Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Brand Loyalty

Recently two major brands have changed their product lines in the following ways -
  1. Changing the essence (flavor, size, production method) of an age old product (Cadbury's).

  2. Modifying the original product in an attempt to 'update' an old product. (Marmite).

What were the results of the attempted changes?

  1. Customers were told through the media that the product had changed. Instant backlash. Customers felt they were being short changed and not listened to.

  2. The customers ignored the new product, thought of it as a gimmick - and still bought the old product anyway.

So what conclusions and lesson can we draw from these instances -

  1. If it isn't broken - don't fix it.

  2. Customers know a marketing scam when they see one.

  3. Humans are creatures of habit and will stick with something that works.

The Coca Cola company attempted to change the taste of Coke in the 1980's with disastrous results. But management listened - changed the recipe back to the original - and have continued to do well ever since.

Maybe Cadbury's and the makers of Marmite should have learnt from the same mistake made 24 years earlier.

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