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Kellogg and Nestle Cereal Branding

Archive for the category “Adult Cereal Market”

Adult Cereal Market: Insight into the Consumer

There are several different sub-segments within the adult cereal market. As a result, Nestlé Plus and All Brand respond to different insights, although some motivations and associations are similar. For example, “good for the health” is a common expectation for consumers of All Bran and Nestlé Plus but it is placed at a different degree of importance. Nestlé Plus’s differentation strategy lies the fact it addresses simultaneously two consumer insights: “I’m concerned with my health” and “I’m looking for pleasure and good taste”.  All Bran mostly answers to the former.

Here is the typical thinking of an All Bran’s consumer:

“I have severe bowel problems which constantly drain my morale. They affect both my physical state and my mental state.  In other words, they prevent me from having a normal life. I want to feel better and definitely solve these problems. I want to fully enjoy my life! I want my life back! But I would rather not use drugs. I would rather use a natural food product, so I can enjoy it while I eat it.”

And here is the typical thinking of a Nestlé Plus’ consumer:

“As an adult, I like to eat cereals at breakfast. These cereals must be tasty because I place a high value on pleasure.  Although I do not have specific health problems, I am concerned by my health and I seek to maintain it by having a balanced diet. I may seek to prevent potential bowel problems by eating cereals which contain natural fibers.  As breakfast is an important moment of the day, I choose carefully the cereal brand I purchase.“

Adult Cereal Market: Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

In the last few years, many expectations of ethical behaviour from companies have come into existence and the concept of “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) has become proeminent. Many brands consider it as a differentiating element for which a certain proportion of customers are ready to pay.

The objective of this post is not to analyze the CSR policies of Nestlé and Kellog’s. Both companies have developed many of them in a wide range of subjects, from making healthy products with less sugar to sustaining local communities. I will contend myself to analyzing the specific elements Nestlé Plus and All Bran put forward on their packagings, in their dedicated websites and communication channels in order to do a comparison. It is very interesting to do as it is adults who care the most about companies being ethical.

There is nutritional information on both packagings. However, Nestlé Plus contains more sugar and this is perhaps the reason why it is tastier than All Bran. Cereal brands cannot reduce forever the amount of sugar, although this is a variable they play on in their communication to say their products are good for the health. On Nestlé Plus’ webpage, we can read that Nestlé Plus contains on average 25% less fat, sugar and salt when compared to other cereal brands. This is true only to a certain extent as All Bran contains much less sugar for example.

To stay on the topic of nutrition, it is interesting to note that Nestlé heavily promotes its cereal products as “garantie avec du blé complet” (whole grain guaranteed), which is related to CSR as whole grain is overall better for the health than non-whole grain (providing cereals good for the health is a commitment of Nestlé). It is a little deceptive as it is only on the back side that we learn that only 70% is whole grain. So, here ethics and CSR are used as a marketing tool and there is a promise/performance gap. All Bran does not make such visible claims. It says it is “riche en fibres”, which is vague but true. Nestlé Plus also emphasizes the fact it contains fibers.

Both brands say (on the packagings and in TV ads) their cereals will be good for your health but only if you have a sound life and a balanced diet. What is interesting is that All Bran “hides” this on its packaging by mentioning it using a minuscule font while Nestlé Plus incorporates it in its brand discourse. In other words, Nestlé Plus goes beyond the legal requirement.

Finally, All Bran says on its packaging it uses recycled materials to make its packaging, something which Nestlé Plus does not.

Adult Cereal Market: Nestlé Plus’ Image

Kapferer (Strategic Brand Management, 2008) defines brand image as constituted by systems of interconnected mental associations which cover different aspects: brand territory, level of quality, qualities, most discriminating benefit and brand personality.

In this post, I analyze these five aspects for Nestlé Plus.

-Brand territory: when consumers see a Nestlé Plus packet, they obviously know it contains cereals but it is not thanks to the “Neslté” inscription they perceive it (Nestlé is a large food and nutrition company which has multiple product lines) nor thanks to the “Plus” (“Plus” can refer to many things). It is rather thanks to the packaging and its illustrations consumers perceive Nestlé Plus as a cereal brand.

