This article, “Philly Cream Cheese’s Spreading Appeal” (Bloomberg Businessweek, December 12, 2011) is a great example that has many classroom uses. Sometimes I like to describe an extended case study — to help students integrate the marketing strategy planning process — this article is that type of example. 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 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 (data – it is nice to show case studies in class with real results). All of this in a mature product category. What a great example of how to revitalize a brand. Check out the article for more details on the strategy. Also posted at Learn the 4 Ps.
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