Exploring independent and artisan brands gaining marketing currency

For many, independent and artisan brands are the way forward. No longer wowed by glossy, multimillion pound brands, consumers are looking for ways to engage with products that are unique, bespoke and high-quality.

Econsultancy recently reported that ‘with an increasing desire from consumers to know how and where products are made, small and artisan brands are growing in popularity.’

What is driving the trend?

So what is causing this move away from high-budget, well-executed, reliable brands?

Arguably, this change in brand preferences can be seen as a part of a wider shift away from corporatism, the establishment and the mainstream, particularly among younger generations.

The phenomenal success of the Bernie Sanders campaign in the United States is a case in point, as is the backlash against Starbucks and others caught in the corporate tax avoidance scandal of 2014.

For marketers, this means creating authentic, original campaigns that capture the independent spirit of a product. Simply appearing to be an artisanal brand isn’t enough, as savvy consumers can quickly spot the difference between a genuine independent and a band-wagon copy.

With the low-down on everything from homemade Dorset muesli to Market Deli crisps, Econsultancy’s article got us thinking about some of the biggest names in artisan branding.

New brands on the block

One sector seeing a particular rise in independent brands is the food and drinks market, with craft beers, slow brewed coffee and pop-up stores proving wildly popular among young, affluent, socially-conscious consumers. Here are just a few examples of craft products taking the world by storm.

* Singha

Singha beer is one such example. Often associated with the Thai culture from which it takes it’s name, Singha has grown to be a cult classic in the craft beer and lager industry.

Back in November, PR Week reported that Singha was hoping to engage the so-called Hipster market in the US ‘because they care about authenticity and being associated with a brand that does more than just sell product.’

With younger consumers caring more than ever about the brands they engage with being socially responsible, (did you read our blog last week?) Singha could reap huge rewards by marketing to this savvy demographic.

* Teapigs

Coffee is well known for being an artisanal industry, but what about tea? This is exactly the stereotype teapigs began to change when they launched as a new independent tea range back in 2006.

With a focus on using prime ingredients, maintaining an ethical footprint and being eco-friendly to boot, in only ten years the teapigs has spread to over 35 countries.

Having recently released their matcha range, the superfood green tea product associated with numerous health benefits, teapigs shows no sign of slowing in its bid to become the worlds favourite bespoke tea brand.

* Pepsi

Yes, you heard right. Pepsi are just one mainstream name that has caught on to the craft trend, and are now out to prove they can straddle the two markets.

The Drum recently reported that ‘the arrival of the much-anticipated ‘1893 from the Makers of Pepsi-Cola’ drink sees the business attempt to replicate artisanal brands that are enjoying vast popularity of late.’

The advert, with its 1920s-esque jazz soundtrack and Instagram-filter look, is a far cry from the macho, humour-filled adverts more commonly associated with Pepsi’s products. In true craft style it focuses on ingredients, history and quality, successfully blurring the lines between mainstream and independent branding.

Whether Pepsi will be called out on its entry into the field of artisan products remains to be seen, but their marketing certainly fits the bill. Only time will tell if the current trend continues to make waves in marketing style, or whether we will come full circle once more. Watch this space.

Exploring independent and artisan brands gaining marketing currency