Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Selling Biscuit occasions through Biscuits Re-branding

How often do you engage in a biscuit occasion ?

warmth, comfort, sociability, sharing  - occasions and childhood memories

United Biscuits - who own brands such as Jacobs and McVitie's - is in the midst of spending  £12m in a re-branding the business.

Chief executive Martin Glenn said  the campaign came about after a year of research that found biscuits evoked childhood memories, "images of warmth, comfort, sociability, sharing".

"The challenge we've got at McVitie's is that, whilst we're the biggest in the UK, we're facing a lot more foreign competition... so we need to up our game."

Fruits of Success' Little Bogdan
was an audition hopeful for
 the Advertising campaign (not)
Fluffy kittens, corgi puppies and orange-eyed tarsiers are being used to help sell more Digestives and Jaffa cakes by United Biscuits ahead of a likely sale this year by its private equity owners.

Biscuit Heritage 

The 160-year-old McVitie’s brand  relaunched with a £12m advertising campaign, focused on “sweet” animals that Martin Glenn, chief executive, said was aimed at “supporting our efforts to drive growth for the category”.

He has embarked on what the group said would be a record level of capital investment this year, of more than £50m, compared with £38m last year.

The private equity companies bought United Biscuits for £1.6bn eight years ago – an investment horizon that is longer than the norm in their industry. They sold the KP snacks unit last year for an undisclosed price, thought to have been £400m.

Money in Biscuits

Jeff van der Eems, chief executive of the international division, said: “The sale of KP Snacks in 2012 has allowed us to focus on our core businesses of McVitie’s and Jacobs, and to expand our international operations which we hope to account for 20 % of sales in three years.”

Mr Glenn has since regrouped the group’s products into two divisions – sweet products under the McVitie’s label; and savoury biscuits, such as Mini Cheddars and Carr’s, under the Jacob’s brand of crackers.

United Biscuits is the second-largest biscuits group in the €12bn industry, with a 7 % market share, which is less than half that of industry leader, Mondelez. The maker of Oreo and TUC biscuits has 17 %, according to Euromonitor.

In the UK, where 90 % of households buy its products, United Biscuits has a 40 % market share.

But it has had a tough recession in the face of “difficult market conditions” for at least the past three years as consumers focused on “value”, the company said.

Broken Biscuits

The market is fragmented, highly competitive and is having to address consumers’ increasing health concerns.

Marc Kennis, analyst at Rabobank, which recently issued a report into the sector, said biscuit makers faced volatile wheat and sugar prices and hard bargaining retailers.

“This creates substantial uncertainty in the variable cost base for manufacturers, who have limited room to pass on any price increase to customers due to intense competition and the sheer size of food retailers. Biscuit companies are caught between a rock and a hard place,” he said.

What have fluffy kittens or a tarsier got that
a baby meerkat has not ?
The quirky campaign, the biscuit makers’ biggest investment in media, highlights the occasions in the day when its biscuits are eaten and the feeling people get from eating them.

One Grey London created spot for Digestives shows a family settling down to relax with a biscuit before a Corgi puppy emerges when the packet is unwrapped.

 Another for Chocolate Digestives sees a group of nurses settling down for a tea break and being confronted by kittens when they reach for the biscuits,

A third for Jaffa Cakes shows a young man confronted with a Tarsier when opening a pack (see ads below).

The Biscuit Mix for Marketing

The TV campaign is supported by GreyPossible created digital activity, including the launch of a new McVitie’s website, social media and press. The campaign will also see an extensive in-store campaign created by Dialogue London. 

The McVitie’s logo features prominently in all 'executions' and all packaging has been redesigned to give the name more prominence.
Brands including Club and Penguin will be brought under McVitie’s later this year.

It is hoped the ‘family of brands’ strategy will create a halo effect and boost sales across the portfolio.

United Biscuits wants the campaign to help it achieve its ambitious target of claiming a 30 % of the sweet biscuit market for McVitie’s, up from the 21% it enjoys at the moment by capturing more of the 7 billion “biscuit occasions” it says take place in the UK every year.

At an event in London to mark the launch of the campaign, Glenn said the relaunch of McVitie’s is an example of how the company is “re-energising” to “take our place on the world stage”.

The firm plans to employ the same master brand strategy to Jacob’s later this year , with savoury brands such as Cheddars and Mini Cheddars joining the likes of Cream Crackers under the Jacob’s

Back in the day... 

In my childhood I remember the Lincoln Cream biscuit . The Lincoln cream had a  pattern of dots on the top in concentric circles. The McVitie's version had the word 'Lincoln' embossed on to the biscuit at the centre. I wonder whether its return is in the United Biscuits re-branding plan. Little Bogdan will be up for acting in any advert for Lincoln Creams !

Related "Tea and Biscuits" selling skills links

Tea time personality matrix

sweeet ™ campaign videos You tube - United Biscuits

1 comment:

  1. The information you have shared about the brand consulting is precious that share a very valuable information. I am very happy to read this posting. Branding Agency in Singapore