What’s the difference between these two eggs? They’re both great for dipping soldiers, adept at making cakes rise, break when you accidentally drop them on the floor. There is no tangible difference between them.

Except a box of A will cost you 85p and a box of B will cost you £3.50. (Or more if you buy it from a posh greengrocer.)

In this box of eggs is a tale that demonstrates how branding and storytelling can be the deciding factor in what an egg is worth to people.

Packaging that talks

The box definitely says ‘premium’. Tactile, robust cardboard. Not a traditional egg-box shape. Simple black and white filigree designs, and every surface decorated or used for information. An Easter egg feel to the central egg design. And a statement that the eggs are ‘exquisite’. (I’m sure they debated writing ‘eggsquisite’, but I’m glad they didn’t.)

Lifting the lid on language

We all open up a box of eggs before buying it to check they’re not broken. CackleBean spotted this opportunity. Open up their box and you instantly see their origin story, told in a homespun poem with charming illustrations.

But there is some subtle consumer conditioning going on in that poem. You’re told that these eggs are ‘treasure’, that eating them is pleasurable, that they are ‘delicious and creamy’. When people finally serve up their expensive egg, CackleBean has done a good job of setting expectations that the egg will deliver a better flavour than cheaper eggs. And as a recent marketing week article states:

“Consumers’ enjoyment of food is influenced by what they see and know in advance…flavour-focused messages improve perceptions…”

Marketing Week

(In fact, in blind taste tests, people struggled to distinguish one egg from another. So, this is all about perception.)

On the brand front, the CackleBean copy is peppered with words that tell the reader how to feel about these eggs. ‘Special, dazzling, wonderful, magic, royalty, fame’ are some of the words that justify the price point. Then there are the wholesome words to make you feel happy inside about your choice: ‘freedom, roam, fun, well, nourishing, sun.’

The funny thing about a rhyme is people believe it more of the time

It’s true. It’s called the ‘rhyme-as-reason’ effect – ‘a cognitive bias whereupon a saying or aphorism is judged as more accurate or truthful when it is rewritten to rhyme.’ (Advertisers have used this to great effect in decades gone by.) This ‘free-range’ poem might not be a well-known aphorism, but it’s very likely that all those brand attributes are made more believable by the format, giving you lots of feel-good vibes from those pricey eggs.

And that’s where good branding is a powerful thing. All those positive feelings follow you home to your kitchen, make your poached egg just that bit more delicious, and pull you back to the posh grocer to pay £3.50 for another box of CackleBean eggs.

How do you like your eggs online?

Something warm and tactile in the flesh can often be lost in the pixels of a webpage. But CackleBean has been careful to keep the charm and chickens going on their website. It’s interactive, peppered with sound effects and moving parts, and has lots to explore. It picks up on the style of the story on the box with a mix of illustration and photography. And generally delivers a ‘feel-good’ experience all round. For all-out authenticity, you even get to meet the owners of Cacklebury Farm, and quickly get the impression that there is a lot of their personality in the brand. (So, if CackleBean was entirely concocted by a creative agency somewhere, hats off as you’ve done a very convincing job.)

So, that’s the difference between the two eggs – distinctive branding, cute storytelling and a sprinkling of subliminal messages. Or to put it another way – CackleBean’s branding has made customers willing to pay 58p for something that is available for 14p – an egg.

sarah compton
Sarah Compton
Senior Copywriter (and egg enthusiast)