Marketing is most interesting when you can see many of the concepts you learn tied together. This article, “Philly Cream Cheese’s Spreading Appeal” (Bloomberg Businessweek, December 12, 2011) shows how some of the different elements you have been learning about in marketing can be tied together – with successful results.
Sales of Philadephia brand cream cheese were pretty much flat (mature or decline stage of the product life cycle) for most of the last decade. Then Kraft researchers (market research) noticed that heavy users of the product were using cream cheese (consumer behavior) as an ingredient in their cooking — not simply as a spread for bagels. Starting in Europe back in 2008, Kraft’s brand managers tapped into social media and the Internet to gather and share recipes using Philadephia brand cream cheese, they promoted it on cooking shows and with contests (Promotion). In the U.K. the share of customers using cream cheese as an ingredient (effective repositioning) has almost doubled to 37% — and sales are up 20% in Europe (results).
This is a great case study of a successful brand revitalization. Check out the article for more details on the strategy.