Michel and Augustin – The Troublemakers of Taste

This is the story of two young French students who decided to launch their own brand in 2004. The concept is about making food products as simple and natural as possible. Their range includes cookies, juices, yogurts, ice-creams, and simple everyday recipes. The key difference is that the food products are made in France and produced in an ethical way.

Michel and Augustin like to pimp their packaging according to their adventures. The crazy designs they choose make the brand more human and artful, with unusual colors and funny cartoons. Both children and adults love it! Their extravagant designs persuade people to choose their products instead of going for the boring ones on display.

Even the way they recruit people is funny. The recruitment video on their YouTube channel shows the director of human resources recruiting inside the subway. Making people smile, rather than watching their phones all the time. She says, “Does anyone know anyone who knows the sister of anyone who is looking for a job?”, showing that finding a job can be playful as well. It’s more interesting and stimulating to meet people on the street than on the web!

Howard Shultz, ex Starbuck’s CEO, invited them to New York City for a meeting, and he was so impressed that he decided to test market the cookies in a 25-store trial, which expanded to a 415-store trial in October 2015. They passed with flying colors and in January 2016 the brand went nationwide.

They introduced a new wave in the packaging industry. Their innovation consists in asking advice to their community of consumers on social media. The questions they ask are simple. They upload two different package designs for the same product and ask: “Which one would you like to buy the most?” And just like that, they receive hundreds of answers in one day. By sharing on the web and asking consumers to participate! And the trend is growing faster!

Moreover, these funny stories which decorate all their packaging were skilfully translated into Shakespeare’s style by expert linguists. Thus, they offer a sense of camaraderie within the community. They are creating entertaining stories to make people connect with their ideas. A sweet mixture of offline and online, as they are always inventing new ways of communicating with consumers.

The secret to their success is to show imperfect and authentic products. Family histories are drawn on the back of their packaging, inventive but simple drawings which allow people to remember their childhood. Giving the products more attention without losing their main focus; being the tastiest and the best product on the market. Always making consumers participate to find out what they want in the product and make them love it. This is the Loveable Imperfection described by Rohit Bhargava, Marketer, Author and Professor. He writes “brands intentionally focus on imperfections, flaws and personality to make their products and experiences more human, believable and desirable”.

Therefore, packaging is extremely important in marketing. So next time you go to France, don’t forget to keep your eye out, you might find troublemaker cows in the street!

Sources:

http://www.e-marketing.fr/Thematique/Tendances-1000/Creation-Design-10003/Breves/Packaging-participatif-chez-Michel-et-Augustin-37116.htm#tR5D9cBBly2qlFir.97

https://www.swedbrand-group.com/blog/packaging-imperfections-a-good-marketing-strategy