Case Studies

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Vital Health Foods
Brand Refresh

Giving a grand South African lady a new dress.

Vital Health Foods

The Challenge

The Vital brand has been the leader in the South African vitamins category since 1947 when Jack Grieve founded South Africa's first health foods company. This family owned and managed business has incredible heritage and is a trusted brand amongst many South African familes.

However, by 2010 the brand had become dated and was losing share as competition in this growing market increased, particularly from retailer own brands.  This triggered the Vital management team to approach Yellowwood to help them revitalise the Vital brand and to define a brand positioning strategy that would be distinctive and differentiating from its competition and help portray Vital as the pioneering leader that it was. The brand strategy needed to be driven by consumer insights to enable a consumer led growth strategy for the business. The new positioning for Vital also needed to represent the corporate values and to engage internal stakeholders.

Our Approach

Nicky Steel, COO of Yellowwood, recalls how they "started with an insights gathering phase to develop an understanding of the macro, category, competitive, consumer and business context to ensure that the strategy that was developed would be relevant (externally and internally) and differentiating.  To enable the business to develop a consumer-centric approach to managing their brand and to guide in developing the brand positioning, we conducted primary research amongst consumers which we used to develop a bespoke segmentation model for the business. Market segmentation allowed us to understand the in-depth needs of consumers in the health & wellness market and enabled us to focus our brand energies & resources."

Based on the insights gleaned from the first phase, Yellowwood went on to identify critical success factors for Vital, from which we created the brand positioning for the Vital brand that was aligned to consumer needs & market trends. The implications of the chosen positioning were unpacked to identify the deliverables and actions required for the business to deliver on the positioning and proposition (both externally and internally). These would guide their marketing plans.

With the strategy now clear, it was time to demonstrate to the market that Vital was as relevant and progressive today as it was in 1947.


The Yellowwood design team, led by Senior Designer Marios Flourentzou, embarked on designing new look packaging for the entire range. Not only was the labeling different but the physical container evolved from the rather dated carton and pouch to an easy to use plastic container. The underlying concept for the new packaging, based on the strategy, was "Life Champions," explains Marios. "So we leveraged the equity in the existing "family seal" that was present on all packs, by reinventing its meaning. It is now a medal hanging round the "neck" of the pack while also forming a V-shape, and with the additional use of metallic finishes, a quality and expert feel is added, along with an overall more contemporary and fresh design."  

"After extensive research, it was apparent that a full overview of our packaging needed to take place. With the strategic insights and design direction supplied by Yellowwood, we are very proud to launch our beautiful new modern, elegant and simplified label design and our custom designed plastic container. It has been a long time in coming and we are extremely excited about this new phase for our brand Vital. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and our sales have definitely reflected this positive upliftment. We are proud to say that the "old Lady" has got an elegant new dress."  (Ruth Robertson, Head of Marketing, Vital Health Foods)

Vital Brand Refresh


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