Category — Retail brands

Twinkies is in the Emergency Room…will it live or die?

And if it does survive, will it ever be as strong as it was again? It’s difficult to know for sure but one thing is clear: the marketing leadership at Hostess Brands had failed to nurture a brand that is undeniably an American icon with a value far greater than it’s $68 million year-to-date revenue. After all, how many brands can invoke nostalgia like Twinkies has in recent days? How many brands have such an impact on society that they end up on the front page of the Wall Street Journal or a feature on every major news program? Not many when you consider the thousands of brands out there, and yet, the marketing leadership at Hostess Brands has done little over the past few decades to understand, let alone capitalize on the equity.

Hostess Twinkies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twinkies was introduced in 1933 by The Continental Baking Company in Inianapolis to utilize the strawberry shortcake machines that stood idle when strawberries were not in season. They were originally filled with a banana flavored cream but switched to vanilla cream during WWII when bananas were rationed. It was so popular that they never switched back.

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November 20, 2012   No Comments

Congrats to Heineken for Updating its Bottle in the U.S.

Heineken is introducing a new, taller bottle in the U.S. in order to help it’s flagging sales. It is a smart move on many levels, and it will be successful.  But imagine the internal debate about change.

Heineken Lager Beer was established in 1873 in the Netherlands, and still uses the same recipe. It was the first beer imported into the U.S. after prohibition, in 1933, and has been a consistent bell weather brand. But while they once commanded a leading share of imports, Corona, craft beers, and even traditional competitors have introduced newer packaging and flavors, and Heineken has suffered. Today, Corona outsells Heineken almost 2 to 1. So it was out of necessity Heineken considered an alternative to the squat green bottle that has been their structural heritage. Funny how competition pushes a brand to better understand it’s equities.

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September 20, 2012   No Comments

Kraft’s Snack Division renamed Mondelez… a Brilliant Idea!

Kraft’s decision to name its soon-to-be-stand-alone snack division, “Mondelez” is a very smart move in more ways than one. “Monde” is derived from the Latin word for “world” and “delez” means “delicious”.  By separating the snack division from the North America focused grocery division and giving it a name that is clearly not America centric, Kraft is establishing a business that will have global appeal.

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March 26, 2012   1 Comment

You Earned My Loyalty. I’m Sticking with DYMO.

DYMO, one of the leaders in providing label printers, just treated me the right way, and retained my loyalty at a critical moment. I had recently upgraded to a new operating system for my Mac. As a result, my computer couldn’t communicate with my label printer. After trying several options, I finally called DYMO customer service, and they used that moment to secure my loyalty for a long time to come. When they realized that my label printer wasn’t compatible with my new OS, they generously said they would replace my printer with a new one… at no cost to me.

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February 10, 2012   No Comments

Who Benefits from Ingredient Branding? Just ask Martha Stewart and J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney announced that it is buying a stake in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, a first step in Martha setting up store-within-a-store inside of retailer J.C. Penney. Obviously, they need the Martha Stewart brand to strengthen their home and lifestyles business. But the larger question is whether J.C. Penney will tarnish the Martha Stewart brand, or vice versa.

 

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December 12, 2011   No Comments

Building the Next Generation of Consumers thru the Brand Experience

My three boys have never enjoyed grocery shopping with me, and quite frankly, nor have I enjoyed taking them to the grocery store with me.  So imagine my surprise when, after a recent trip to the newly opened Whole Foods Market in our neighborhood, they commented on what a “cool store” it is.  I was even more surprised to hear them say, “can we come”, the next time I announced I was going to Whole Foods.

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July 7, 2011   No Comments

Brand Transparency Taken to the Limit

Brand marketers are in the throes of deciding how transparent their brand must be. This is a significant issue in many boardrooms around the globe. A close friend was in Turkey last week, and sent me the photo below of the Oscar Watch store in Istanbul… they actually sell “Genuine Fakes”. Talk about transparency… they are making money on telling the truth.

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June 15, 2011   No Comments

Zero Degress of Separation… Getting a New Dog Food Brand Directly to the Dog.

In Germany, a pet food is being launched by a company that needed an innovative way to launch a new product with a very small budget. They created a novel concept where a dog owner, standing in front of a billboard on the street, checks in by mobile device to Foursquare, and a dispenser instantly delivers the product, right there, at pet level. Dog eats, is happy, and becomes conditioned that this is a place worth visiting. What a brilliant idea to forgo the gatekeeper (pet owner) and get the product sample to the end user. The dog now “commands the owner.” Thanks to financial guru Peter Farnsworth alerted us to GranataPet.


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April 18, 2011   No Comments

Expensive Wine for $5.83 a bottle? Price can Define the True Value of a Brand.

The Wall Street Journal ran an offer for a sampler of 12 wines for $69.99 with the accompanying copy… “Delivered with $120 savings and FREE gifts.” So they revealed that the cost per bottle is $5.83, which I immediately equated to value. No, I didn’t bite, so I don’t know the labels they would have sent. But think about the mixed message. If the wine was so terrific, how could it be so cheap? Or is the wine not really worth that much in the first place. Was the original price inflated? In other words, price is another way to communicate and support the true value of a brand. And lowering price sends a brand-damaging message.

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April 1, 2011   2 Comments

Why Buy the Expensive Tylenol Brand any more? Where Trust intersects with Value.

A feature in the Sunday New York Times about Johnson & Johnson struggling with many of it’s consumer brands raises a much bigger issue… when you lose trust in a brand name. The specific manufacturing problems and recalls for J&J open up consideration of less marketed store brands. In that moment where value intersects with (brand) price, it will be interesting to see how consumers shift shopping behaviors over the near to longer term.

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January 17, 2011   1 Comment