Marketing mayhem: Can revamps be company game-changers?
Food, beverage, and retail companies alike have been on the move in terms of responding to shifting consumer preferences through marketing revamps both minor and massive.
Food companies hungry for fresh campaigns
Several food companies have been focusing on not only the ingredients in their products but also the ingredients of a successful marketing revamp.
Chobani LLC, the top Greek yogurt producer in the U.S., is one of the most recent companies to undergo a major branding overhaul. Earlier this month, the company launched a new advertising campaign featuring the catchphrase, "To love this life is to live it naturally." Instead of focusing on features of its products, Chobani is instead interested in positioning the brand to appeal to consumers focused on a healthy lifestyle.
This new campaign follows up other marketing changes announced earlier this year, which accompanied the launch of a few new products, including kid-friendly varieties. As part of this outreach to younger consumers, Chobani featured Disney and Marvel characters on the new packaging.
Earlier this year, Synder’s-Lance, Inc. rolled out a new corporate logo and tag line, "Snacking is our passion," to demonstrate a rebranding focused on growing the company as a snacks purveyor. Acquisitions like Snack Factory Pretzel Crips and Baptista’s Bakery as well as increasing its investment in Late July Snacks support this transition. The rebranding also includes a growing healthier foods portfolio, such as the Baptista’s acquisition and Late July investment growth, both of which make healthy snacks. Also part of the healthier rebranding is the spin-off of Clearview Foods, a health foods division, as well as the expansion of Snyder-Lance’s own healthier snacks, including gluten-free products.
SnackWell’s also received a fresh look and brand positioning last month. It was meant to re-establish the brand in a way that attracts consumers who have been loyal to the brand since it was launched in the 1990s as well as new family-oriented consumers looking for healthier snacks, according to Food Business News. This is the second makeover for the brand in four years: once when it was still owned by Kraft Foods Inc., which later transitioned to Mondelez Global LLC, and now again after being acquired in December 2013 by Back to Nature Foods Company, LLC, a portfolio company of Brynwood Partners VI LP.
Mondelez's new web campaign — "Now We're Newtons" — has millennials in mind as well as looking to give attention to its "A Lot of Fruit to Give" Feeding America partnership. This trailer speaks for itself.
A bevy of branding changes for beverage companies
Beverage companies are just as interested in shaking things up as food brands and manufacturers. Some companies seem to be refocusing efforts entirely, whether it’s a new global campaign or a shift in product selection.
Coca-Cola Co. has gone through a slew of marketing revamps over the past year, including several outside of the U.S. Across the pond, Coca-Cola announced new packaging for brands sold in some European countries. The packaging includes a consistent design and the same colors but with more detailed descriptions of the soda’s contents on the label. Coca-Cola Canada also saw changes to its packaging, which are smaller-sized cans as well as an expansion of mini-cans and glass bottles.
Closer to home, Coca-Cola relaunched its Share a Coke promotion, in which 1,000 of the most common first names appear on some 20-ounce Coke brands, a massive increase from 250 names last year. Earlier this year, as an unfortunate attempt at “happiness,” Coca-Cola’s #MakeItHappy campaign was a disaster following a Gawker prank that turned a seemingly innocuous marketing ploy into a visual representation of “Mein Kampf.”
Focusing on marketing worldwide, in March, Coca-Cola decided to nix its “Open Happiness” global campaign and put out a request to 10 of its roster agencies to submit ideas for a new campaign.
SodaStream International is shifting gears away from the wavering category of soft drinks. The home beverage systems maker is instead setting its sights on becoming a sparkling water company, capitalizing on consumers’ shift toward water and other non-soda beverages. This move includes a five-prong growth plan for this year, comprised of product innovation, new distribution channels, corporate restructuring, plant consolidation, and a brand revamp, Food Business News reports. The company also recently unveiled the SodaStream Mix.
Keurig Green Mountain is also joining in on the fun of the carbonated beverage sector with its new cold drinks counterpart machine, the Keurig Kold. Due out this fall, Keurig Kold will produce carbonated cold beverages rather than hot foods and beverages like the traditional Keurig machines.
The device could also be seen as a new effort by brand partners inspired by lagging soft drink sales. Companies in that sector include Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Whether this will be helpful for soda companies to get these products back into consumers’ homes is up for debate.
Retail on the rebound
Not to be outdone, retailers have been making their own branding changes to reach consumers in innovative ways.
Whole Foods Markets faces steep competition from other major retailers entering the health foods space, and the company is still trying to do away with the moniker "whole paycheck" lingering in the minds of consumers. Whole Foods has done well to cut prices and expand its number of stores, but is that enough?
Whole Foods, the country’s largest organic and natural foods retailer, rolled out its first national advertising campaign in October with the tagline "Values Matter." The line references "humanely and sustainably grown food and fair labor practices," Ad Age reported.
In its earnings report earlier this month, Whole Foods announced a concept for a new store format that the company hopes will draw in a younger demographic with a "modern, streamlined design, innovative technology and a curated selection," said Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb in a statement.
Target is another major retailer that is refocusing its grocery efforts on attracting millennial shoppers. Target is retooling a number of grocery departments, departments it feels will bring younger customers in and increase its grocery segment. That segment currently makes up about 20% of Target’s annual sales. According to Supermarket News, the retailer will test these strategies in 2015 and roll out more intensive changes beginning in 2016.
Not to be left out, Delhaize Group recently unveiled its own retail revamp of Food Lion supermarkets. The changes Delhaize instituted run the gamut: wider aisles, deeper shelves, faster registers, and even moving the peanut butter and jelly closer to the bread section. In addition, Delhaize focused on overhauling products currently in demand by consumers, including seasonal produce, functional beverages, and gluten-free options.
Whether a company wants to reposition itself as a healthier consumer choice or expand to new product segments altogether, the right branding tweaks could mean a boost to bottom lines, and trying something new could be just what one needs.