Oatly Brand Repositioning:
Creating a platform for international growth

Download the case study pdf here: Oatly: Creating a Platform for International Growth for a Plant-based Brand

The Challenge: One of many plant-based brands

Already in 2012 Oatly was a well established Swedish brand in the dairy free niche category. But when the market started to grow, it was struggling to carve out a distinct position for itself. “The real challenge was that we started to behave like a generic brand and compete on price without being able to leverage our uniqueness”, says Björn Öste, Co-founder and co-owner of Oatly.

“We had world class science, but we didn’t know how to tell our story to create the value we saw in the company.”

Björn Öste, co-founder and co-owner, Oatly

The Approach: FourFactors® analysis helped to find the direction

Oatly’s board and management team was guided by our FourFactors® approach in the 4C analysis of its brand position. The 4C analysis looks into a brands’ Competence, it’s Competition, relevant Consumer trends and the internal Culture of the corporation. This analysis led to key insights and was followed by a Brand Definition process, using HMTs Brand Positioning Blueprint, to develop the “Brand Torch”.

The Solution: Define the Oatly Way

From the 4C analysis it was clear that the strength of Oatly was not in the science but in the purpose behind the science. Because what really resonated with the consumer trends was the founder’s vision behind the creation of Oatly – to develop a better milk! A milk that was better both for humans and for our planet. This helped to make it clear that Oatly was in the business of change, which very much differentiated them from the competitors.

The Results: A plant-based wildfire!

The Oatly Way articulates the brand position not as a “non dairy” brand but a proof that dairy is irrelevant and plant based is the new norma

Oatly is today a brand positioned as a leader in the global Lifestyle of vegan and vegetarianism. The Oatly Way is a positive affirmation of that plant based choices are a sustainable short-cut to a healthier planet and a healthier you. Since the brand repositioning Oatly has broken sales record after sales record and has also attracted international owners to finance its further global expansion. Oatly is today a highly successful international brand available in over 20 countries, and counting.

“Together with HMT we at OATLY have chartered, analyzed, defined and successfully implemented an excellent and value creating brand positioning.”

Mats Hallkvist, Chairman 2012, Oatly

Are you curious to learn how you can reposition your brands as succesfully as Oatly? Contact Peter Wennström: Peter@thehmt.com

Download the case study pdf here: Oatly: Creating a Platform for International Growth for a Plant-based Brand