Posted by Steve Reeves on March 14, 2012
Every year The Grocer produces ‘The Grocer’s top products survey’ which provides a fantastic overview of the UK FMCG market. If you haven’t come across it before, it’s a must read! My favourite section is the ‘Top Launch’ for each category and the 2011 edition provided some really simple, yet fantastic innovation examples. However, will they ultimately be successful or will they fail? Only time will tell!
Here are some of my favourites…
HEINZ SQUEEZE & STIR
This is a concentrated puree soup, designed to be squeezed into a cup and mixed with boiling water. Available in 3 delicious flavours – Minestrone, Cream of Tomato with Basil and Mediterranean veg. This new format means that there will be no more powdery floaty bits in your cup soup. Woohoo!
Putting the fizz into fizzy drinks. This is an aerosol-powered version of Tango that is squirted into the drinkers mouth. Targeted at teens, this ‘nitro-fuelled’ is designed to give consumers a “totally new drinking experience”.
DUERR’S EASIER-TO-OPEN LID
A revolutionary packaging design which makes it easier for you to open the jar lid. Duerr’s have already had over 500 users contact the company to rave about the new lids.
But one ‘Top Launch’ idea I’m not convinced about is…
TILLMAN’S TOAST ME! BEEF BURGERS
A beef burger that you ‘cook’ in the toaster. Apparently the benefits are that you can enjoy a ‘delicious’ meaty snack straight from the freezer without the mess of cooking in a pan!
Posted by Richard Oldham on March 9, 2012
Every marketing case study on Starbucks lauds the success of the brand in creating the concept of the ‘third place’ – the coffee shop as safe, desirable destination that isn’t work or home. Whilst ‘extra-shot, skinny latte with caramel syrup’ personalised coffee consumption was an important part of the offer, the brand was always at pains to point out that it was so much more than just a coffee business.
All that changed, of course, when the brand entered the grocery and convenience channels with pre-mixed chilled latte and cappuccino products, and then again with the launch of the ‘premium’ instant Via product. Today Starbucks have announced that they will be taking on Nespresso with their own single cup coffee maker, the Verismo. So, do these coffee-based product leave the Starbucks brand compromised and confused or can it credibly be both a product brand and an experience brand?
In the new world of complex user-constructed brands we would argue that Starbucks’ integrity is still intact. The core of the brand’s positioning will always be focussed on the full coffee shop experience and the notion of the third place, but beneath that umbrella it is perfectly credible for the brand to offer a range of product (and service) propositions, targeting different users or occasions, as long as these still maintain a clear and tangible link back to the core positioning. The role of future brand building activity should always be about reinforcing the core Starbucks experience, but for as long as that remains attractive and relevant, the brand can comfortably offer a range of appropriate propositions underneath it, allowing their diverse consumers to access the brand in different ways at different times.
For us this is an example of preserving the core whilst stimulating change. A brand remaining true to its core philosophy whilst recognising the need to develop and manage the multiplicity of its offer.
I’m sure Starbucks will be delighted to hear that we agree with their brand strategy(!) …but it looks like Wall St agrees already as shares in Starbucks’ main American competitor, Green Mountain, fell 20% on the news.
Posted by Giles Lury on March 5, 2012
A gentle reminder to all our UK readers that Mother’s Day is soon upon us (March 18th just in case you had forgotten)
So helpfully in the i newspaper on Saturday they ran an “Advertising Promotion” page full of ideas for your mum – flowers,cakes, jewellery …but the ad that caught my eye … the one from Kosmodisk offering you ”Pain relief for Mum” – “proven to relieve or remedy pain in the spine and back.”
While carrying little children may not be good for every Mum’s back I’m not quite sure this is what she would really want to receive on Mother’s day – but it’s your call (and your Mother).
Posted by Sally Kay on February 20, 2012
On reading the story that Kellogg’s acquired Pringles my initial reaction was; why would Kellogg’s, who are increasingly communicating the importance of healthy living, acquire a brand that is the other end of the spectrum? Health even has its own section on the Kellogg’s website and the association with the Governments Change4Life initiative is clearly displayed:
‘Because nothing’s more important in life than your health and wellbeing, we’ve teamed up with the Government’s Change4Life initiative to promote a balance of eating well, being more active and therefore living longer’ (http://www.kelloggs.co.uk/health/)
With consumers becoming increasingly savvy about what actually constitutes a healthy breakfast (low carbohydrate, high protein and fresh nutritious ingredients), we can assume that the threat to cereals ‘healthy’ perceptions will only increase …and for Kellogg’s, the acquisition of the Pringles brand surely won’t help with this perception?
However, if we look more broadly than the need for health, the acquisition of Pringles does start to make a lot more sense. Kellogg’s currently dominate the morning and daytime snacking occasions with their broad range of cereals and cereal bars. Strategically for Kellogg’s, Pringles takes them into a new category and new occasions. Pringles are for sharing, particularly centred round more afternoon/ evening occasions and more occasional than their current brand portfolio (which is much more habitual) – ultimately resulting in (almost) completely incremental growth for Kellogg’s. They also sit well together in terms of targeting a similar demographic of mainstream families, not particularly budget but not premium either.
I suppose the ultimate question therefore, is whether this acquisition will taint consumer perceptions of either brand… and having asked around my ‘non-marketing’ friends, Kellogg’s and Pringles are currently perceived as completely separate brands and as long as this continues the fact that they are owned by the same company won’t be widely acknowledged by the general public and therefore won’t actually make a difference to consumer perceptions.
Posted by Giles Lury on February 20, 2012
I’m clearly behind the times when it comes to new ice-creams but I’ve just seen my first Nestle Potz and they are a great example of a tried and trusted source of innovation – stealing with pride.
Given the continuing success of McFlurry, one of the ice-cream brands had to ‘steal’ the idea and develop a similar format product for in-home consumption - and with their portfolio of brands which have already been used as the guest co-brands, I should have guessed Nestle were the obvious choice.
Cue an excuse to buy and try one – but as the Smarties and Rolo versions were sold-out I opted for the Toffee Crisp. My personal view – good but not as good as the original.