Being instantly recognisable is what most people would say about an iconic brand. This is coming from the powerful visual cues such as distinctive design that triggers recognition. For instance, big and gelatinous chunks inside red and white metal cans, which popularised by Andy Warhol’s painting, built Campbell into its iconic brand. Interestingly, recognisable itself is not enough turning a brand to become iconic. In order for a brand to become a successful iconic brand, it needs to be admired and considered meaningful (Hollis 2011). Therefore, it is also important to look at the brand’s ability meeting a specific functional need aligned with the initial purpose of the brand. If the brand has successfully gratify the consumer’s needs in a meaningful way, it can lead to the opportunity to engage the strong emotional attachment. Being an iconic brand is also important to maintain and improve its brand performance towards its customers. In Campbell’s soup example, within its motto “Campbell’s creates food for today”, and the fact is consumers today are more attracted to a more sophisticated types of food, which Campbell has not yet achieved. And it is a challenge in the past periods for Campbell to move beyond from a soup iconic can to an iconic brand that resonates its brand experience.
Campbell’s soup Market Challenges
Campbell’s soup marketers struggle in the aspect of consumers’ engagement toward its product. Its statistic shows that less than 10% of shoppers would purchase their products. Furthermore, when the shoppers purchase the product; they would think that they do not getting natural ingredients from the Campbell’s soup. The core challenge is that consumer tastes have shifted. Consumers these days are more attracted toward a more sophisticated and fresh food. There is also a change in the consumers’ behavior, where we start shifting towards a healthier lifestyle, which decreases its bottom line. Big Food producers like Campbell’s soup is perceived as unhealthy because of its unnatural ingredients.
Take it further, it was also claimed that the metal canned packaging also mainly causes the sales decline of Campbell’s soup in Australia. This packaging was perceived to be old-fashioned especially for the youth consumers, whereas Heinz its biggest competitor has been adapting the new pouches packaging. This consumers’ perception that leads to word of mouth has eventually led to a negative tendency in making a purchase toward Campbell’s. It was also forecasted that the sales would decline around 5% in Australia (Choi 2012).
Knowing that there is a huge change in the consumer tastes and strong negative perception towards canned soup, I would say repositioning is needed in building new brand equity. It then may leads to a change in brand awareness, salience, attitude, and loyalty.
It can be done through the adaptation of revitalisation strategy, which can be used when a brand has reached its maturity and is in declining markets, by modifying the marketing mix elements (Evin 1999). In Campbell’s case it started from the new product launch offering natural ingredients, redesigned its packaging, rearrangement of the shelf, and maintaining its price that reflects in maintaining the quality too.
In changing consumers’ perception, Campbell’s soup also using master brand strategy. It tries to create a close link between the soups to Campbell’s stock that has a very positive brand attitude for its natural ingredients. In using master brand strategy, Campbell’s must have a consistent branding strategy across its brands, which then will maximise the brand awareness. All the strategies above will eventually create a new brand awareness in its target market, start considering to make a purchase, trial, purchase, and repeat the purchase of the Campbell’s soup.
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