Creating inspiring brands.

MIB Pivac – Branding lessons from Vrgorac

I love analyzing Croatian brands – what they stand for, how they differentiate from their competition, how they communicate and interact with their consumers. I always love to see when Croatian brands do well – when they communicate their values consistently or when they try to engage with the consumer on a more personal level. So when I saw a brand from Dalmatian Zagora (i.e. one of the most traditional parts of Croatia) doing just that, I was more than positively surprised.
The brand was MIB Pivac (meaning Pivac Brothers Meat Industry) – a traditional Croatian brand of meat-processed products, coming from the small town of Vrgorac in Dalmatian Zagora. This part of Croatia is certainly not an easy place to grow a brand, yet somehow MIB Pivac has done a very good job. Throughout its visual identity, packaging, point of sale, TV commercials and online communication MIB Pivac has consistently communicated the story of authentic Dalmatian tradition, great quality and genuine family values.
Every touchpoint with the consumer tells the story of the unique brand heritage. The logotype features the fortress of Vrgorac as well as the name Vrgorac to emphasize the geographical authenticity of the brand. The product names on the labels are written using handwriting-like typography in order to give a home-like feeling. The people’s faces on brand photographs and posters project the same authentic image and bring back childhood memories of going to the marketplace with your grandparents.
MIB Pivac is also a great example of a traditional brand using online channels to expand its target group and to get closer to the more urban, tech-savvy generation. It communicates daily with its fans on Facebook and has a pretty loyal and active followers base on Twitter. It’s really worth admiring to see a brand from such a traditional part of Croatia organizing “Pršut Tweetups” and reaching out to the rather demanding Twitter community.
Being consistent in communicating brand values paid off pretty well for MIB Pivac. For two years in a row the company was listed among ten most successful Croatian food companies. In 2010 it was also one of ten most successful Dalmatian companies with revenues close to €133 million and gross-income of €4.7 million.
MIB Pivac has succeeded in bringing together two opposing worlds, traditional one and modern one, and to communicate to different target groups. At the same time, MIB Pivac didn’t forget what its core values are. Which is both rare and worth admiring when it comes to Croatian brands.

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