How brands can be successful in 2011

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th January 2011

2011 can be a profitable year for consumer packaged goods brands but they must learn from 2010’s successes and failures. Research by Datamonitor identifies these successes and failures and the key factors behind why 2010 was a bumper year for some brands and the end of the road for others.

Mark Whalley, consumer analyst at the independent market analyst said: “2011 will be a difficult year for brand innovators, so they can’t afford to make errors and will need to identify exactly what it was which made some brands a success last year. This said, it is equally important to highlight why some products failed or weren’t as successful as expected.”

Key successes are:
* Minute Maid – Coca-Cola, known for its sparkling drinks format, developed a product for the Chinese dairy beverage market. In October 2009, Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky, comprising a mixture of fruit juice, milk powder, whey and coconut was launched in China. The launch highlighted Coca-Cola’s commitment to developing new products for local markets. Positioned as a lifestyle brand, the product aimed to cater to the growing health consciousness demonstrated by Chinese consumers. The launch exceeded initial expectations and its impressive performance in China has generated immense interest in overseas markets.

* PRIMO EXTREMO – Rather than competing with Up&Go loyalists, Primo chose to target new segments in order to grow the entire meal alternative category, by introducing ‘Primo Extremo’. The product was named in an attempt to poke fun at the hyperbolic nature of breakfast marketing, a strategy that resonated strongly with its target audience of 16-25 year old males. The launch campaign proved to be an overwhelming success in creating a differentiated and credible challenger to market leaders.
Products that did not fare as well include:

· iSnack 2.0 – Kraft infamously invited consumers to rename its Vegemite and cream cheese concoction, but the new name sparked an immediate backlash. While the campaign generated short-term sales and brand awareness, consumers became suspicious that the name change was in fact a marketing ploy. The campaign reflects the dangers of relying purely on immediate gains without consideration for the long-term impact on brand equity.

While it is always beneficial to learn from what has occurred in the past, Mr. Whalley warns: “It is not as simple as looking at a strategy which has worked for other brands and adopting it. Trends change over time and brands must retain their own identity and values. The biggest successes in 2011 will be the products which innovate effectively and genuinely engage with their consumers.”