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How to reposition a brand.

Sun Chips is a case study in the making of what can happen when a marketer thinks outside the box, or in this case, the bag.

Sun Chips have long been positioned as a slightly healthier alternative, with less salt, fat and other naughty stuff. Most every snack brand tries to make this same claim. So how do you stand out? By deciding to ignore the conventions of typical snack food marketing.

Their new marketing campaign is smart and tightly aligned:
  1. They've taken their name and created a logical brand association: sun --> solar --> green --> healthier planet.
  2. They are forging this brand association through actions, not just words. (Solar powered manufacturing plant, biodegradable packaging)

  3. They are using unique media properties to reinforce the brand idea.

  4. They are tapping the power of PR and crowd-sourcing to seek and fund other ideas for a healthier planet.

  5. They are aligning the company's philanthropic investments behind this idea. (Donating $1m to create a solar-powered recovery center to help a tornado ravaged town get back on its feet.)

It's too early to tell if this will be a wild success or an abysmal failure. What is clear, though, is that they are refusing to play small ball. This is a brand team that is truly reaching for the stars.