KFC changed its slogan to ‘It’s Good’ and has decided to ignore ‘finger lickin’ for now. You must have noticed the Youtube video of KFC where it blurred its famous brand slogan ‘It’s finger lickin’ Good’ on purpose. The decision was made in March 2020 when several food lovers found the brand slogan inappropriate during the times of the pandemic. People felt that it was the wrong time to promote a global brand with a tagline that is asking people to lick fingers emphasizing on the taste of the food served. When adopting hygienic measures should be the key message of any brand, this one gave an impression of a brand that is behaving irresponsibly and is not in tune with the needs of the times.
We have seen such occurrences even before when brands changed their positioning statements to connect with their customers.
Brand identity is what a brand intends to stand for and brand image is what its customers see it as. Problems arise when these two do not align or converge.
Cadbury as ‘mithai’ during Celebrations
Cadbury dairy milk is the undisputable market leader in the chocolate segment in India. They positioned themselves as the “go to” sweet for any occasion with their “Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye” campaign. Cadbury was able to build such a prominent presence in the Indian landscape because they identified how their customers saw them – their brand image- and then aligned their brand identity with that brand image with a brilliance that is rarely seen. A confectionary brand positioning itself as a direct competitor to traditional Indian sweets!
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Mother’s recipe brings ‘wahi ghar wala swaad’ with its pickles
The popular pickle and masala brand, ‘Mother’s Recipe’ connects with its buyers by using the tagline ‘Taste the Love’. The brand seeks to identify itself as one that recreates the magic of handmade pickles that is generally a labour of love and hence tastes so good. The brand recently launched a campaign reinforcing the same values of love, warmth, homecoming, and cherished relationship. The campaign underlines the prominence that pickle-making receives in Indian homes; almost a tradition that needs to be celebrated every year. The brand with its impactful messaging ‘reeti riwaaz aapke pickles hamare’ (your traditions our pickles) strives to reconnect with its consumers who perceives it as one that brings back memories of homemade pickles. The brand chose the perfect time to release the campaign. Due to the pandemic, this was an unfortunate summer when family members and neighbours could not get together to prepare pickles and store it for the rest of the year. The brand rightly positioned itself as the best alternative to those home-made pickles that everyone in the family longs for and goes down memory lane as an element of pure nostalgia.
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Have ‘Nashta with Guptaji ki family’ with Kelloggs cornflakes
Kellogg’s cornflakes is another extremely popular breakfast cereal for modern, urban Indian families, especially where both partners are working and have very limited time in hand to prepare traditional Indian breakfast like puri bhaji, aloo parantha or dosa. However, the concept of having cereals with cold milk- necessary to maintain the crispiness of the flakes- is not something Indian families were quick to adapt since we eternally come from a tradition of enjoying our foods served hot. In March 2015, Kellogg’s launched a series of digital films under the campaign ‘Kellogg’s Wale Guptaji Ki Family’. The films depict a typical Indian family where every family member has a unique taste and therefore shares interesting breakfast recipes using cornflakes. Notice how Kellogg’s changed its communication and imagery to make cereal eating a norm in modern Indian households. Just like Cadbury, the brand surveyed what the customers needed- the brand image- and without changing the product per se, Kellogg’s aligned its image with its brand identity by creating an effective communication strategy. The campaign emphasised that “There is only one way to eat corn flakes- Your way”.
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Brands, just like people, have certain attributes that distinguish them from others. These attributes can relate to aspects ranging from the tangible aspects of the brand- what it looks and feels like, to the intangible aspects that relate to how the brand behaves and interacts with its customers. Brand managers frequently use popular marketing tools to learn about the image-identity gap and reposition the brand accordingly such as Kapferer’s identity prism, Perceptual maps, measure customer satisfaction using Net Promoter Score or NPS and customer engagement using Customer Engagement Score or CES.