  •   Capturing Market Growth with Emotional Loyalty

Generating Owned Data Through Direct Relationships

While many brands are scrambling to prepare for the accelerating privacy changes that are reshaping how data is acquired and used for marketing, thanks to their online brand community, Sir Kensington’s has already launched and optimized a complete zero-party data strategy.

With the Taste Buds Community, the brand has created an engaging home where they can cultivate consumer passions, provide engaging and valuable experiences, and in turn, collect freely shared zero party data. That owned data allows them to personalize and elevate brand experiences both inside the community and with the greater consumer population.

Hear Alex, former Content & Community Strategist at Sir Kensington’s, talk about the value Sir Kensington’s generates with the Taste Buds community.

Without third-party gatekeepers (think social media channels), Sir Kensington’s has always-on access to cultivate their consumer relationships, collect data, and harness it to optimize all of their marketing efforts.

Creating Scalable & Authentic Advocacy

Another benefit that Sir Kensington’s reaps from their community is the ability to easily activate and scale engagement. From sampling campaigns to promoting the brand’s documentary Fries! The Movie (about their favorite “host food”), the community makes it easy to mobilize members to scale up campaigns to drive awareness, acquisition, and social proof. The ability to hyper-segment to pinpoint key audiences provides invaluable savings of time and money on programs that miss the target.

For one sampling campaign executed in partnership with Wild Planet, a canned tuna brand, Sir Kensington’s activated 1,000 targeted community members by sending them samples of both products and asking them to create and share a recipe across social media. The campaign generated 3,600+ pieces of UGC and 350 reviews. As a challenger brand with a resource-strapped team, the value this holds for Sir Kensington’s is unmatched.

Hear Amanda discuss how the Taste Buds community helps Sir Kensington’s scale their sampling initiatives.

Elevating Innovation with Always-on Insights

With their Vesta-powered online brand community, Sir Kensington’s taps into an always-on consumer panel through surveys, polls, and focus groups to capture key audience intelligence, gain insights during product development, and efficiently navigate brand decisions according to audience preferences.

One example is the Market Research Online Community (MROC) study the brand conducted with the help of Vesta’s Insights team. This intensive 7-week focus group engaged a select group of community members in a series of discussions and activities to identify consumer pain points, gain product feedback, optimize creative concepts, and gauge interest in products under development.

The research directed the development of new products for Sir Kensington’s “Everything Sauce” product line. In addition to allowing Sir Kensington’s to launch with confidence, involving community members in co-creation ensured they felt valued by seeing their feedback and ideas reflected in product decisions.

Hear more about how an MROC Study conducted in the Taste Buds Community helped power new product innovation.

The brand has also tapped into their community to identify audience segments, collect feedback to optimize product performance, conduct competitor research, hone their brand positioning and more. By involving its consumers every step of the way, from crowdsourcing new ideas to optimizing creative concepts, Sir Kensington’s ensures it stays aligned with constantly evolving tastes and remains true to its mission to elevate the ordinary.

Capturing Market Growth with Emotional Loyalty

In demonstrating their commitment to putting the consumer first, Sir Kensington’s has ignited a powerful relationship with its community members that cannot be achieved through any other medium. With features like the in-platform Survey tools and the Discussion Forum, the brand can hear the genuine thoughts and opinions of consumers who are eager to share with them, exciting members through the process of co-creation and gaining a deeper understanding of them.

The community’s ability to nurture genuine connections and increase awareness of Sir Kensington’s and its brands has been pivotal in driving Household penetration. Community data shows that 73% of community members who were non-purchasers of Sir Kensington’s were converted to brand purchasers after joining the community.

Listen to Amanda describe the value of the Taste Buds Community for Sir Kensington’s growth strategy. 

Community Powered Marketing Delivers Impact for Sir Kensington’s

Sir Kensington’s makes it clear – when you challenge the ordinary, you can achieve something extraordinary. Just as the brand took the condiment category by storm, they’ve also turned their online brand community into a force that drives their advocacy, engagement, and insights strategies to the next level.

 In just 2 ½ years, they’ve achieved:

  •   132% increase in Net Promoter Score
  •   73% purchase conversion
  •   91% positive brand opinion
  •   31,000+ pieces of authentic user-generated content
  •   35,000+ survey responses collected

 Community Powered Marketing enables Sir Kensington’s to continue to cultivate a community of super fans they know they can rely on to continue to challenge – and win – in a competitive market.

Are You a Challenger Brand with Challenging Challenges?

Vesta has helped brands like yours tap into their best consumers to find their next consumers and deliver big market impact. 

We invite you to take a listen to this clip from Sir Kensington’s about working with Vesta. And then let’s talk about how we can help your brand.

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