Posts Tagged ‘brand extension’

Will brands be celebrating post Jubilee?

June 6, 2012

OK, bit late on the Jubilee theme here but I’ve been on holiday (and enjoyed watching the rain on TV from my sunbed tee hee). On a trip to the supermarket last night I noticed loads of brands who have done the Jubilee limited edition thing so it got me thinking about the value of doing so.

While they aren’t conventional examples of brand extension (in most cases it’s only the packaging that’s changed, not the product itself, and usually they’re replacing the standard product on shelf rather than requiring additional skus) it will have cost the brand owners money to do them so let’s ask the key brand extension question: Will the new variant pay its way? Will it generate incremental sales via attracting new users, triggering additional purchases from existing users and/or commanding a price premium over the standard version?

In the case of products likely to be purchased for Jubilee parties, the answer is probably yes. There will be lots of incremental purchasing going on for these events and if your product catches shoppers’ eyes as particularly suited to those events you will get bought more than usual. It will work best if the product still demonstrates the theme once it’s actually being served (e.g. Pimms, Tyrrells red white and blue crisps) but even if it’s just your outer packaging promising the desired jollity of the occasion that’s probably enough.

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If you can make the Jubilee link fit well with your brand, you can gain something extra in reputation terms and add to the bank of positive brand memories in people’s minds – e.g. Tyrrells have adapted their usual packaging practice of an old photo and substituted the usual line below the brand name ‘Hand cooked English crisps’ with ‘For Queen and Country’.

However Lindt doing limited edition Lindor chocolates just feels all wrong to me: it’s obviously not British and it’s not the typical kind of treat Brits would have at Jubilee parties. I struggle to believe they got a lot of extra sales out of that.

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Macallan likewise: not the right product for the weekend, Scottish doesn’t feel quite the same as Britishn or English and would drinkers really like this froufrou Queenie packaging?

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When it comes to everyday products that you wouldn’t expect to be purchased in greater quantities for the Jubilee, I find the logic pretty questionable – especially if all the brand has done is whacked a Union Jack on the pack and there’s little strategic fit with the brand idea. McVities biscuits, Mornflake Oats, Kleenex, Andrex, … I’m talking about you. I doubt you’ve gained incremental sales and I doubt anything is retained in terms of brand perceptions.

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Soreen: nice pack that really stands out so might gain some extra sales but ‘the Great British Summer of Soreen’/Britain’s no.1 fruity malt loaf (you mean there are other fruity malt loafs?!) feels a weak link.

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Tesco English butter becoming more wholeheartedly Union Jack-ish with its pack is perhaps more forgivable because the Englishness is emphasized, it might qualify as a party purchase and in a pretty undifferentiated category the nice pack may be enough to drive some brand switching.

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Ditto Plenty, where the product has Jubilee branding (not just the pack as with Andrex) and you can imagine it on the table or in the kitchen at Jubilee parties.

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Heinz and Kelloggs have taken the approach of returning to their packaging from the fifties.

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This nicely reinforces their longevity but I doubt drives incremental sales. A Kelloggs spokesman is reported as saying they think consumers will want the packs as souvenirs -?!? I don’t think so. And without the Union Jack element it’s actually quite hard to notice the packs have changed, especially for Heinz.

Then some brands have gone even further and changed their names. Ma’amite: genius – funny, it’s a British icon, ‘toasting the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee’ is a nice touch and it’s very consistent with their marketing approach of having some fun and doing limited editions. You can definitely imagine people buying a lot of these to have in the cupboard, just to enjoy the idea in weeks to come.

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BritKat: OK but no cigar. While it feels quite a very British brand (albeit not a British company) it feels a bit ordinary to be a product for Jubilee parties, it just falls rather flat for me.

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Queensmill: Hmm.

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In abstract a fairly clever idea but in execution it’s too subtle for me: without the Union Jack cues I think you miss it completely and it’s just not funny enough to stick in the mind. Apparently they’ve done a TV ad for it, which I haven’t seen, but that massively increases the cost of doing it so you’d have to get a major uplift in sales to break even … I bet they don’t. Am resisting a lame joke about not making enough bread. Or dough. Better stop now.