Branding Report Case Study Marmite

Picture 1. Marmite art photography 10 December 2009 List of contents * Main report pages: * Abstract ……………………………….. p. 3 * Introduction …………………………… p.

3 * Brief history of Marmite ………………. p.

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3 * Marmite – a beautiful weed …………. p. 4 * Method ………………………………… p. 5 * Results ………………………………… p. 5 * Love and Hate ……………….

. p. 5 * The century old logo ………… p. 6 * Pitched by professionals ……. p. 6 * Conclusions …………………………… p.

7 * Visuals …………………………………. p. 7 * Figure 1. ………………………. p.

7 * Picture 1. ……………………… p. 1 * Picture 2. ……………………… p. 7 * Picture 3. ……………………… p.

8 * Picture 4. ……………………… p. 8 Picture 5. ……………………… p. 9 * Picture 6.

……………………… p. 9 * Supplementary pages: * Bibliography …………………………… p. 10 * References ……………………………. p. 10 Abstract This report is going to look in depth of the reasons why Marmite is a successful brand. The long tradition of the product, the pioneer status, the original design, the brand disruption strategy cleverly established by top-notch agencies, all add up to the value of the iconic British brand.

Introduction Marmite as a brand has a particularly interesting identity. Unlike the majority of modern brands, which have overgone an extensive research before itting the shelves, Marmite’s design has barely been changed throughout the whole existence of the brand. Furthermore, the century old logo proves to be efficient despite the fact that it contradicts with many of the contemporary design rules. Nowadays owned by the vast multi-brand concern Unilever, Marmite’s image is being further developed by top advertising and planning agencies, which skillfully modernize Marmite’s image without actually changing the main product. Brief history of Marmite * Marmite was first introduced into the UK in 1902.

Marmite is a nutritious, black, tasty, savoury spread enjoyable on toast or bread or even as a cooking ingredient. It is made from spent brewer’s yeast, that comes in a distinctive black jar with a yellow lid. * Before Louis Pasteur realised that cells contained within yeast were in fact living plants, people simply discarded this by-product of the brewing process. German scientist Liebig then went on to make yeast into a concentrated food product – one that resembled meat extract but was in fact vegetarian. * In 1902, the Marmite Food Company Limited was born and a small factory was opened in Burton-on-Trent.It took a couple of years to perfect the recipe and for the British public to warm to the spread’s distinctive taste.

* Following the discover of vitamins in 1912, yeast was found to be a great source of five important ‘B’ vitamins. As a result Marmite was included in soldiers’ ration packs during World War I. It became a dietary supplement in prisoner-of-war camps in World War II and was sent to British peacekeeping forces in Kosovo to boost morale in 1999. * Legend has it that the Marmite name may have derived from the famous French stew ‘petite marmite’.A ‘marmite’ – pronounced ‘mar-MEET’ – is a French stockpot or cooking pot like the one shown on the jar, and shaped a bit like the jar itself. Marmite – a beautiful weed There is no doubt that Marmite is one of the best known and most loved/hated brands in the UK.

‘ ‘Branding’ can be seen as the devolution of a set of core values to some or all of a person, company or thing’s products, assets and attributes, in the form of an identity. The identity can include the visual manifestation of these values, the embodiment of the desired personality, and can take many forms.Identity encompasses all the taxonomic aspects of a trademark – lettermark or logotype, picturemark, typefaces and colours. But it also involves the ethos, ambience and consumer perception surrounding the product. ‘ (Various authors, Branding From Brief to Finished Solution 2002 p.

8) From the things listed above, the consumer perception probably plays the biggest role for its success (See Visuals Picture 6. ), especially after the last and most successful strap line (You either love it, or hate it), established by the advertising agency DDB London. Before it, the brand existed pretty much as a ‘wilding’.There is little or no chance for such an old product’s brand identity to have been professionally developed upon its launch. This is evident if we take a look at Marmite’s logo and packaging, which have stayed nearly the same since their creation. However, they break most of the design rules nowadays and even the original designer is anonymous.

‘A logo design is composed of one or more elements of shape, type, and thematically chosen colors. In a glance, it conveys a substantial amount of information to the viewer, much in form of short gut feelings. ‘Remember, simplicity is the key. Most of the great logos are absolutely simple and it is always easier for us to remember and recognize a simple design than to identify a complicated artwork. ‘ (Various authors, Graphic Design Branding Identity 2009 p.

4 ; p. 6) The Marmite logo is extremely complex and consists of too many lines, a few different typefaces, colours randomly chosen from all over the colour wheel and even an awkward drawing of a pot inside the logo. Yet it is instantly recognizable and therefore is a good example of effective design. MethodBecause of the specific needs of the report (Brand shadowing), the sources used are mostly online ones. However, only reliable internet sites such as marketingmagazine. co.

uk have been used. The research on the history has been done in the official Marmite and Unilever internet sites. Books were used too, for a general understanding of the terms ‘brand identity’ and ‘branding design’. Ambrose and Harris’ Visual Dictionary of Graphic Design proved to be very helpful as well, by explaining design theory issues in depth. Statistics used are from FreshMinds, a leading company in media and consumer information.Results * A FreshMinds research shows that Marmite is loved by 45% and hated by 40% of the correspondents.

(See Visuals Figure 1. ) * Marmite is the first product of its type. (See Visuals Picture 2. ) * The Marmite logo has barely changed since the 1920’s. (See Visuals Picture 2. ) * When asked about the colours of Marmite, students in a self-conducted survey recalled black and yellow.

