Svelte 2017-05-15T15:25:25+00:00



Meet Svelte

California Natural Products launched Svelte in 2009. Svelte’s plant-based protein shakes are gluten-free, certified organic, vegan, and non-GMO. Customers can stock up at health food retailers like Whole Foods, Amazon, and Vitamin Shoppe. But while Svelte quickly became a favorite among its customers, the brand didn’t have quite the reach it needed.

Svelte faced an uphill battle in its formative years; from building an off-base target audience to overcoming consumer wariness of chalky, high-sugar protein shakes, traction was slow. Additionally, its minimally-branded bottles caused people to recognize the design concepts more than the brand name itself. Svelte needed an arsenal of immediately-recognizable messaging that expressed authentic brand identity. And its customers needed a way to communicate.

If the right people were going to enjoy the experience, they’d need better opportunities to engage.

svelte case study tools

Svelte, meet Bonfire

Svelte’s digital marketing objectives ranged from growing their fan base to producing shareable, high-quality content that would set them apart in the health food and fitness industry. With a small and stagnating digital presence, they needed an agency that could illuminate everything their product has to offer — to the right people on the right channels.

As an agency built on executing clients’ needs with precision, Bonfire was equipped with the exact capabilities needed to propel Svelte’s brand in the right direction. The pillars of our approach ranged from SEO and paid social advertising strategy, to content creation and measurement, to overall marketing management. With a fantastic product and room to grow with engagement, Svelte was in a prime spot to take full advantage of our team’s expertise.


After partnering in October 2013, Bonfire wasted no time uncovering Svelte’s actual clientele. Svelte had been working with the understanding that busy moms were their target audience, but our persona analysis conducted through social and email surveys revealed that their biggest audience is in fact more closely aligned with active and health-conscious women in their 20s who don’t have kids and love Svelte as a nutritious pre- or post-workout snack.

svelte process 1

Bonfire set to growing Svelte’s following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest with the help of this targeted persona research. Before long, our efforts to partner with influencers and athletes with strong online presences (such as celebrity trainer Deanna Jefferson and Olympic athlete Kara Goucher) began to further accelerate the brand. Additionally, regular giveaways on Facebook and Instagram with seasonal themes spurred greater engagement and enthusiasm for Svelte’s products.

svelte process 2

Bonfire saw an opportunity for increased brand visibility with the introduction of campaigns featuring a new tagline: “Drink Svelte.” Add that to refreshed landing pages, an SEO-optimized blog packed with infographics and how-tos, as well as personable, fast-responding community management, and you’ve got a brand finally taking its rightful place as a thought leader in the healthy-living space.


svelte process 3

Along with a recognizable #DrinkSvelte hashtag and revised URL, our design team also bridged Svelte’s social-to-retail connection by redesigning the brand’s visual assets to bring more attention to the iconic talk-bubble package design. Customers began to build community by sharing their favorite photos with #DrinkSvelte, further linking the brand’s name and packaging. Bonfire makes the most of the Svelte fandom by reusing this user-generated content and tagging the brand loyalists who create it as a way to further engage the Svelte community.

And as for those misconceptions about chalky shakes, we had great success by simply promoting in-store demos, trade shows, and other events on social so people can try before they buy while getting to know the brand a bit better in person. Facebook ads also point customers toward retailers through clever, sharable campaigns. These pushes for brick-and-mortar purchases help potential customers discover that Svelte is in fact much more delightful than they’d imagined.


Bonfire’s emphasis on hard data does wonders for brands like Svelte when it comes to performance. By learning which social channels are most effective for their brand, we eschewed less lifestyle-related channels like Twitter and went for Svelte’s natural fits. We grew Svelte’s Instagram following to over 3,100, as well as 122,000 Facebook followers and 10,500 Pinterest followers. And we’ll continue to work with key influencers and new ambassadors to create custom content and build relationships that allow us to leverage their large audiences. As it stands, our partnership has generated some impressive results:

October 2013: 20,000 fans
January 2016: 119,000 fans
Fan growth: 318%

facebook fan growth

October 2013: 280 followers
January 2016: 10,000 followers
Site clicks increased by 57%
Impressions increased by 14%

pinterest followers

October 2013: 290 followers
January 2016: 2,900 followers
Fan growth: 709%
#DrinkSvelte used by 1,500 fans
October 2013 engagements: 236
January 2016 engagements: 1,660
Design: photography, user-generated content, revised visual style

instagram impressions
instagram fan growth

Organic blog traffic
October 2013: 3,441
January 2016: 24,400
Low bounce rate
Mobile: 60% website traffic
128,358 people engaged across all social platforms over past year

organic blog traffic

Revfluence data since September 2015
38 influencer posts
1.7 million Instagram impressions
Audience: 63% female, 37% male

svelte likes

We work hard to help consumers see Svelte as a health authority rather than only pushing sales and product. Our content is built so people striving to live a healthy lifestyle want to engage with it, and that engagement continues to ignite new interest in Svelte across all its channels.