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Knorr's Recipe for Viral Content

David Aaker

The consumer soup brand traded product descriptions for storytelling and won brand equity.

Global Unilever food brand Knorr has a collection of rather unexciting products such as soup, sauces and dressings, yet it earns more than $3 billion per year. Twice in the last two years it has told stories that went viral—an amazing accomplishment that provides learning to others.

Knorr is a brand whose roots go back to a dried pea soup in 1889 and the bouillon cube in 1912. The hallmark of the brand has always been flavor, to provide homemakers and professional cooks access to the most interesting, delectable and unique aromas and tastes. The challenge is how to communicate that mission and the products that enable it.

Flavor of Home

The first viral video, launched March 25, 2015, was inspired by two realizations: a survey that found more than 80% of respondents felt that being cooked for is an expression of love, and that flavor is more than taste; it is about emotions elicited by meaningful moments, committed to memory and tied to the sense.

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David Aaker is vice chairman of Prophet, the author of Aaker on Branding and a member of the Marketing Hall of Fame.