* Marmite main typeface is clean, legible and easily recognized. * Marmite’s jar shape is an important part of the brand identity. * Marmite’s strap line ‘You either love it, or you hate it’ supposes disruption. See Visuals Picture 3. ) * Marmite has a few agencies working on its advertising, the main one being DDB London.

Love and Hate Marmite is really unique with its consumer approach. Through their brand disruption strategy they have managed to reach a much higher amount of consumers, than they would have normally had. Whether you are a lover or a hater, it doesn’t matter, since you have been successfully engaged by marmite. For instance, Oscar Wilde once famously suggested: ‘There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. Marmite has become so iconic with its strap line, that ‘Marmite brand’ has become a synonym of polarizing brands in the marketing slang. This is by far not the only reason for the success of the Marmite brand.

Marmite is simply pioneer in the yeast extracts market. None of the competitors nowadays are quite as Marmite and furthermore one of the main rivals Bovril is owned by the same company, which owns the rights for Marmite at the moment – Unilever. To avoid brand cannibalism, Unilever has positioned Bovril as a drink, rather as a spread. The century old logoMoreover, Marmite’s appeal is backed up by its logo, which hasn’t been changed since its launch. ‘Your logo is a symbol that will stand on every piece of printed or electronic collateral for at least the next 10 years.

Changing your logo in a year because you don’t like it breeds confusion and mistrust that spreads like weeds within your audience. ‘ (Various authors, Graphic Design Branding Identity 2009 p. 4) Besides, the colours used in the marmite logo proves to be a really effective combination. ‘Yellow is the most visible color of all the colors, it is the first color that the human eye notices.Use it to get attention, such as a yellow sign with black text, or as an accent.

‘ (www. colormatters. com/optics. html. 1 December 2009) The reason yellow is the most visible colour has to do with wavelengths. Yellow and green are just in the middle of the spectrum visible by the human eye (See Visuals Picture 5.

). The main typeface used in the logo, designed over a century ago is hand drawn, as many from the era were. However, it resembles a font called ‘Grotesque No. 9′ (See Visuals Picture 4. ), which is a gothic type. ‘Gothic, sans serif, or lineale typeface do not have the decorative serifs that typify Roman typefaces.

Their clean and simple design makes them ideal for display text’ (Ambrose G. and Harris P. 2006, p. 260). Even the shape of the jar is a part of the brand identity.

It is instantly recognizable, and that is a serious advantage in the retail sales. Pitched by professionals Marmite’s brand image is currently in the hands of a few different agencies, which are amongst the best in the industry. The primary creative agency is DDB London, which recently won the ‘The Gunn Report’ ‘Most Awarded Advertising Agency in the World’ for the third time.DDB is actually the only advertising agency, which has won the prestige awards three times (http://www. prnewswire. com.

3 December 2009). In addition, Marmite’s primary marketing and media planning agency Mindshare has been awarded ‘Global Media Agency of the Year’ by renowned industry magazine Advertising Age (http://www. mindshareworld. com. 3 December 2009).

Conclusions Even though Marmite’s brand identity hasn’t been professionally developed upon the launch of the product, through consistency and tradition Marmite has managed to become a powerful brand.The success is now reinforced by proven effective design and experienced professionals in the marketing and advertising business. Visuals Figure 1. FreshMinds Top 10 ‘Marmite’ brands | Brand| Love| Don’t care| Hate| 1| Marmite| 45%| 14%| 40%| 2| KFC| 43%| 19%| 38%| 3| BurgerKing| 37%| 24%| 39%| 4| McDonald’s| 36%| 18%| 46%| 5| Pepsi| 42%| 28%| 30%| 6| Sky| 47%| 23%| 30%| 7| BBC| 35%| 36%| 30%| 8| Domino’s| 29%| 40%| 31%| 9| Coca-Cola| 51%| 22%| 27%| 10| Primark| 46%| 27%| 27%| Picture 2.

Old jar design with a metal lid Picture 3. ‘You’ll either love it, or you’ll hate it’ print ad by DDB London Picture 4.Grotesque No. 9 font size 16pt Picture 5. Spectral sensitivities of human cones Picture 6.

A real Marmite lover. Bibliography Ambrose G. and Harris P. (2006), The Visual Dictionary of Graphic Design, AVA Publishing SA http://www. colormatters.

com/optics. html, visited 1 December 2009 http://www. marketingmagazine. co. uk/news/938559/Marmite-effect-its-better-polarising-brand-people-love-hate-ignored, visited 3 December 2009 http://www. marmite.

com/love/history/, visited 29 November 2009 http://www. mindshareworld. com, visited 3 December 2009 http://www. prnewswire. om/news-releases/ddb-worldwides-london-agency-named-top-agency-by-the-gunn-report-2009-70414012. html, visited 3 December 2009 Various authors (2002), Branding From Brief to Finished Solution, RotoVision SA Various authors (2009), Graphic Design Branding Identity, Barcelona: Index Book References Picture 1, http://jazamatazz.

files. wordpress. com/2008/10/marmite-2005. jpg, visited 7 December 2009 Picture 2, http://www. marmite.

com/love/history/origins-of-the-design. html, visited 7 December 2009 Picture 3, http://www. sostav. ru/articles/rus/2008/columns/epica2008/images/print/pr06. jpg, visited 7 December 2009 Picture 4,