Value proposition & messaging for online ethical supermarket Farmdrop

Revisiting the messaging architecture and ads campaigns of the London-based grocer on a mission to better the food market

After years being a delighted client, I jumped at the opportunity to join Farmdrop in 2019 as the online grocer’s Head of Growth for a contract.

The brand had recently been tastefully refreshed in partnership with the good folks at Confederation Studio and had an established, passionate set of customers.

Together with the marketing team and then CMO Jamie Jaggard, we set out to review the current acquisition strategies: messages, creatives, channels and budgets, in an effort to understand what funnel and series of touchpoints was the most effective at driving our goals.




Focusing the value proposition on freshness and quality

Analysis of current messaging

We started by analysing the current messaging and its impact across web, merchandising, print, outdoor and digital ads. Most creatives were anchored in one of these three differentiating points:

sustainability: Farmdrop has made their food buying charter public, showcasing their stringent policies on ensuring the products featured are as local, fresh, and fair to producers as possible, notably by giving 70% of the sell price back to them and being committed to minimal packaging.

food quality: working with producers that have the highest credentials in terms of growing, rearing and making means that the food and drinks quality is top notch.

convenience: from web to app shopping a wide range of products – not just groceries – all the way to helping customers unpack it all in their homes and next-day delivery, it is a great experience.

Now the question was whether any of these attributes was more likely to resonate with customers who would become regular shoppers.


Focusing on quality

We designed successive campaigns crafted around a set of hypothesis and rooted in customer segmentation, along with a unifying reporting dashboard and practices to measure it all effectively.

Fairness and sustainability worked really well as secondary messages

Interestingly, although digital ads allowed for a tighter, more immediate feedback, printed materials was a crucial vector to understand what message worked best.

What we found was that quality and health benefits were more likely to resonate with customers most likely to become regulars. Fairness and sustainability worked really well as secondary messages, but the unparalleled quality of the produce offered was the headline that consistently outperformed.


A holistic online dashboard giving everyone in the company a clear view of growth helped to build a coherent narrative around messaging and tactics (all figures & numbers purposedly changed in this mock-up for confidentiality)

Once our dashboard in place, we designed and launch our experiments across most channels, from multi-variants module testing online to per-postcode creative.

Sustainability worked well with younger audiences, like in this home page header, but focusing our messaging on quality by remodelling the architecture drove significantly better results. 

Using clear, honest and straightforward language to support the quality message helped increased the sentiment of transparency. Combining the gorgeous product imagery (shot in-house by the talented creative team) with the genuine tone blended into the right emotional and factual mix.  

In a way, this meant using more of the language we were already using in our communications to existing customers when talking to prospects. Some copy was adapted from existing content pieces, like here from the Summer issue of the magazine, showcased from the ultra-talented ex-Farmdropper Megan Manners’ portfolio.

The new focus on quality and the customer benefits it instils culminated in the excellent spot “Food Euphoria” the brand released in August 2020 at the instigation of the awesome Damian Hind, who took the helm of marketing after having been a key part of forming the narrative while I was there. 

The spot celebrates the incredible feeling of joy and accomplishment that the freshest, healthiest food brings.