Marketing Failures: What’s in a Name?

Marketing Failures: What’s in a Name?
SHARE
THIS



Tam Nguyen asks, can the success of a great product be jeopardised purely by the product name? In the case of Kraft’s iSnack2.0, yes, it certainly can.

Product naming is considered a critical component in the branding process and it requires a mixture of creative and linguistic strategy. The product name needs to resonate and connect with audiences, as well as align with the company’s brand. It can take months of market research and evaluation to select the ‘right’ name. More complexity is added when the product is launched in overseas markets, when other languages need to be examined by marketers to ensure the words or sounds don’t carry any negative connotations in the target countries. As you can see, naming a product isn’t as simple or straightforward as it may sound; finding a name that ‘sells’ takes a lot of work and investment.

isnack

In 2009 Kraft announced that they were launching a new product, a re-invention of Australia’s most beloved spread, Vegemite. This derivative product was a combination of Vegemite and cream cheese, a rather brilliant idea. A large scale campaign was launched to invite the Australian public to name this new product. While Aussies put on their thinking caps, the nameless product was made available on supermarket shelves with a cleverly designed product label that read ‘Name Me’.

This large scale crowdsourcing campaign proved to be a huge success, Kraft received more than 48,000 name suggestions. And much to Kraft’s delight, Australians had taken a liking to this new concoction with more than 3 million jars sold. There was a lot of public interest in this campaign and Kraft boldly and confidently decided to announce the winning product name at one of Australia’s most publicised events – the AFL Grand Final. You couldn’t pick a more high profile outlet to launch the new product, unless it was in America then it would be the Super Bowl. When the winning product name was revealed to be iSnack2.0, things quickly turned sour for this effective product launch campaign.

Vegemite is a true Aussie success story – it was created by Australian Chemist Cyril Callister in the early 1920s. It went on to become an Australian icon and it is very much ingrained in Australia’s identity like koalas, the Sydney Opera House and the AFL. Australians have a personal attachment to the salty condiment, and Kraft allowing Aussies to name the spin-off product makes it even more personal. When they found out iSnack2.0 was the selected name, they were not shy in voicing their dislike and anger on social media which caused iSnack2.0 to go viral.

Why did the public react so strongly against this creative and original product name? The name didn’t reflect the product’s Australian roots, but instead it Americanised it. That hit a nerve with the Australian public as it reminded them that this product was no longer Australian owned, but American owned. Kraft faced a huge backlash for tampering with this Australian product. After just four days, Kraft announced that they would dump iSnack2.0 and let the public decide on the new name through a poll, which resulted in the new name ‘Cheesybite’. Kraft had to go through the trouble of rebranding this product so soon after launch to appease the Australian public.

There was debate that Kraft chose iSnack2.0 as part of an elaborate publicity stunt, although Kraft has denied this claim:

At no point in time has the new Vegemite name been about initiating a media publicity stunt. We are proud custodians of Vegemite, and have always been aware that it is the people’s brand and a national icon.

However, in the age of any publicity is good publicity, people still question Kraft’s objectives.

The name iSnack2.0 itself isn’t a horrendous name. At the time the success of the Apple ‘I’ products was phenomenal, so the ‘I’ was associated with being cool and youth orientated. The ‘2.0’ is technology jargon that represents the second generation of a product, and 2.0 products are always better than its predecessor. Kraft was trying to position this product as cool and wanted to appeal to the youth consumer. The new name ‘Cheesybite’ doesn’t really showcase its Australian roots, but it also doesn’t have any associations with America either. So it is more neutral and conventional for a condiment product.

If Kraft could travel back in time and revealed the new product name as ‘Cheesybite’ at the AFL grand final, do you think it would go viral?

In the end, you can never underestimate the importance of the product name and must take in to account cultural factors of the target audience, as this will directly determine the success or failure of a product on the market. With the wide use of social media, the company as well as the whole wide world will know immediately whether the public likes and approves of the product name.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Lucky Nuts Tim Martin

Latest News

Adhesive On-Trend As The Iconic’s New Agency In ANZ
  • Media

Adhesive On-Trend As The Iconic’s New Agency In ANZ

Adhesive has won the retained integrated Australia and New Zealand communications work for THE ICONIC, Australia’s leading online fashion and sports retailer, following a competitive pitch process. Adhesive will work with THE ICONIC building its communications strategy across corporate and consumer media relations, events and influencer engagement, while integrating closely with THE ICONIC’s creative, content […]

Indie Agency The Hallway Unveils Latest Work For Google.Org Impact Challenge
  • Campaigns

