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Avoid putting customers off with the wrong wordingAvoid putting customers off with the wrong wording
December 16, 2022

Avoid putting customers off with the wrong wording

Have you heard of allplants in the UK? It's a plant-based meal delivery service that raised $52 Million in funding last year. Their mission is to get more people eating more plants.

Starting in the founders' (two brothers) kitchen, the business now operates from the UK's largest plant-based kitchen. It's also sold in Ocado and Planet Organic.

So what, as a bootstrapped community, can we learn from this VC-funded startup?

There's a lot. But for starters, here is how allplants changed its wording to broaden market appeal while sticking to its mission.

In the beginning, they were pioneers in the vegan food space, so targeting vegans made sense. But the brothers had big plans for the brand. They wanted their story to reach people outside of that community to have a greater impact and achieve more significant growth.

As the market got more competitive – with copycats being launched and supermarkets jumping in – they knew they had to stay ahead and couldn't only sell to people who ate vegan.

The problem was they were being pigeonholed into the vegan market. Vegan meals for vegans. Aside from vegans being only 2-3% of the total UK market and already very competitive, the word 'vegan' has a lot of stigma around it and can put other people off. Especially those who don't want to commit to a vegan diet but do want to try eating more plants than they currently do.

So, how do they describe their proposition and food so it's clear but not off-putting?

On the one hand, the word vegan does the job; on the other, it could cost them thousands of customers.

Enter… brand positioning and defining language.

After getting to understand the wider market and why people might be interested in their food, the Allplants team decided to lead with 'plant-based' instead of 'vegan’. This moved focus to the power of plants for energy and health rather than veganism and all the opinions and discussion around it. It wasn't about pushing a certain way to live; it was about celebrating the wonderful world of plants and what eating more plants can achieve.

The result? Allplants is one of the fastest-growing food startups in the UK and has a proposition that attracts the vast majority of the country.

Many more people are interested in eating less meat and more plants if it leads to personal gain.

I guess that’s also a lesson in thinking bigger than your immediate market — especially when they’ll buy anyway.


Words are powerful. Your language used impacts others' perceptions and behaviour.

So get into the mind of your target customer. Does technical jargon put them off? Or does it show knowledge and turn them on?


Three ways to learn the language of your ideal customer:

  1. Follow your customers on social media and keep an eye on how they speak, what they’re interested in and any clues on why.
  2. Interview people you believe would be your perfect customer or interview existing customers. Ask how they might persuade a friend to buy your product and listen to the wording they use.
  3. Look through your online reviews and social comments.

Tired of cooking but want it healthy?

(FYI Get 20% off with code NEWPOWER20) - a.o. Dec 22

Keep being an outlier 💪

J + K