Inspirational Owners: January 2009
Yes To Carrots
Yes To Carrots is a brand of skin and hair care products made with organic fruits and vegetables combined with Dead Sea Minerals. CEO, Ido Leffler, shares his thoughts about the heart and soul of the company, and the challenge of making a brand a Lovemark in a consumer driven economy.
Lovemarks: Why do you think consumers love Yes To Carrots?
Ido Leffler: Consumers love Yes To Carrots because it is not just a green beauty brand for the masses. It is a brand designed specifically to make people happy. Everything we do at Yes to Carrots percolates from this idea.
Yes To Carrots is about the experience - the ingredients are efficacious and easy to understand, the website and packaging are bright and cheery, the products are innovative, and we have fun and do not take ourselves too seriously. For example, the directions on our Pampering Carrot Juice Shampoo are: “Shampoo daily on wet hair while singing”. Who doesn’t love a product that makes them smile?
Consumers also love the fact that we don’t say “no” or use negative descriptors like “anti-aging”. No one wants to be reminded every day that they are aging. Consumers respond to happy brands.
LM: How does Yes To Carrots relate the idea of High Love and High Respect in the way your business works from day to day?
IL: Attaining both High Love and High Respect is built in to our DNA. We are transparent and 112% who we say we are. This is not a gimmick or a fad. Yes To Carrots has a heart and soul. We will always be true to our mission and goals which are the pillars of the brand. These must always work together equally to establish an emotional connection with our consumers. Yes To Carrots is truly a way of life.
LM: Lovemarks recognizes that senses are portals to our emotions. Can you identify how one of the five senses – or a combination or interplay of more than one – connects most strongly with your product and service?
IL: It is the combination appeal to the senses that makes Yes To Carrots unique and a brand that consumers will be loyal to. While other brands appeal to one emotion, Yes To Carrots provides a full experience.
* The clean and refreshing smell of natural ingredients
* The sound of someone using our shampoo and singing in the shower
* The sight of bright colors and happy people on our packaging and on the website
* The feel of luxurious ingredients
* The “non” taste of our 95% USDA Certified organic Lip Butters - no chemical taste - from your lips to your tongue.
LM: Can you recall any encounters you’ve had where a customer gave you a new insight to the rationale of both your business and your marketing?
IL: It makes my day to come across unsolicited love for Yes To Carrots from Carrot Lovers around the world. We are doing things right if consumers are spending their free time talking about Yes To Carrots. We are working on harnessing this energy through our Carrot Club.
Some of my favorite finds are:
* A woman’s Facebook profile is the Yes To Carrots logo
* A blog entry: “I like to tell everyone that if I were rich and famous, I'd definitely try to be the spokesperson for Yes to Carrots. However, I'm neither rich nor famous, but I definitely try to tell everyone about the greatness that is Yes to Carrots!”
* A fan letter: “Never stop what you are doing... promise me”.
LM: Attributes associated with design, innovation, and resilient sustainability are a part of the evolution from trademarks to brands to Lovemarks. How highly do you rate these attributes and why?
IL: I rate all three of these attributes very highly. Without them, a brand will fade and have no chance to become iconic. The design of the brand is often a consumer’s entry point. It must be appealing and captivating, and make an emotional connection from the beginning. If the brand is not innovative, a consumer will stray right away and find another brand they are passionate about and can be loyal to.
True love is what makes a brand a Lovemark. A brand can only sustain if a consumer is willing to stay with you during the good times and the occasional bad. They must be loyal and trust your brand will be able to face challenges.
LM: What do you think is the biggest challenge for brands like Yes To Carrots in a consumer driven economy where the consumer is boss?
IL: I think the biggest challenge is being different. ‘Natural’ is well on its way to being the ‘new normal’. Brands need to stand out and inspire consumers in order to survive. I look at brands in our category (and in others) and they are boring, simple, and just not sexy.
Their claim to fame is being green and recyclable but soon most products will be able to say that. Brands need to be sexy, passionate, value-effective, innovative, good looking, inspirational, and carry a positive message.
LM: Can you name two other companies and tell us what you Love or Respect most about them?
IL: Innocent Drinks: They are committed to what they do - making simple fruit drinks - and they do it with humor and love. When I am in London, I Iove reading the labels while drinking my daily fruit. They are definitely not another smoothie in a bottle. Their great tasting drinks, constantly changing labels, and environmental values keep consumers loyal. It is easy to see why everyone who works there truly loves what they do.
Method products: The company always stays true to its mission and goals and has truly reinvented a category. They have educated the masses and taught them that the smell of bleach is not the smell of clean. They inspire people to clean which is one of the most mundane things to do. And who doesn’t want to be a Person Against Dirty?
LM: Name 5 of your Lovemarks
IL: Max Brenner chocolate (chocolate by the bald guy); The West Wing (please come back); the Apple store (you feel like you are walking into a temple); San Francisco, Sydney (sister cities); Zoe (my newborn daughter).