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

Latest News

Study: TV Ads Outperform Facebook & YouTube For Sales Impact, Regardless Of Screen Type
  • Advertising
  • Media

Study: TV Ads Outperform Facebook & YouTube For Sales Impact, Regardless Of Screen Type

New research from respected marketing science academic professor Karen Nelson-Field has uncovered new insights into how and why video advertising works for brands when viewed on mobile devices. The mobile edition of Nelson-Field’s ongoing Benchmark Series, commissioned by ThinkTV, makes a number of significant findings that are designed to help advertisers and their agencies get […]

Now Screen Repositions Organic Care Brand With New Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Now Screen Repositions Organic Care Brand With New Campaign

Aussie agency Now Screen has teamed up with Organic Care to reposition the brand in what has become one of the most competitive FMCG spaces. The new campaign, ‘Caring Comes Naturally’, celebrates what Organic Care has created since its inception: products that are as good for your body as they are for the environment. In […]

Can You Speak Data?
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Can You Speak Data?

We're certainly fluent in gibberish, balderdash and claptrap here at B&T, but sadly data isn't part of the lexicon.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Social Change Maker Profile: Emma Heath
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Social Change Maker Profile: Emma Heath

B&T has partnered with UnLtd to showcase industry heroes! Well, it's arguably more heroine in the case of Emma Heath.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve
  • Advertising
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve

Unlike B&T's mystery office farter, this columnist argues ad fraud is a problem that can possibly be solved.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years

In this opinion piece, Gavin McDonough (pictured above, co-founder and managing partner of Urban, shares through his own experience some valuable advice for independent specialist agencies. In November 2017, my brother Ryan and I celebrated 15 years in business. We started business out of my front room in Melbourne in 2002 – not with any grand […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges
  • Advertising

W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges

Susan Hoffman, co-chief creative officer at Wieden+Kennedy (W+K), has been appointed chair of judges for the 39th AWARD Awards. Known to challenge the status quo, Hoffman is behind some of W+K’s most memorable and game-changing ads, including Nike’s ‘Revolution’, Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ and Chrysler’s Super Bowl spots starring Eminem and Clint […]

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers
  • Marketing

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers

Leading experiential marketing agency, Kreate Australia is embarking on an exciting growth strategy following its purchase by three of the agency’s existing management team from its UK founder, Steve Evans.

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!

This is a clarion call for B&T 30 Under 30 entries, although it's probably more mariachi band than angelic harbinger.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast
  • Media

The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast

Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit Network has announced that rising radio star and comedian Tanya Hennessy will take over hosting duties for its weekend breakfast slot in 2018. Hennessy will bring content to the airwaves each Saturday and Sunday morning from 7am to 9am with a regular rotation of guest co-hosts. The self-described talker, not walker […]

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients
  • Marketing

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients

Health, wellbeing and lifestyle PR agency Straight Up PR has welcomed Changing Habits, Unichi Wellness, enerGi, SleepX, and Healthie Hampers to its client portfolio. Straight Up PR’s projects will include bespoke PR services and influencer marketing packages specifically focusing on communications strategy and execution, media and influencer relations, PR launch events, product seeding and gifting, […]

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia

Independent creative agency March One has developed a new fundraising event for White Ribbon Australia that turns a social moment into a social movement. Starting on Thursday 22 March and going until Sunday 25 March, Cheese for Change will ask Aussies to create a cheese platter that matters by gathering friends, family or co-workers together […]

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced
  • Marketing

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced

The winners of IGN Australia’s sixth annual Select Awards were revealed during a huge special event at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney on Friday, February 16. Some 225 Media & Game Publishers alongside 320 IGN Community Gamers attended the annual event. 2017 was absolutely crammed with terrific games and several categories were extremely tightly-contested. The top […]

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!

When it comes to an industry "who's who", you'll find there won't be too much who-ing with this impressionable lot.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs
  • Marketing

ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs

Mardi Gras is only weeks away and B&T has already hoisted the mirror ball and donned the hotpants to bring you this.

International Creative Services Redesigns Business Model To Broaden Talent Offering
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

International Creative Services Redesigns Business Model To Broaden Talent Offering

Marketing consultancy International Creative Services has announced a new roster of diverse creative and production talent to provide a fully integrated solution for advertising and branded content. The roster includes a broad range of global and local directors, animators, illustrators, motion designers, visual artists, light projectionists, photographers and cinematographers – many of whom Australia will […]