-Level of quality: like All Bran, the perceived level of quality is high. It is perhaps even higher: an element which increases this perception is the higher price (around €4 per 375 gram packet).

-Qualities: perceived qualities of Nestlé Plus are the following: tasty cereals, well-balanced nutrition, good for the health.

-Most discriminating benefit: the most discriminating of Nestlé Plus is the fact it is well-balanced but also very good to eat (it combines wheat, chocolate and fruits) – probably better tasting than All Brand which is blander.

-Brand personality: the typical buyer the brand evokes is a male or female adult who is looking for two things in cereals: well-balanced nutrition and excellent flavour. This is conveyed both through the packaging (which look “serious” and not for children and which lists arguments and facts) and through the TV commercials (which show adults enjoying Nestlé Plus and who prefer it against other brands which contain goodies in the packets). The word “Plus” is branded as being “plus nutritionel” but it may well convey other meanings to consumers: the fact these cereals are superior, the fact these cereals are both well-balanced and succulent, etc. The organic side is strongly emphasized through the dominant green colour to reinforce the well-balanced argument.

Adult Cereal Market: All Bran’s image

Kapferer (Strategic Brand Management, 2008) defines brand image as constituted by systems of interconnected mental associations which cover different aspects: brand territory, level of quality, qualities, most discriminating benefit and brand personality.

In this post, I analyze these five aspects for Kellog’s All Bran.

-Brand territory: for this aspect, it is clearly Kellog’s which is perceived first by French consumers and not All Bran as most know consumers Kellog’s. They know it is a succesful producer of cereal foods.

-Level of quality: the perceived level of quality is high. Again, it is Kellog’s which is principally responsible for this. The fact that All Bran is high-priced (around €3.3 per 500 gram packet) increases this perception.

-Qualities: the perceived qualities of All Brand are the following: good for the health, good against bowel problems, wholefood.

-Most discriminating benefit: the perceived positioning of All Bran (or the most discriminating benefit) is a food which is very good at alleviating bowel problems. It is really the benefit which stands out and the reason why most All Bran buyers consume these cereals.

-Brand personality: the typical buyer the brand evokes is above all an optimistic person who seeks to solve a problem he or she has. The fact that All Bran is represented everywhere by the yellow colour – a colour which means optimism, enlightment and happiness at the same time in popular symbolism – is a proof of it. This optimistic person can either male or female but iconographic elements – both on the packaging and the dedicated website – suggest it is rather a woman. The slogan “Libérez-vous !” adds to this sentiment. In general words, the brand personality of All Brand is that of an helper, a sincere person who wants to help you and makes you carefree again.

Adult Cereal Market: Analysis of the Advertising Present on the Packagings

In this post, I will analyze the advertising elements which are present on the two packagings.

On the front side and the back side of Nestlé Plus’ packaging, there is the “saveur de l’année 2011” award. This award and its red and yellow logo were created about ten years ago by the private company Monadia. This award is given to around 160 foodstuffs each year. The method is the following: a sample group of consumers (240 for Nestlé Plus) conduct a blind test and the product which comes first gets the award.

Although this award bears official tones, it is entirely a marketing concept and it can be argued that it can be bought by the company which desires to have it put on its products.

Nestlé Plus resorts to this award  in order to acquire new customers. The idea is to make them believe Nestlé Plus is endorsed and promoted by a third party “expert” organization. This is understandable as Nestlé Plus was released as a new product only in 2010. It must conquer a position in the minds of consumers. As a note, Nestlé Plus already used this award in 2010. It is also used in the TV commercials.

This is the only advertising element present on the packaging but it stands out with its red and yellow colours.

There is no advertising on the front side of All Bran’s packaging: All Bran has been in existence for many years in the French market and Kellog’s even more so it does not need it.

Half of the back side is occupied by an advertisement for Danone’s Activia milk.

Activia is marketed as a milk which alleviates bowel problems. Activia also features advertisements for Kellog’s cereals (including All Bran) on its packaging. This is the result of a partnership between Kellog’s and Danone.

The idea behind this partnership is to redirect each brand’s consumers to the partner brand and thus increase sales.

Adult Cereal Market: Analysis of the Packagings

A few years ago, the French communication agency DDB carried out a survey in which marketing directors were asked to name what they considered the characteristics of a strong brand. The strengh of the signs of recognition (packaging, logo, codes, etc.) by the consumer ranked third (36%).

