La Muu ice cream does not need traditional marketing
Interview with Rasmus Rask, CEO of La Muu
You can visit La Muu ice cream factory on 30 August as a part of Balticbest 2019 company visits program. Here is a little appetizer for you.
You started La Muu from the scratch. How long it took before you realised that this project is going to fly?
I think it took half a year. We started in spring 2012 and even before we had our first sales, we had created a demand. Of course, I didn’t know whether it was a sustainable demand that would fly as a business, but we had already created an expectation from the market for this product. And how we did that and I’m not sure whether it was conscious or just a really smart strategy, we had very much like a grassroot approach. We involved our friends and acquaintances in deciding what’s the name of the company and what are the first flavours we are going to produce. We had a couple of test runs where we just handed out ice cream for taste and this created a buzz in our close community. This was at one point picked up by media and we had a feature article talking about the new brand La Muu even before we actually had our first sales. This meant that from day one we had a bigger demand than our capacity to produce.
So the biggest risk was not to disappoint all those people who were looking forward to getting your product?
Well, yes, the primary thing what we offered for testing was our product. We handed out ice cream for free and we collected feedback. I remember in autumn 2012 we had a big testing event at Biomarket, which is a store owned by my business partner Priit Mikelsaar. We had 50 people there, basically our friends and families and we asked for an honest feedback, what are the flavours we should keep and what are the flavours we should throw away. So, in that sense I think there wasn’t too much of a risk, because it was based on that feedback, we launched the product itself.
You mentioned that product created high expectations, but how much traditional marketing communications approach have you used?
If we talk about traditional marketing like the use of mass media and paid advertising, then none. I think we have benefitted from the buzz, if you have a buzz going around, then there’s likely a media interest in you. And this is what we have benefitted from throughout these years, there has been something that media has found news-worthy about us. But other than that, I think in terms of new economy, we are classic long tail company. Our product is a niche product, it’s targeted to a specific target group, meaning these are the people with a healthy and sustainable lifestyle who are active on social media etc, so we have used social media as the main channel for communication. Of course, this is logical in a sense we did not have deep pockets for launching the business, we were not able to even plan a large media budget for the launch.
What is the role of graphic design in your overall concept?
I think with the physical product, even if we take for example Apple, which is a very innovative product, design is like 50% of the whole experience. The taste, feel and quality must be there, but with the physical product that you consume daily, it’s about entire total experience. You want the product to feel good and taste good. I think that our consumers treat La Muu as a part of their lifestyle. They choose this brand perhaps more consciously than an average consumer and it’s maybe even a part of their identity. In that sense, design is a big key, it’s a key in addressing these identity questions.
Visit La Muu ice cream factory during Balticbest 2019 company visits program on August 30 in Tallinn. Read more and register HERE.