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How Brands Can be Successful in 2011

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How Brands Can be Successful in 2011

How Brands Can be Successful in 2011
February 03
14:56 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, says: “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:

* Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer – this product has become the number one selling ale in the UK (overtaking established brands such as Old Speckled Hen) – a phenomenal achievement considering it was only launched in 2009. The key to Crabbie’s success has been its versatility: appealing to both young and old consumers, and both males and females. Additionally, being touted as a beer that goes well with food means an increasing number of consumers are drinking it at mealtimes.

* Cadbury’s Biscuits – rather than creating new flavours, Cadbury’s chose to leverage the existing popularity of some of its biggest-selling chocolate bars such as Crunchie and Turkish Delight. This appeals to existing brand fans while also offering something novel and different for consumers who prefer biscuits to confectionery.

* Genius Bread – this offers something new for an important consumer niche. The brand is currently top of the ‘free-from’ bakery segment in the UK because it provides celiacs (ie gluten-intolerant consumers) with the ‘fresh’ option that those without special dietary requirements take for granted. With a growing number of people being diagnosed as having food intolerances, gluten-free is a burgeoning market. Additionally, Genius has benefited from the prevailing trend of non-celiacs purchasing gluten-free products because they believe them to be a healthier alternative to those containing gluten.

Key failures include:

* Galaxy Probiotic – the product attempted to leverage the ‘cross over trend’ which had led to success for brands such as Innocent (which capitalised on the success of its original smoothie by launching it in a convenient carton). However, Galaxy’s Probiotic drink was withdrawn in September. The main reason for the failure was consumers perceived it as being neither completely healthy or truly indulgent and therefore regarded it as somewhat of a ‘compromised indulgence’.

* Pepsi Raw – the drink failed to get the formulation right and did not engage with consumers, resulting in it being withdrawn in September. The trend for natural ingredients has developed over the past few years but Pepsi failed to capitalise. In particular, keeping the Pepsi brand name confused consumers as they were not sure if the beverage was supposed to be healthy or not, given current perceptions of the healthiness of carbonated cola products.

* Grolsch – the beer has sought to retain a premium positioning and price amidst a number of supposedly premium competitors compromising this image in an attempt to battle with regular lagers. Thus far, consumers have failed to respond by trusting in the brand’s high-end credentials and instead have opted for cheaper alternatives. However, Grolsch remains confident that this strategy will pay dividends in the long-term.

While it is always beneficial to learn from what has occurred in the past, Mark 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.”

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