White Wave's Silk: James Terman

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Slowly and steadily as the sea, White Wave has made an impression on the dairy case since its beginnings in 1977. James Terman, VP-words and pictures for the privately held soyfood marketer, has been a guiding force behind the wave's annual sales, which reached $81 million in 2000.

Founder of two graphic design shops, Mr. Terman, 53, left the design biz and caught the White Wave five years ago. "I look at marketing from a very visual point of view," he acknowledges.

Those sensibilities helped to propel star seller Silk. The refrigerated product has an 80% to 85% share of the soymilk market, Mr. Terman says. A 1999 Food & Drug Administration announcement validating the role of soy protein in reducing blood cholesterol levels raised awareness, driving consumers to seek soy. The good news about soy and Silk was reinforced by a print campaign from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Car-michael Lynch, Minneapolis.

Since other soy beverages, packaged in aseptic containers that are often overlooked on store shelves by consumers, Mr. Terman developed milk-style cartons for Silk. He positioned them where people are bound to search for milk alternatives: in the dairy case. Coupled with engaging carton copy and distinctive delivery truck graphics, this placement presence proves Mr. Terman's visual sense is keeping Silk on top.

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