Indie Agency The Hallway Unveils Latest Work For Google.Org Impact Challenge

This year’s Google.org Impact Challenge Australia has launched with a new advertising campaign from independent agency, The Hallway. The Google.org Impact Challenge Australia, now in its third year, discovers and supports the next generation of Australian innovators making an impact locally and globally. This year, the Challenge will award $5.5 million – including a $1 […]

Meltwater Promotes Senior Leaders To Support Growth In Australia & NZ
  • Media

Meltwater Promotes Senior Leaders To Support Growth In Australia & NZ

Cimon Constantine has taken the reigns of Meltwater ANZ as the media intelligence business continues to grow its headcount to support new business and upcoming opportunities. Constantine (pictured above) will be taking over the ANZ area director role to continue to support Meltwater’s growth in the region and new client wins including American Express, Greenpeace, […]

MediaMath Named A Leader In Gartner’s Magic Quadrant For Ad Tech
  • Technology

MediaMath Named A Leader In Gartner’s Magic Quadrant For Ad Tech

MediaMath, the independent technology company for marketers, announced today that it has been recognised by Gartner, Inc. as a Leader in the latest “Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech”. The company has been recognised for its completeness of vision and ability to execute. “We believe MediaMath’s leadership position in the Gartner MQ for Ad Tech further […]

Flourish Launches Full-Service Studio, Appoints Pauline Dellit As Head Of Creative
  • Marketing

Flourish Launches Full-Service Studio, Appoints Pauline Dellit As Head Of Creative

PR, social and content creation agency Flourish has announced the appointment of Pauline Dellit as its new head of creative. The appointment also marks the official launch of a new full-service design, branding and marketing studio under the Flourish agency family of brands, first started by Angela Ceberano in 2010. Dellit joins Flourish from Yoke, […]

Tuesday TV Wrap: ‘Take Me Out’ Tumbles, ‘Ambulance Australia’ Has Promising Debut
  • Media

Tuesday TV Wrap: ‘Take Me Out’ Tumbles, ‘Ambulance Australia’ Has Promising Debut

Seven’s troubled dating show Take Me Out continues to struggle to find much viewer love, posting a worrying 407,000 last night and now down 33 per cent since launch. It was better news for Ten’s Ambulance Australia that debuted to a promising 582,000 and was the network’s best performer. Nine won the battle for Tuesday night […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sunnylife Taps Actress Kassandra Clementi For North Queensland Campaign
  • Campaigns

Sunnylife Taps Actress Kassandra Clementi For North Queensland Campaign

Lifestyle brand Sunnylife has launched a new summer 2018/19 campaign – Paradise Found – and has named Aussie actress, singer and international star on the rise Kassandra Clementi as their first-ever ambassador. Kassandra appears in the Paradise Found campaign which was shot in a bucket list destination of Australia, Tropical North Queensland. Kassandra is one of […]

Australia Post Stamps Karl Winther As New CMO
  • Marketing

Australia Post Stamps Karl Winther As New CMO

Australia Post has announced the appointment of Karl Winther as its new chief marketing officer. Winther was Officeworks’ national marketing manager for the past six years and was with Myer for more than a decade in roles across marketing strategy, advertising, loyalty and merchandise buying. In this role at Officeworks, Winther was accountable for all facets of […]

The Five Annoying Habits You Need To Break
  • Opinion

The Five Annoying Habits You Need To Break

Scott Stein (pictured below) is a leadership and productivity specialist and author of Leadership Hacks: Clever shortcuts to boost your impact and results. In this guest post, Stein looks at the bad habits we all need to ditch to get our lives motoring once again… Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the […]

Motivation & Commitment: Why The Two Are Not The Same
  • Opinion

Motivation & Commitment: Why The Two Are Not The Same

Lisa Stephenson (pictured below) is a global speaker, leadership consultant success coach and author of life strategy book Read Me First. In this guest post for B&T, Stephenson says understanding how motivation and commitment differ could be a good way to achieving your goals… Working as a success coach has shown me that motivation happens on the inside and for […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Thinkerbell Combine Cooking And Cabs In New Work For 13Cabs
  • Advertising

Thinkerbell Combine Cooking And Cabs In New Work For 13Cabs

A new TV series featuring celebrity cook, Anna Gare, and a team of real-life cabbies, hits the screens this week. The show, Anna Gare’s Cab Fare, follows the TV cook as she gathers stories and recipes from 13cabs’ diverse network of cab drivers – culminating in the creation of delicious dishes inspired by Australian drivers […]