BODIE’Z founder shares how rebrand boosted sales by 90 per cent - Inside FMCG

BODIE’Z founder shares how rebrand boosted sales by 90 per cent

As gyms shut down during the Coronavirus outbreak, protein water company BODIE’Z found a way to survive the volatile business climate. While the functional beverage range was innovative, branding was letting it down. The company collaborated with the consumer branding agency, Our Revolution, to rebrand the protein water business. 

BODIE’Z founder Bodie Lazar said after rebranding, it saw sales soar by 90 per cent across supermarket giant Woolworths and Australian pharmacy Chemist Warehouse. The new isotonic protein is sold in over 700 stores nationally and is finding success in Europe and the Middle East.

Our Revolution client services director Diana Yako said “the global cultural and economic landscape was evolving” and the collaboration brought the protein water drink to success in the global landscape.

Inside FMCG interviewed Yako and Lazar on their recent collaboration.

“I have always struggled with protein shakes, I found them [causing] bloating and never truly enjoyed the taste, yet was drinking them as I understood the benefits post exercise and for cognitive function. One day, I was looking for a healthier, low calorie, high protein alternative to dessert and I found that this really wasn’t a category that existed,” said Lazar.

Inside FMCG: Tell us how BODIE’Z came about.

Bodie Lazar: So, I actually developed and started manufacturing, out of the back of my friend’s restaurant, a low lactose protein sorbet / gelato a few years before it became a category that you can find in grocery today. I struggled to find the distribution channels, as gyms and nutrition stores didn’t have freezers, and at the time, this was the channel I thought I needed to operate in. However, throughout the process of manufacturing and playing with whey protein, I saw a potential for a new type of product – clear protein water. I explored this category and market and found that nothing really existed. I decided to divert my efforts there.

There was very limited innovation in the protein world up to that time. You can only flavour a milk-based protein in so many ways. Milk based drinks tend to cause bloating for lots of people and are difficult to drink straight after exercise. My idea was that protein water would offer all the same nutritional benefits of whey protein isolate, however it would be light on the stomach and be able to be consumed during your workout (which is a great time to be consuming protein).

Once I was happy with the initial formulation of protein water and proved that it could be made, I set about developing what I intended to be the most functional drink in the world. I wanted the all-in-one sports drink. I looked at the protein and sports drink market, nutritional requirements of these consumers and managed to incorporate a broad vitamin blend and electrolyte profile with a complete Branched Chain Amino Acid profile coming from the Whey Protein Isolate itself. I then wanted to use only natural ingredients and zero preservatives, reduce the sugar and fat content, etc. It was at this point that I decided to go “All in”.

Inside FMCG: Tell us a bit about the product range?

BL: BODIE’Z plays a role when you are searching for functional benefits above and beyond water. We have a few ranges dedicated to certain needs. 

Our Isotonic range takes the traditional ‘increased rehydration’ approach through a blend of electrolytes and low GI sugar with the added benefit of 20g Whey Protein Isolate for muscle maintenance, repair and brain function. When you look at the typical consumer of Isotonic drinks, they are weekend warriors, team sport players, endurance athletes, runners, etc. You also have a good mix of people working strenuous jobs, such as tradies. A lot of these people are frequent protein consumers and understand the benefits of protein. We have combined two well established products into a single drink that’s refreshing and tastes great. 

The Vitalise range is your everyday protein. The Optimum range is great for people needing increased protein intake, who exercise frequently or are struggling to get enough protein in their diet.

Inside FMCG: What prompted the company to decide to rebrand the drink?

BL: Lots of things played into this decision. We got to a point where we were very happy with our products, our supply chain, formulations and overall operations of the business. Once we had all of our core processes finely tuned, we decided to invest in growing the brand and develop our five to 10-year strategy. We decided to move into a new bottle shape and we felt the existing designs were limiting potential as it was busy, the brand name was presented vertically and it was not easy to see all of our claims. Shelves are extremely crowded which makes it very difficult for any products to stand out. We also had a significant issue with the original design in that it restricted our ability to roll out new products, as there were no key brand assets and style conventions that we could incorporate into our NPD. Our Revolution really helped unpack our strategic vision and illustrated how this would work for us across other functional products outside of beverage.

We wanted our brand to be distinctive on shelf and begin to build long term recognition in [this] category. We need consumers to pick up our product, feel good about what [they are] holding and seeing and ultimately convert that to a purchase.

Inside FMCG: The packaging is beautiful. Tell us how you conceptualised the design.

Diana Yako: After depicting the brand strategy for BODIE’Z, we created the brand purpose, ‘unlocking human potential’ to represent the optimised benefits their drinks have to offer. This inspired the visual concept for the brand identity and packaging design. The new BODIE’Z brand marque is the finish line ribbon wrapped around the bottle, a symbol of reaching a goal that we often set ourselves. The brand is now bold and dynamic and extremely distinctive on shelf. The hierarchy of claims on pack have been reconfigured to help consumers identify relevant product benefits, whilst also revealing the unique ‘clear’ quality of the protein water.

Inside FMCG: How has the Coronavirus outbreak affected BODIE’Z?

BL: BODIE’Z has a solid presence in Woolworths and Chemist Warehouse nationally. Our consumers have been able to find the products on shelves during this period. The biggest impact has been the closing of gyms. This has changed consumer behaviour and routine where BODIE’Z played a big part in nutrition. However, as exercise has moved outside, it appears that consumers are stocking up during their grocery and pharmacy shop to have our products readily available in their fridges at home. This is fantastic as it was always our intention for BODIE’Z to be part of your daily routine.

Inside FMCG: How do you think the Coronavirus will change the beverage industry

DY: Before the pandemic, we saw consumers becoming more mindful of what they were consuming and demanding healthier beverages. This has continued during the pandemic, with health being at the forefront of consumers’ minds and we can expect that to become even more of a focus post-pandemic. However, with rising consumer expectations, we will see a lift in functional beverages that have dual or multiple purposes beyond just refreshment, although great taste will still be expected by consumers as the standard to category entrance. 

BL: I think it will increase the drive for added functionality in beverages. COVID-19 has definitely made people more aware of their hygiene and focus on health and beauty at home. The current situation has definitely shuffled a few of our projects around and bought some future NPD forward. We have focused on NPD spending time in the lab formulating and testing our new lines. We have always been proactive with adding benefits for the consumers and this has now become more apparent as we believe consumers will be very focused on staying fit and healthy. 

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