When Kraft launched their name for the new spread during the AFL Grand Final, I thought it had to be a joke, they couldn’t be that out of touch. Then I presumed it was a deliberately provocative marketing campaign, give our product the worst possible name, watch it explode across the social media. While I still harbor some hope that this is the case I have to ask when enough is enough? Whether deliberate or unintended, what damage could this do to the Vegemite brand?
Kraft got it wrong on so many levels with iSnack 2.0 it beggars belief. They have, in one fell swoop, alienated every demographic. It means nothing to baby-boomers and just reeks of the worst Me-too-ism to Gen X & Y. The ‘i’ naming meme Apple started in 1998 with the iMac really had it’s day by 2004 when iPods started going colour. Apple can still use it because they created it and own it. It’s inherently linked to Apple’s brand and products and as a true innovator there products are always on the edge of technology and fashion. When anybody else tries to us it, it comes of as false as a $5 Rolex. When a food brand tries to ape this with a double up of hackneyed internet memes it just shows how out of contact the company actually is. It’s like your dad wearing a baseball cap backwards.
As Coke learned with New Coke and Pepsi learned with Tropicana you have to be careful with brands people love. You may own the company and the product, but you do not own the brand. Your customers do. They are the ones who ultimately decide if your brand is going to be a success. Toying with their feelings in such a way is going to come back and haunt you. It’s not that you can’t challenge them, or bring them with you on the journey but you must do so in a way that connects to them and rings true.
I’m sure the marketing team at Kraft are rubbing their hands at the publicity they have generated and as the old adage goes “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. Ask the guys at Coke and Pepsi about that. It’s relatively easy to create a splash with a new brand extension, as Kraft have shown. But what’s the point when you alienate your audience and possibly damage the parent brand.
Stay tuned for our 5 Tips on Brand naming
New iSnack 2.0 names: CHEESYBITE, CREAMYMATE, SMOOTH, SNACKMATE, VEGEMATE, VEGEMILD.
Not sure who’s gonna ask for ‘smooth on toast’ for breakfast. Isn’t Vegemate kiwi for Vegemite?
After buckling to popular demand we get to vote on the new name. Now 2.0 is actually appropriate. Pity the names are so dull. They’ve gone from one extreme to the other. Clearly there is no masterly marketing plan behind this incompetence.