Packaging is all the more important in the cereals market as the actual product cannot be tried before buying it. Consumers need signals which will reassure them and make them buy the product. The packaging constitutes one of these signals, perhaps the most important. It is a touch point.

It is therefore important to analyse and compare the packagings of Nestlé Plus and All Bran.

  • I will now describe and compare the most evident elements.

The shape is the same, a rectangle. The size is almost equal, Nestlé Plus’s packaging being a little bigger in height. The colours are different : All Bran’s packaging has lighter and hot colours (yellow and different shades of orange) whereas Nestlé Plus’ has darker and colder colours (purple, green as well as some white). The positions of the main descriptive parts on the packagings are a little different : the detailed nutritional information are not on the same edge.

  • I will now start a deeper analysis. I will only analyze and compare the front side of the packagings. The back side contain brand sales ptiches which will be reviewed in another post.

        All Bran

The element which draws the attention the most on the All Bran’s packaging is the shining yellow sphere placed upon the bowl full of cereals. Inside this yellow sphere is written in large letters All Bran and Kellogs. One can say without a doubt that it is meant to be the sun (it is depicted in the upper left corner, as in drawings). So the message is this : by eating these cereals, you obtain for yourself the sun’s characteristics. In other words, you get more life, more energy, more light, more well-being. These are the key brand benefits of All Bran.  The message may seem easy to understand. However, in my opinion one needs to think about it some time before getting it.

Regarding the Kellogs logo next to the All Bran inscription, it is a brand naming strategy aimed at increasing All Bran’s brand equity: Kellogs is a famous name. Doing this instantly ties All Bran to Kellogs in the minds of consumers. Nestlé does the same thing.

The smaller brown sphere with “Fible Plus” inside may be viewed as a planet but this is of secondary importance.

Around the bowl is written in white “Libérez-vous !”, an order which may be unclear to consumers who do not know what Kellog’s All Bran stand for or what “fibres” (fibers) do. All Bran contains fibers. These help alleviate bowel problems. It can be said bowel problems are considered as a prison. In other words, All Bran is the key to freedom. Thus, the key brand benefits are again highlighted but the delivery to the consumers may be problematic.

Given the brand benefits (which are nearly medicinal) All Bran says it brings, one can say a certain number of customers engage with All Bran on a functional level. This is emphasized on the whole packaging. The same can be said of Nestlé Plus.

        Nestlé Plus

On this packaging, the element which draws the attention the most is the word “Plus”. It obviously refers to the brand benefits. The “Plus” is explained below with arguments put in a bulleted list. It is interesting to note that unlike All Bran, which has chosen a visual and symbolic strategy to explain the brand benefits, Nestlé Plus has chosen to write two arguments. As a comparison, there is three time more words on the front side of Nestlé Plus’ packaging. Besides the different packaging colours, this is perhaps the most differentiating element between the two brands.

The presence of more words perhaps make clearer the brand benefits. One should not forget the targeted consumers, adults, will probably read what is written on the packaging, unlike children.  The message is that Nestlé Plus will bring you a large amount of fibers, which is good for your health as it has already been said. The message also emphasizes how delicious Nestlé Plus’ cereals are. This is another differentiating point as on the All Bran packaging there is no mention of pleasure.

It should be noted there exists another Nestlé Plus product called Nestlé Plus antioxidants. Instead of containing fibers, it contains antioxidants. So the benefits and the message are a little different.

The green and the white are found on the packagings of the other brands of Nestlé. The white may be interpreted as representing purity while the green as authenticity and nature. The organic image Nestlé wants to broadcast is also highlighted through the green “blé complet” sign. This is radically different from All Bran’s branding strategy which does not bring up any organic consideration.

Adult Cereal Market: Brand Identity Matrix

Below is the Kapferer’s brand identity matrix applied to Nestlé Plus and All Bran.

It can be seen that the differences between the two brands are not big. It does not mean that there is no or little differentiation between the two brands. It means rather that it is difficult to make consumers perceive the differences. Differentiation is hard to attain in the cereals market, especially in the sub-market which is the adult market.

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