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

Brands can be the Comfort Food for the Soul

For those living through the “Perfect Storm” of October 2012 that hit the East coast of the U.S., we all, collectively, had our senses heightened out of need. Many had no electricity, the coast had severe flooding, wind damage was everywhere and there were all manner of challenges in the days following the storm. What I found interesting is how some well-known “brands” comforted my soul as the winds howled and the storm raged on.

For example, we heated up Campbell’s Chicken Noodle and Tomato soup in the evenings over a propane stove. More than the warmth of the soup, the Campbell’s brand enveloped us with a smile and a comforting feeling that all would be OK. It was like a grandmother’s hug.

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November 12, 2012   No Comments

When Brands Lose Meaning… Ford to Send Mercury to the Graveyard

The telling sign of yet another automotive brand signals the importance of having a differentiated and relevant position in the marketplace. The economic times we live in have forced Ford to terminate the Mercury brand.  But if you think about it, the Mercury brand didn’t really have a clear meaning and wasn’t differentiated from competition. Keith Naughton of Bloomberg writes about the end of the Mercury brand after seven decades.

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June 1, 2010   19 Comments

Back to the Past. Nostalgia is Back in Branding, Again.

This week MillerCoors announced that they will test market a new beer called “Batch 19,” bringing back a “pre-prohibition recipe.” The future is the past. And why not… we live in challenging times where we are all nervous about our future.

You’ve just got to look around to see how tough economic times strain our desire to take risks. It makes sense that we feel more comfortable with what we know than what we don’t know. Grandma’s recipes are looking better and better. [Read more →]

March 19, 2010   225 Comments