But…when did we lose marketing strategy models like the Triangle?

Really, when did we lose the Triangle? When did we lose the simple, but effective marketing strategy models? I mean, models that, when properly applied make us sell more, repeatedly. In the last years we have all seen the proliferation of marketing strategy and communication models, everyone seems to have their own marketing book. Also, marketing seems to have lost its key objective. Marketing is business, it should make us sell more, and that should be what counts. Beautiful, but inefficient marketing is not good marketing.

So that is why I would like to talk about an ancient marketing tool, something that seems to have been created by our ancestors when there were still mammoths on earth. Yes, its old and maybe not super sexy, but it works, and it has demonstrated it again and again in different brands and companies: the triangle.  

The triangle is a simple tool that helps create persuasive communication, and sell more: Insight, Benefit, Reason Why. Nothing else, no complex theories.

 Maybe because it seems simple, we think it is easy. Nothing further from the truth.

Mastering the triangle, and creating great communication that sells, is tricky. Then of course, everything is not communication, so the campaigns that we create with the triangle must go hand in hand with a good point of marketing strategy and innovation. The task is to create good communication, plus good point of sales execution and good innovation. But here we are mainly going to focus on the communication part and on the triangle.

The Triangle: the marketing strategy used in the last campaign of Activia Algeria.

 I know that you all know the Triangle, but let’s remember how it works. To do this I will use the last Activia campaign that we developed for Algeria. There are several spots for different targets (moms, seniors, and students), but we will use only the student target for this example. You can watch it here:

Activia Algerie


It all starts with the Insight, a deeply rooted belief that people from our target have. In the Activia example the insight is: “With the COVID context I’m all day studying at home. I don’t have enough time to cook so I end up eating unhealthy food and feeling bloated”. This is an insight that we know our Young target has, and now it has been intensified by the COVID context.

The campaign has also specific ads for moms and seniors, both with specific insights. For example, in the Senior campaign the insight is: “with the COVID context the family doesn’t come to visit that often, so when they come, I try to make them happy and normally cook a lot of food. This, plus my age, makes me feel bloated”. As we are doing communication for Activia, all these insights need to be related to the product benefit. Creating communication with generic insights that are not closely linked to our product normally translates into failure to increase sales.


Ok, we have an insight that expresses our target’s problem.Let’s now go to the Benefit: “Activia gives you a better digestion”. As we said before, the benefit must solve the problem stated by the insight.

In Activia’s case it’s obvious, but in other products linking the insight to the benefit is not quite that simple. Besides, sometimes we forget that we need to clearly state our brand’s benefit and failing to clearly express the benefit normally translates into mediocre communication. “The consumer already knows our benefit”, “we don’t need to say it again in this campaign” …how many times have we heard that? But the consumer rewards coherence, and if we have a brand that has a benefit it is our responsibility to consistently build on that benefit and communicate it repeatedly.


 Finally, the important Reason Why (RW). Here we need to explain why the product can deliver the benefit. In this case the RW is the “Bifidus Actiregularis” This is the active ingredient, and, in this case, it is explained through a DEMO that shows us how the product works. This increases credibility on the capacity of the product to deliver the benefit. If we look at other brands, we find many examples of Reason Whys: for example, in Pantene the B5 provitamin was the historical Reason Why that delivers the benefit of a strong and beautiful hair.

marketing strategy model the triangle Activia Algerie Danone Advertising

In this case, we reinforce the credibility by also communicating a Reason to Believe. In this ad we are using one of the most famous actresses in Algeria: “I believe Activia works because it is used by a celebrity”. Celebrities can work to increase credibility, but they are not Reason Whys. And there is a lot of confusion between Reason Why and Reason to Believe. Even though most people think they are the same, they are not. Reason Why explains why the product delivers the benefit, it’s the active ingredient in functional food or cosmetics. Reasons to believe explain why you must believe that it works, so it is a celebrity, or medical studies. Quite different.

 This is how this marketing strategy was used to create this campaign.

Apart from the Triangle as marketing strategy, the communication channels

Once we have the content we need to think about where we communicate to reach our target. In this case we were using TV for reach with an important part of the media plan going also towards digital. Our celebrity allowed us to create a nano influencer strategy: 50 different nano influencers received and opened Activia yogurts with a challenge for them to use the product for 15 days and tell us how do they feel.

 On top of that, new flavours were launched and a big momentum in the point of sale was crafted, with extra visibility in 88% of the points of sales of the country and commercial incentives to both distributors and retailers.

 And now the results: during the first month that the campaign was on air the brand went from a double digit decrease to double digit growth.

 Sometimes going back to basics is the best thing we can do. As Leonardo DaVinci said: “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. I believe this is truer today. Normally “complex” only means that you must keep working on it to make it excellent. So, let’s forget about the complex marketing strategies for a while and go back to basics.

About the author: Marco Brazzoduro
Marketing Director at Danone
Former Global Marketing Director Beverages.
April 27th, 2021 | Strategy
Little Buddha Brand Design Agency

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