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Useless marketing by Danone

I've always been surprised by the way fast moving consumer goods marketeers juggle with brand names, packaging, line extensions and promotions to get some attention for their products. Although I prefer true innovation, line extensions and small improvements to a product are a good opportunity to talk (or better even, make people talk) about your brand.

But last week Danone really did it for me. I saw a TV commercial in which they announce a new name for their yogurt. So it's no longer yogurt but something else, god knows why. Unfortunately I don't remember the new name, which shouldn't be much of a surprise as TV commercial are not a very engaging medium. Especially if it's just another clip with dancing yogurt pots and logos jumping around. I checked the Danone Belgium site and in the "yogurts" category ordinary yogurt is not there (only Activia & Vitalinea), nothing about this new thingy.

But here comes the best part. On the pots of this "product formerly known as yogurt" there's a large call-out that says "UNCHANGED RECIPE". So basically Danone is investing money (packaging + TV commercial + ...) in a name change for yogurt, and it's extra difficult because part of the message is that NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

Tip for Danone: Don't change the name, spend the money on innovation in marketing. Not only products (which they do) but communication too.

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