Bart Van Olphen, founder of Fish Tales, has got his company’s branded products in three top retailers without spending on advertising, he told the audience at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum, in Bergen, Norway.
“We launched Fish Tales two years ago. Now, it’s in Albert Heijn, with the full 15 products; as well as in Waitrose in the UK and Coop [Coop Supermarkten] in the Netherlands,” he said.
Fish Tales, said Van Olphen, has not “spent a euro on ads”. So, how has this sustainable seafood entrepreneur done this? By focusing on the “why and the how”, not the what, he said.
This viewpoint stems from Simon Sinek, a British marketer and author, best known for popularizing the concept of “the golden circle” and to “start with why”, said Van Olphen.
“When you communicate from why and how, you can easily bring in new products. People will believe what we believe and buy it,” said Van Olphen. “Start with the why; what is your belief? If this corresponds to the consumer, they will buy. Use story telling; connect your community to the end buyer. Have nothing to hide.”
The seafood sector, by contrast, is too focused on promotion of the primary benefits, such as the “pricing and the product”, he said. “It is all facts and figures, not inspiring.”
It is far more effective to focus on the “emotions and feelings” of the consumer, he said. “Food is all about the senses.”
There is not “better industry where this theory can fit” than seafood.
“It is wild caught by fishermen in rough weather. Think of the Deadliest Catch, this is the most viewed documentary,” he said.
The way Fish Tales achieves this is travelling to the fishing communities it sources from and building “partnerships with sustainable fishing communities”, all of which must be Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified, he said.
Then, they build content from fisheries, taking photos and videos.
The product line is then developed, together with the fisherman.
Van Olphen used an example of canned skipjack tuna from the Maldives, caught with pole and line and MSC-certified.
The company made Ali Mohammed (see below), a fisherman, its spokesman. “He is on on Instagram, he can ask questions on Facebook.”