When rebrands go wrong

(And how to avoid the pitfalls)

Müller details marketing plan to regain momentum

Müller Dairy UK is launching an internal academy to help its marketers develop more consumer driven marketing activity as part of a 7-point strategy aimed at clawing back some of the share it has lost to rivals Danone and Onken.

MullerCorner-Product-Muller-2013

Müller is to launch a major marketing push later this year to promote its revamped Corner Range.

The company, which claims to lead the chilled yogurts and potted desserts sector with about 23 per cent of market with a market share, has vowed to adopt a customer focussed approach to innovation and campaigns after spending more than a year reassessing its marketing strategy.

It will see a return to the more product-focused executions of previous campaigns with the brand believing that more recent efforts such as the Wonderful Stuff campaign, which starred a host of cartoon characters, were “less-focused” on what consumers expect from Müller.

The business is launching its biggest marketing investment in recent years for its flagship Corner range, which was relaunched with a new recipe and packaging last year. Activity for the Müllerlight brand will also increase to capitalise on consumer demand for healthier snack products. The range is being overhauled in March to appeal to style conscious consumers.

Documents filed at Companies House show revenue for 2011 slipped to £371.9m from £392.9 in 2010. Gross profit fell to £115m from £129m a year earlier.

Müller’s UK marketing director, Michael Inpong, who joined last April to lead the shift, told Marketing Week: “We had a difficult start to 2012 coming off of a tough 2011 where we lost ground to our rivals……We took a step back during this time to look at what the key consumer trends were across chilled dairy and came up with seven core trends we wanted to build our marketing around moving forward (see box).

Muller will launch its first internal marketing academy the Elite Training programme later this month (31 January), which is designed to nurture a more disciplined and insight-driven approach to marketing. Additionally, the brand’s marketing team are spending two days a month with consumers to support the strategy, a move Inpong hopes will allow his team to spot opportunities for limited edition variants and product extensions.

Müller’s Magnificent Seven strategy for 2013

  • Use its marketing to encourage consumers to indulge more often in a bid to reduce it dependence on promotions and maintain sales.
  • Committing to its biggest ever investment in product development and advertising in the hope of attracting new customers.
  • Support its rice and desert businesses to take advantage of growing demand for chilled desserts to stave off competition from own-label brands.
  • Focus health messaging on weight management rather than weight loss to try and boost sales of its Müllerlight range.
  • Make its brand manifesto, ‘making the most out of the world now’ more prominent in its communications after admitting that it has remained in the background for “too long”.
  • Promote the taste benefits of yoghurt more and be more experimental when it comes to product development.
  • Use consumer insight more when developing future initiatives.

Yoghurt and Pot desserts category overwiew - SymphonyIRI

BrandsValue sales 52 w/e 31 Dec 2011Value sales 52 w/e 29 Dec 2012% Change
Yoghhurt and Pot Desserts (total)£2,199,249,296£2,277,975,2643.6
Own Label£606,192,621£645,175,2536.4
Müller£263,800,403£247,936,470-5.7
Activia£239,945,960£230,145,428-4.1
Müllerlight£125,571,342£143,325,92414.1
Actimel£100,002,312£99,116,4000.9
Müllerice£54,245,524£50,227,839-7.4

 

Readers' comments (2)

  • "Use consumer insight more when developing future initiatives" is part of the marketing strategy? No wonder why our profession is devalued these days.

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  • As a mother of three small children I find Muller's recent product launch of 'Kids Corners' extremely offensive - the overt gender marketing exceeds any of it's kind I have seen in the past. I sincerely hope this is not a sign of future campaigns like this.

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