iSnack 2.0 – When brand naming goes wrong

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?

Vegimite iSnack2.0

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.

If you’d like to hear more on system for successful brand naming please get in contact

Stay tuned for our 5 Tips on Brand naming

Derek

Update

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.

Derek

PS. Interesting to see someone has done a Hitler meme for iSnack 2.0, how original, they should get a job in Kraft.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-GNilv65Ew

17 Comments

  1. I was amazed when I saw the ad announcing the new product name. There’s nothing about the product or the proposition that I understand. I kept watching in anticipation of the punch-line. I’m still watching and waiting.

    Loved the Hitler spoof.

  2. Far out what a flop. I entered that competition – my name was might bite or was it cheesy bite…I can’t remember – but what i do know is that both my name options are far more focused on the Vegemite brand than iSnack 2.0.

  3. Just voted, nice, they’re doing a bit of marketing research while they’re at it, slick Guys.
    Had to vote for “I wouldn’t pick any of these names”. I can see this being abused like the footy survey it’s gonna be called “Liinnggg-eeee”

  4. I’ve changed my mind now that they have pulled it. The new names are so safe it’s not really worth bothering with. They had the right idea by going after something that was new, daring and would also start a bit of chatter. Just a shame they picked isnack 2.0.

    Another win for conservatism.

  5. I didn’t like the video, but I actually like the new name. However, I think they could have spruced up and modernized the label to go along with the name. Brown somehow doesn’t inspire eating. I remember Vegemite from so many years ago -wasn’t there a song about it, or was that a jingle?

  6. Vegemite CheesyBite – I don’t mind it. Way better than iSnack 2.0. I think the amount of brand loyalty shown by voters has been outstanding. Kraft should be proud that they have such a strong following.

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