ok.– is a legend and has many fans, particularly among younger consumers. This is why Valora’s apprentices have a say in which products reach the shelves under the ok.– brand. In the past decade, the ok.– brand saw many highlights.
In 2009, Valora took a decision to create an own brand for the younger customer segment, starting with the ok.– energy drink classic and a cheeky «ist voll ok.–» (it’s totally ok.–) campaign. With great success: within a year, the product range was massively expanded to include around 50 food and non-food items for everyday needs. The products had to be as uncomplicated as possible and offer good quality for a fair price. An ok.– energy drink classic cost one franc, for example, about 70% less than comparable brand products.
Everybody knows the ok.– energy drink
This simple and clear-cut concept was a run-away success, not only in Switzerland, but also in Germany, Luxembourg and Austria. The first and still the most popular product, the ok.– energy drink, still costs only one franc today. Another 30 or so products are also offered under the ok.– brand, including beverages such as water and ice tea, snacks such as nuts and dried fruit, the much loved “Schlecksäckli” (goodie bag) and everyday items such as umbrellas in many different colours.
Apart from all the successful ok.– products, there were also a few flops and unsuccessful product ideas in the past that were not received well at all by customers. Like king coco & ice tea, and right at the beginning also household items such as floor cleaner and shampoo. The latter was soon discontinued, however, because ok.– is designed to stand for products that are used immediately, which leaves no place for shampoo. Although trying out new things is part of the concept, the process of product development and launch is still clearly defined.
Valora apprentices test the products
It usually takes around six months before a product hits the shelves under the ok.– brand. It all starts with an idea for a product, maybe coming from the employees at Valora’s sales outlets who identify a special customer need. Valora’s specialists also travel around to sound out the market at trade fairs and in other countries, too. And finally, Valora’s internal data identify products that are in strong demand and track changes in customer preferences. Specific ideas for new products are then assessed by Category Management and possible suppliers are evaluated.
Next, the products are tested and assessed internally. Valora’s apprentices play a very important role in this process as they are excellent representatives of the young target group and intuitively know whether a product will succeed or fail. The excellent price-quality relationship is an important factor for the success of the ok.– brand. Valora doesn’t produce any products itself, but works with selected suppliers.
The ok.– brand is well-known for its creative communication measures, which have undoubtedly contributed to its cult status. Trustworthy testimonials and a targeted sponsorship programme are also important. Since February 2016, ok.– has been hand in glove with FC St. Pauli, a cult football club that promotes and engages in many social projects, all of which are also supported by Valora with ok.–. The tennis player Belinda Bencic has been the brand ambassador for ok.– in Switzerland since April 2017.
Photos: Noë Flum / Video: compresso