Reports from SMH and other news outlets are advising that Kraft has responded to consumer “outrage” at the name of Kraft’s new product, iSnack 2.0 (is this Kraft’s Vista?), and decided to re-visit the competition to name the new product. This time, it will be a popularity vote – in the style of Australian Idol – another opportunity perhaps to raise the profile of the new product. Of course, iSnack 2.0 was a dumb name, but the amount of column inches (online, on TV and on-paper) devoted to this issue has been extraordinary.
Obviously Australians feel very strongly about this particular brand name, and while I predicted it would date pretty quickly, I am surprised that Kraft have responded in this way, and so swiftly. To some degree, a smart marketer would have been watching how sales of the product went once the new named product hit the shelves, rather than responding to the outrage on the internet and twitter.
Kraft have said that they have about 500,000 jars of the iSnack2.0-labelled product in warehouses in Sydney and Melbourne, and that they will start arriving on supermarket shelves today. Kraft predict that this is about 2 months supply. What Kraft have been able to do now is to create a collectors item, and also generate extraordinary publicity for the new product, something that a single advertisement on national television was never going to do.
While Kraft are saying that this was not their intention, they will benefit in a number of ways, 1. As a result of the outrage, the product is now very salient in the minds of consumers, 2. Kraft are seen to be responding positively to consumer feedback by changing the name, which will help increase perceptions, 3. They are having another competition, which is likely again raise the profile of the brand and its salience, and 4. They have saved huge amounts of money in advertising.
All of these factors combine to create salience, which is the FMCG marketers dream. Long after the wrath dies down, the brand will remain present.