A Brand That Delivers More Than 'Angus'
For those already well acquainted with the Certiﬁed Angus Beef ® brand, the question posed by Chowhound, a popular website for food lovers, seems disarmingly simple:
The answer, of course, is simple: Angus is a breed of cattle, which grew popular, in part, because of its ability to produce meat with more flavorful marbling. And, that’s the answer the reporter shared in a story published over Memorial Day weekend.
“If you’re thinking, ‘Whoa, that’s it? I thought it also meant something about the superiority of the beef,’ trust me,” the piece continued. “You’re not alone.”
Indeed, the confusion is real, even among foodies, meat lovers and aspiring gourmands, like Chowhound followers. That’s why the better question is, perhaps, “What’s the difference between the Certiﬁed Angus Beef ® brand and ‘regular’ Angus beef?”
We have successfully marketed the Certified Angus Beef ® brand as an indicator of quality over the past 40 years, and need to keep helping consumers understand that ‘Angus’ doesn’t necessarily indicate quality – but the brand name does.
That question is especially relevant after a decades-long trend of cattlemen increasingly choosing Angus genetics for their herds. Two-thirds of fed cattle in the U.S. are black hided today, so there’s more Angus than ever before.
Of course, these Angus cattle must also meet the brand’s strict specifications in order for the beef to earn the logo and return $50 or more per head in grid premiums to the rancher. Responding to these market signals for higher quality, farmers’ efforts have resulted in greater rates of Angus cattle qualifying for the brand – reaching an all-time high of nearly 33% in 2018 – but the fact remains: two-thirds of Angus beef still doesn’t measure up.
In short, the Certiﬁed Angus Beef ® brand is the best of the entire Angus category, which Chowhound explained with insight on our 10 specifications, how it is evaluated and that consumers need only look for the logo to ensure a great eating experience.
That promise remains the brand’s biggest opportunity to educate.
“We have successfully marketed the Certiﬁed Angus Beef ® brand as an indicator of quality over the past 40 years, and need to keep helping consumers understand that ‘Angus’ doesn’t necessarily indicate quality – but the brand name does,” says Marketing Vice President Tracey Erickson. “The brand not only delivers value to consumers, but also to partners who market the brand and know it is an important point of difference that elevates their businesses in their marketplaces.”
Being able to position and communicate those strengths relative to other beef is important, says Josh Hahn, Meijer’s director of marketing for promotional advertising and vendor partnerships.
“I’ve only been on the food side of the business for a little over a year now, and I didn’t understand the difference between the Certiﬁed Angus Beef ® brand and another Angus beef,” he says. “But when I had the opportunity to learn, and understand, the brand’s focus on quality, it blew my mind to realize what the differences were. I definitely talk about the brand differently than I did before. It’s amazing to see firsthand all of the work and science that goes into it.”
Communicating that message to consumers is the next step. Whether it’s through traditional point-of-sale materials, circular ads, social media or other creative ways to share the brand’s story, partners want to educate and engage, boost recognition of the brand, and keep consumers coming back to its proven quality.
Understanding unique differences from other Angus beef is at the center of the brand’s new, harder-hitting advertising campaign. A full range of customizable resources, from signs to billboards to truck wraps to circular ads, clearly positions the brand as the best beef within the Angus category, and its distinctive logo – recognized by 95% of consumers – as an easy way to determine the quality choice in the meat case.