Why Failing to Know Your Customers is Brand Suicide

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People buy from people. If you don’t know your customers then your business is destined to fail.

This is a lesson that Camilla Barnard, co-Founder and Brand Director of London-based food and drinks company, Rude Health, may be learning the hard way.

It started with an Instagram post…

I was staying in a hotel on business and shared an image of my travel blender and some ingredients for a smoothie.

Then this comment was left:

“Ooh loved Rude Health products until they completely slagged off most of their customer base lol… marketing suicide! Think they could do with a visit from you lol x”

I had no idea what Rude Health had done, until I saw a blog post shared on Facebook with the headline ‘Retailers Start To Ditch Rude Health After Vitriolic Unprovoked Attack On Vegans’.

Their co-founder has posted a blog

Bizarrely for a company that currently produces eight plant-based alternatives to diary milk, which are clearly targeted at the vegetarian and vegan market, their co-founder has posted a blog that appears to criticise this element of company’s customer base.

The blog post, which focusses on ‘cutting out food types’ received a backlash for saying:

“Now it’s vegetarianism and veganism, promising to save you from cancer and early death and save the animals while you’re at it, if you believe What the Health, Okja and other propaganda films masquerading as documentaries on Netflix.”

And this isn’t Rude Health’s only faux pas…

A post shared by RUDE HEALTH (@rudehealth) on

A news report from Metro, highlights how the brand has also upset some of its vegetarian and vegan customers by promoting full fat diary.

After attracting vegan customers with alternatives to dairy milk and one of the few porridge pots on the market that don’t have powdered cow’s milk inside, Rude Health posted a gif on Instagram of someone throwing stones in a river with the line: ‘You’re in Rude Health when…you skim stones, not milk’

It seems that Rude Health is out of touch with the beliefs and values of its customer base and that will cost them big time.


If you don’t care about your customers, why should they care about you?