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Kellogg’s revamps brand, but significantly?

By Kacey Culliney , 15-May-2012
Last updated on 15-May-2012 at 13:58 GMT2012-05-15T13:58:09Z

Kellogg's revamp - significant or hype?...
Kellogg's revamp - significant or hype?...

Global cereal giant, Kellogg’s is investing in a ‘significant’ revamp of its 106-year-old brand in a bid to resonate better with today’s tech savvy consumers, but analysts say it won’t be anything significant.

The US cereal brand is refreshing its packaging – with a colour-enriched, contemporised script logo and brighter visual graphics and images along with a new tagline, ‘Let’s Make Today Great’ – and will also invest in enhancing its digital connection with consumers.

Kellogg’s will take on a more “conversational tone that supports the relationships consumers desire to have with brands today, particularly in the social and digital worlds,” the company said.

Benjamin Punchard, global packaging analyst at Mintel, pointed out that Kellogg’s has been quite closed in what this ‘revamp’ will involve exactly, and “there may be a bit of hype in there.”

“I really don’t think they will make massive changes,” Punchard told BakeryandSnacks.com.

“The colour pallet will be kept I would imagine due to the brand recognition cues these hold…over the years there has been a number of tweaks made to the brand but nothing majorly changed because the brand recognition is pretty clear,” he said.

Brand-loyalty importance

However, “an entire overhaul would be the wrong thing to do” anyway, he noted, as with any big changes there is the “danger of disrupting the shopping pattern of brand-loyal consumers.”

“Shoppers grab cereal quickly, they take what is familiar to them, what they see out of the corner of their eye and if there is a big change made, you risk losing that consumer,” he added.

Lee Linthicum, head of food research at Euromonitor, agreed that changes are unlikely to be significant but suggested it was due to Kellogg’s being such an “iconic product that it may not need to do that much” by way of change.

Punchard did say however that it would be a good opportunity for Kellogg’s to “bite the bullet and do something big, innovative and disruptive” across its global markets.

The ever-engaged consumer

Kellogg’s identified that consumers want to be more engaged with brands they care about and has thus shifted marketing efforts into the digital, interactive world.

Punchard said that packaging can help direct consumers to social media platforms and encourage user-engagement.

Kellogg's has begun by revamping its website (launched in the US and Canada initially) and Facebook page. It has also designed mobile applications with weight management tools and menu ideas and teamed up with bloggers to ‘share’ information on nutrition.

Linthicum noted: “There is a lot of opportunity for hip and trendy branding used in conjunction with social media,” especially in line with the “design-conscious, iPhone generation… there is more incentive for use of social media with general brand revamps.”

However, he added: “It’s not just about the packaging and the logo, it’s about the emotional resonance it holds and how it fits into their lifestyles.”

Punchard said the new tagline ‘Let’s Make Today Great’ is interesting as it is a clear focus on cereal as a breakfast choice; very different to recent strategies to push cereals as a day-time snack choice.

“This tagline suggests Kellogg’s is refocusing on a strong breakfast cereal image and perhaps this holds more value and opportunity with the number of consumer not having breakfast anymore,” he detailed.

Linthicum said that particularly in the US, this tagline will be “tapping into the nostalgic factor” that consumers associate with breakfast cereals but in a “way that also has a modern twist.”

Pushing sales?

The cereal firm reported a 6.5% drop in its first quarter operating profit this year, a loss it said reflected poor performance in Europe and high commodity inflation. CEO John Bryant said at the time that Kellogg’s remained committed to brand investment.

But Punchard said: “It’s very difficult to know if this revamp had a long build-up period or if it was a quick turn around and reaction to its weak first quarter results.”

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