How to kill brands (and bring others to life)

Competing on the shelf is tough. And for parity products like breakfast cereal that go after similar segments, it’s even tougher. That’s why packaging design is really the last and the most critical influencer on the buying decision continuum. Miss that opportunity to showcase your unique value or benefit – be it ingredients, flavor or price – and your consumers will likely reach for a more relevant option. Even your mascot’s engaging stare might not be enough to persuade them.

The Kellogg’s Company is one of those companies everyone owns a bit of in their kitchen cabinet. When it announced a major branding overhaul in 2012 following a few years of poor performance, we wondered if their first step would be to consolidate their 100+ varieties of ready-to-eat cereal brands. While a large product portfolio could mean broader reach and more options to consumers, it also means heavier advertising costs and less focus overall.

It also means heavier advertising costs and less focus overall.

The most obvious way to eliminate a brand fast and cheap is to kill it at once and forget about it altogether. But Kellogg’s shows us there’s a smarter way to do this by transitioning that brand over to another one. This strategy is called brand migration and conceding the time and efforts necessary to phase out a brand are more consequent than with an abrupt kill-off, the perk is that you don’t lose your customers to competitors.

This strategy is called brand migration.

Take Chocos, for example. This brand is quietly being outplaced by another chocolate-flavored brand, Choco Krispies. First Chocos endorses the Choco Krispies name and mascot. This is then flipped around for a while until Coco the monkey sends Chocos the bear to its hibernating spot permanently.

With this commending brand migration, Kellogg’s manages to discontinue a brand, decrease costs, improve focus, and drive up profitability while maintaining the same customer base. Something to raise your cereal bowl to.

Text credits: ARD / agi

Images credits: / Amazon

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