Beginning with Nestlé on October 16th, packaged food companies have and will release quarter earnings revealing how well they hurdled industry obstacles including a marketplace oversaturated with brands and a health conscious consumer base. Though multiple factors contribute to earnings, how successfully these companies marketed their brands to capitalize on industry trends will play a key role in their financial performance.
Mary Zalla, global president of consumer brands at Landor, one of the world’s leading brand consulting and design firms, has a unique point-of-view on how leading companies have been leveraging their brands:
- Expanding Product Portfolio: With cereal sales on the decline, Kellogg is looking to acquire British company, United Biscuits, to increase its snack brand portfolio and become the leading global snack company. “Acquisition is a great way to add brands and scale to a portfolio. At the same time, consumers are interested in provenance, especially with regard to the food and beverages they consume. It will be important for marketers to be able to be proud of and even tell the stories behind the creation, manufacture and distribution of their brands.”
- Socially Responsible Brands: Companies are promoting CSR activities to garner goodwill from consumers. Oreo manufacturer, Mondel?z released its first “well-being progress report” detailing the company’s efforts to deliver healthier products and produce products in an environmentally friendly way. “Research proves that consumers, especially millennial consumers believe that brands have the power to unite and inspire people. According to Forbes, 47% of global consumers claim to buy a brand that supports a good cause at least once per month.”
- Tapping into New Consumer Base: With men doing more household shopping, companies are focusing on this once overlooked consumer base. Kraft featured men in commercials for products such as Jell-O, Velveeta, and Miracle Whip while Campbell’s introduced new products such as Beer-n-Cheese and Beef & Bacon flavored Chunky Soups. “Smart marketers want to invite as many people into their brand franchises as they can. They’ve also been tailoring programs to consumers as well as shoppers and recognizing that sometimes they’re the same person, sometimes different. Brands have the opportunity to come to life in unique and engaging ways with different audiences.”