Cereal and milk…?
When we talk about breakfast a name related to cereals must have popped up in your minds …KELLOGG’S…! But why Kellogg’s? Does this have to do something with Kellogg’s being an old company or Something, that has been referred to, almost every time when you go buy a box of cereal? How do we as consumers associate ourselves to a “BRAND?”
So what is a brand? Brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information that is connected to a company, product or service. According to Styles and Ambler, 1997 two approaches can be considered – first is the one that views the brand primarily as an identifier while the second is a holistic view wherein the focus is on the brand that involves more than just the product.
Companies have always been keen towards providing their product with a unique identity that will help distinguish itself from any other competition. A successful brand name encourages loyalty amongst its consumers who are then more likely to buy the product regularly. The key here is to generate a relationship of trust with its consumers. Brands convey information and signal consistent quality that will be received by the customer.
Consumers tend to associate themselves with a brand through product attributes or celebrity spokesperson or simply via its logo. The logo’s and packaging colours engages the consumer visually as well as sensually. While some companies alter their logo with the changing trends for example Coco-cola and Pepsi; Kellogg’s undertakes a much more consistent and repetitive approach.
Kellogg’s makes use of a handwritten script, generating a sense of simplicity. The use of red colour along with a bold flowing font catches the eye of an individual. The logo associates the consumers with the brand’s history by using the name of company’s founder Will Keith Kellogg ,1906 as its brand logo. This inculcates a guarantee of authenticity, familiarity and trust in the mind of consumers.
As a part of marketing strategy some companies try to build loyalty by generating a corporate brand name that will deliver certain attributes and qualities which would apply to all of its products; such a strategy is termed as an Umbrella approach. The second strategy known as house of brands involves the establishment of a different brand identity for each major product line that a company brings out in the marketplace. Kellogg’s inculcates both of these approaches in its branding strategy, wherein each product within a range is given its own identity but is also marketed using the Kellogg’s brand name as an umbrella.
A need for extension?
The presentation of new elements and improvements is a standout amongst the most widely recognized techniques for differentiating products and services and increasing sales (Nowlis and Simonson,1996). Change is constant and so are the needs and demands of the consumers. In order to keep up with them two approaches are undertaken: First, introduce a new product or Second, improve the existing ones. Before companies decide upon which course to choose, an analysis of the position of the product in market is essential to further consider the need for a new product or a new feature. This can be further explained by the product-life cycle.
This cycle depicts that the product undergoes 4 stages throughout its life,
- Introduction stage : the product is introduced in the market; the growth rate in this stage is slow
- Growth stage: the product is establishing itself in this stage; an increase in sales is seen
- Maturity stage: When a product reaches this stage, a need for innovation is seen either by brand extensions or variants, or else the product sales starts to fall and reaches the fourth stage.
- Decline stage: This is the stage where decline in sales along with the disappearance of the product in the market is seen.
On the basis of this cycle an analysis of the product can be done. Kellogg’s cornflake brand is at its maturity and while its brand special K which highlights healthy diet is in the growing stage, Kellogg’s realises the fact that a need for new variants is essential so as to extend its products life. Besides its popular cornflakes, it has 29 more brands and 16 products. In may 2016, Kellogg’s launched 5 brands and more than 15 variants amongst the present and new brands in regards to the needs of the consumers that it targets(http://consumergoods.edgl.com/news/Kellogg-CFO-Retires,-Launches-New-Brands105513)
Brand extensions involves the utilization of an established brand name to enter a new product category (Aaker and Keller, 1990) while line extensions involves the use of an established brand name for a new variety in the same product category (Reddy et al., 1994)
Why are brand extensions essential? Marketers leverage the brand’s good name and lure in customers to buy something new (Iacobucci, n.d.). It acts as a great way to reinforce a brand, create awareness of brand name and reach out to new customers – generate a BUZZ.! In this era where everything is consumer based, product innovation to surpass their expectations is essential.
Does it always work? Brand extension is considered to be appropriate when brand equity exists. Sometimes the new product category can affect the parent brand image. All it takes is one bad review !! and the downfall of the parent brand can be seen. Although it has been stated that if a ” fit ” is perceived between the new product category and the brand, the acceptance of brand extension amongst the consumer’s increases (Sunde and Brodie,1993). Certain other factors that influence the brand extension success are marketing support, parent-brand conviction, retailer acceptance and parent brand experience. Brand and line extensions have thus, become the main way of launching new products (Ambler and Styles, 1997).
Let’s conclude by saying that Kellogg’s always focuses on providing the consumers with something new and improved to keep them hooked. They have found the technique to keep their products in the growth stage. Their very own recipe with success: Brand Modeling.
So as long as they adapt to our changes, we as consumers can continue to enjoy our breakfasts: healthy or not so healthy, And they can continue to enjoy their profits …
A win- win…!
Ambler, T. and Styles, C. (1997). Brand development versus new product development: towards a process model of extension decisions. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 6(1), pp.13-26.
Iacobucci, D. (n.d.). MM4.
Nowlis, S. and Simonson, I. (1996). The Effect of New Product Features on Brand Choice. Journal of Marketing Research, 33(1), p.36.
Völckner, F. and Sattler, H. (2006). Drivers of Brand Extension Success. Journal of Marketing, 70(2), pp.18-34.
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