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IYOP and a Global Pulse Brand (PCN Winter 2015) DEC 22 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Pulse Canada Staff

The Canadian pulse industry has before it an unprecedented opportunity: the United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYOP). IYOP is expected to increase awareness and demand for pulses globally, as well as provide the impetus to address trade barriers that reduce profitability and increase risk associated with growing and exporting Canadian pulses.

As the largest global exporter of pulses, Canada only stands to gain from activities that increase demand and utilization and address trade barriers. Pulse Canada is working behind the scenes with international partners to ensure that IYOP is structured to achieve maximum benefit for the Canadian pulse industry. The association will continue to play a leadership role during the planning process and throughout 2016.

Developing a Global Pulse Brand

As part of IYOP, the pulse industry has embarked upon a process to develop and launch a global pulse “brand.” A pulse brand will help promote awareness of pulses and is being designed to increase global demand from consumers and the food industry in 2016 and beyond. In preliminary discussions, food manufacturers have expressed interest in using the new pulse logo on food labels in 2016.

The brand, including a new logo and taglines, will be designed for use around the world. An accompanying advertising campaign is also being developed for use in the North American market.

The brand and campaign is being developed by Leo Burnett, a multinational ad agency based in Chicago with significant experience marketing food products to consumers around the world. The brand development process began with a Foresight Lab in Chicago in July. The Lab brought together representatives from across the pulse value chain in Canada and the United States, and included representation from the Global Pulse Confederation. Lab participants included pulse growers, associations, processors, ingredient manufacturers and food industry representatives.

The one-and-a-half day session included discussion about the industry’s priority audiences and targets, and where an advertising campaign should be focused. At the conclusion of the discussion, the group had identified a unified approach and roadmap towards the development of a pulse brand. A brand coalition was also identified, consisting of five representatives of the group. Coalition members agreed to continue working closely with Leo Burnett to provide guidance and input as the agency works through the creative process.

In November, members of the brand coalition met with Leo Burnett to discuss preliminary brand and campaign concepts. The next step is to have these creative elements assessed and evaluated through consumer insight research. Modifications will be made to the campaign concepts based on the results. Following the completion of the research, any necessary changes will be made before the brand is unveiled to the industry at the CICILS (Global Pulse Confederation) Convention in April 2015.

The advertising campaign is scheduled to be launched in conjunction with IYOP in the fall of 2015.