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‘Branding & Rebranding’ conference held at DairyTech 2021 has served as a platform for the participants to exchange experience in building distinctive dairy trademarks, discuss current market trends and evolution of consumer behaviour.

Vera Mozgovaya, a moderator of the conference and a cofounder of V-Brand marketing agency, names digital transformation, creative packaging and making things simpler for consumers major marketing trends of today.

‘Consumers’ life keeps on changing every year’, says Vera Mozgovaya. ‘Information overload makes them stress out. Modern consumers’ attention span is as short as of a child. Brand manager’s task today is to communicate a simple message to consumers as quickly as possible to to grab and keep their attention.’

More consumers in Russia and abroad opt for wholesome food. According to experts, the pandemic has reinforced this tendency. Now, people strive for healthy lifestyle and go for natural products.

‘Personal branding becomes increasingly popular as a marketing tool at present’, continues Vera Mozgovaya. ‘And EkoNiva company that launched dairy product line under the eponymous brand in 2018, has taken advantage of the tool.’

Yekaterina Duerr, Deputy Manager of Marketing Division at EkoNiva-Food, spoke about the development of the brand.

‘When we had to develop a federal dairy brand for the mass consumer’, explains Yekaterina Duerr, ‘we chose to keep the name of EkoNiva holding as a brand name. At one point, there was an idea to place fictional characters on the packaging, but then we realised that the image of Stefan Duerr, the company owner and a real person proclaiming his personal responsibility, would be more powerful. So, it is one of the key hallmarks of the brand also supported by 'Hallo, Stefan Duerr!’ feedback program.’

Anybody can send their feedback or question to the President of EkoNiva via WhatsApp – his personal number is on the package.

‘Stefan Duerr also got a personal Instagram account to connect and interact with consumers and enhance brand integrity. It was a risky move, but now we are positive it is a great tool to reach out to consumers across the country.’

Indeed, EkoNiva is a brand to trust. Consumers share their impressions, taste preferences, ideas for new products and flavours. Sometimes, of course, buyers send complaints about the quality, for instance, if their milk goes sour or the package is damaged. Stefan Duerr immediately forwards such messages to the Quality Management Department requesting to conduct a thorough investigation, find out the reason and eliminate it. He laughs that he has had to send his selfy a couple of times, as many people do not believe they speak to a real person, not a bot.

‘At first, we received only 5-10 messages a day’, continues Yekaterina Duerr. ‘And now this number amounts to 100-150! It is obvious that people are genuinely curious about the production process and they love EKONIVA products – it is so inspiring. We appreciate our consumers’ emotions.’

Anyways, Stefan Duerr always prefers face-to-face communication. That is why he regularly goes live on Instagram to answer various questions, even the tricky ones, in person.