Strategy and Sausages:
A British Strategic Planner in Germany
Tuesday, 9 October 2018
What looks good on paper ...
I've spent more than enough years working on brand extensions of this, that or the other and the question has always been - how far can you go? The answer to that one depends on the brand, and just how flexible and stretchable its essence really is. And what's vital to the brand's coherent meaning apart from its essence.
I saw a classic example (in my opinion) of a step too far in the supermarket this weekend: Kerrygold Irish Cream.
Now, I can just imagine the brainstorming or workshop that led to this one. The core of the Kerrygold Brand Onion (Cheese and Onion, anyone?) has probably got the words "Irish" and "Dairy" in it. So some smart Alec (or Alexa) no doubt put one and one together and thought: "I know! Let's copy Baileys!"
This probably looked like a great idea on a flip chart decorated with neon Post-Its.
But, if you have to take the onion model, what about all those outer layers? If you ignore those, you can quite easily come up with something that stands in opposition to them. I'm not a fan of the onion method for defining a brand - I prefer to get an intuitive feel for brands via long-term knowledge and experience, and from my feel for Kerrygold, I would suggest the following:
Kerrygold is an everyman/woman/child brand - for all the family, not just the niche segment of middle-aged girls who drink sickly-sweet liqueurs
Kerrygold, if it has a time of day, is about morning, the sun rising, breakfast-time, the twittering of the birds and the dew still kissing that lush green meadow
Kerrygold, if it has a place is outdoors, with beautiful rolling emerald fields, an azure sky, buttercups and daisies
And finally, Kerrygold is savoury in taste - lightly salted butter, mellow cheddar kind-of-savoury. Kerrygold wouldn't (I hope) go into chocolate, so why a chocolate liqueur?
I wouldn't want Lurpak to copy Häagen-Daz and go into ice cream.
And neither would I advise Cadbury's to start making cheese.
When I was little, I wanted to be a spy. I got off to a good start, studying Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge but somehow got side-tracked into the wonderful world of advertising and marketing.
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