This is a wonderful example of how true purpose can begin with an instinctive urge inside ordinary human beings to do the right thing and end with the kind of spectacular sales success that leaves traditional money-first corporates scratching their heads.This is a wonderful example of how true purpose can begin with an instinctive urge inside ordinary human beings to do the right thing and end with the kind of spectacular sales success that leaves traditional money-first corporates scratching their heads.
Brownes Dairy is a 131 year old institution in Western Australia. Many of us older locals remember drinking their one-third-pint bottles of milk at school and downing their delicious Dairy Choc flavoured milk all summer. They teamed with ice cream brand Peters to create all kinds of new ice cream treats and had a school tour that ended with a free Drumstick right off the line.
Like many successful Perth brands, Brownes Dairy was eventually purchased by a multi-national dairy corporation and a much-loved local hero slowly became just another numbers-driven commodity. They stopped making cheese and ice cream. They stopped innovating. They even stopped their free school milk program and school tours.
Sales slowed. Brand awareness slipped. And the atmosphere of passion and excellence among the staff declined to the point where they felt they were just a dot on a map in the boardroom of some cold, distant corporation.
Fast forward to 2014. New owners finally asked the senior staff at Brownes Dairy what they could do to arrest the slide. The answer was simple, as Director Sales & Marketing Natalie Sarich-Dayton explains:
"Rediscovering our true purpose was the answer. With Meerkats help we soon realised that as down-beaten and ravaged as the Brownes brand was, there was still a core of passionate humans working in the company; people who believed - like our founder, the original Mr. Browne - that milk was an essential food for healthy living. More importantly, these people had the skills and imagination to produce great tasting, natural dairy products that average families could afford to buy every day. Our inner truth opened a commercial opportunity that placed us squarely between cheap supermarket products that lacked quality and taste vs. expensive boutique brands that few could afford to buy every day."
Since that moment, the rejuvenated team at Brownes Dairy:
- Created an entirely new all natural yoghurt range with real fruit pieces that saw sales increase by up to 56% in one of the food industry's most cluttered and competitive categories.
- Launched a range of healthier flavoured milks aimed at young families that created an entirely new category.
- Begun a program of experimental products in other dairy categories where taste and natural ingredients are lacking in products mums would like to buy every day if they could.
Is it coincidence that many of the passionate food technicians creating better quality, great tasting and more affordable dairy products for mums at Brownes Dairy are mums too? We don't think so. The core human truth that liberated the massive commercial potential that Brownes Dairy is now enjoying was triggered by a passion to do better for our children. That's a motivation the money-driven managers of distant multi-nationals will find hard to beat.