Right now, established brands are under more threat than ever. In most cases, it is an attack from new and unseen enemies from cyberspace. Traditional retail is being attacked by online shopping. Online brands are being attacked by newcomers. Brand loyalty is being slaughtered by price hunger. And what is new today is old tomorrow.
However, not all brand decline is coming from the aliens of the internet. In fact, much of it is coming from what I call ‘friendly fire’. It is coming from those in whom we put our trust and faith. A classic example can be seen in our supermarket duopoly in Australia. Think what the milk wars did to the milk brands like Pauls, Dairy Farmers, Devondale, Farmers’ Union etc? they’ve all but disappeared behind a wall of home brand milk (which in turn is sending dairy farmers to the wall, but that’s another story).
Milk is the most obvious example of FMCG brand killing, but take a walk down the aisles of Coles and Woolworths and see just how their own brands are throttling the shelf space.
Remember Nobbys Nuts? Not only one of the great advertising campaigns (which would probably be banned now as ‘nibble Nobbys nuts’ may not be gender-neutral enough), but a quality product. Well, in Woolworths Express stores the only nuts you’ll find are home brand. Not a Nobbys Beer Nut in sight. In larger stores, the brand can be found – but their presence is overwhelmed by home brands on special. It’s a slow demise, and it is one we don’t even notice until our favourites brands are extinct. If you’re in the FMCG business it may well be your brand that’s next to suffer the slow strangulation of reducing shelf space.
Of course, let’s not forget ALDI – where famous brands are verboten and replaced with replicants that look somehow familiar but slightly wrong except for the cheaper price. Across the board, it would appear the big supermarket brands are under threat. Some brands like milk may be close to extinction, while others may have decades to live. However, the threat is very real.
So, as marketers and business owners, shouldn’t we be the ones keeping brands alive? Shouldn’t we be choosing a big brand over home brand when we shop? Isn’t that fighting the good fight against homogeny? It may cost a bit more at the checkout but you’ll feel better supporting the industry that provides your livelihood.
If you’d like to discuss how to protect your brand from drowning in this sea of change, then let’s do it. Click here to organise a face to face chat and we’ll discuss your brand.