Wheat’s iconic orange box featuring athletes, many of them legends in their sports and the timeless slogan ” Breakfast of Champions ” pioneered and ruled ready to eat cereal market, the 91 year old brand now ranks 17th among the US cereal brands. Over the preceding few years, the brand has experienced a steady decline In Its market share from high single digits to barely 1% market share. Wattles needs to come up with a comprehensive marketing strategy to revive Its existence and demand.
Wattles pioneered ready to eat cereal Isle followed by the other companies In the US cereal market. However, the challenge for cereal marketers Is not only to leverage the traditional bond with breakfast cereal but also to offer Innovative products that cult the diverse tastes and eating habits of today’s cereal consumers, if they want to consistently attract consumers and survive competition.
The company has a clear brand identity were Breakfast Bowl” but it failed to retain the interest of its customers by concentrating less on product innovation and its taste and paying more attention to their laurels.
Wheat’s needs to come up with product extensions and line extensions else the brand would be unsustainable. Product Extensions: Wheat’s Hot Cereal: Survey research show more than 60% of American consumer eats hot cereal. General Millers Inc. Owns the Wheat’s as well as many other brands has not tapped the hot cereal market yet and hence it’s a good opportunity for the company as well as Wheat’s. Wheat’s Cereal/Protein Bars: Time is valuable and customers appreciate the products that provide value and save time.
Sit down breakfast culture is now replaced by on the go cereal bars an increasing number of consumers treat breakfast as an on the run or to go. Protein Bars definitely would draw attention of the health conscious target market. Wheat’s Snack Mix: All-day snacking replaces sit-down meals for on-the-go American. Research says Americans eat still breakfast cereal morning noon, and night. More than 40% of cereal consumers eat it as an evening or late-night meal or snack.
Hence coming out with a Wheat’s snack mix variant would provide the consumers with healthy snacking options during the day as well as for late night snacking and boost sales and profitability.
Line Extensions: There Is a growing trend toward health-conscious eating habits. Of course, Wattles Is a healthier option than sugar-rich cereals Like Kellogg better-selling Fruit Loops. But within the healthy category, Wattles has been out marketed by newcomers Like Khakis as well as by reinvigorated old brands Like Kellogg Special K.
Wattles Is having Identity crises I. E.
Wattles Is too healthy for Junk food lovers yet not healthy enough for the health food crowd. Since the brand associates Itself with champions, hence It has a promise to meet the expectations of the consumers In terms of perceived nutritional value. Presently, Wheat’s cereal provides health benefits 3,6 and 9 and B vitamins which have an important role to play in improving performance, muscle recovery and strength which leads to customer disappointment against perceived value of product.
Wheat’s can add flavors and ingredients to its products and have line extensions to its hot and cold cereals and protein bars and snack mix with different health benefits. Wheat’s with Greek yogurt chunks and rowanberries (high protein & antioxidant) Wheat’s with peanut butter chunks and honey roasted peanuts (high protein & energy) Wheat’s with flax seeds and raisins (omega 3 & energy benefits) BRAND REPOSITIONING: Wheat’s cereal has positioned itself as a brand affiliated with athletic performance and its slogan, ” The Breakfast of Champions”, has remained since the brand’s introduction in 1924.
In the early asses,Wheat’s took a new marketing approach.
The company moved away from sports and into the children’s market, associating Wheat’s with the Lone Ranger and the Mackey Mouse Club. More youngsters began eating Wheat’s, but not enough to offset the decline in adult consumption, as adults didn’t wanted to be associated with sugary colorful cereals with cartoon characters on the boxes. Wheat’s positioning strategy has always talked about champions in the field of sports and athletics mostly targeting men.
Wheat’s packaging and promotion strategy appeal to men however research says only 25% of men buy groceries. The marketing, packaging and promotions ignores the other half of the adult population who actually make the purchasing decision and would end up buying the box of cereal. Hence, Wheat’s need to reinvigorate its positioning strategy and target all of the adult population I.
E. Men and women. Over the years Wheat’s has remained a Breakfast of Champions and its USPS had been when you pour a bowl of Wheat’s, you are not merely eating a breakfast cereal.
At that moment, you are sharing in the ” Breakfast of Champions ” with many of the most legendary athletes in sports history. However, now the celebrities are loosing credibility.
Earlier appearing on the Wheat’s box was considered an honor and excellence whereas now it’s rely about how much money you are ready to pay them. Also with the digitization, there are so many ways for athletes to receive attention and publicity these days that appearance on the Wheat’s box has lost its iconic value.
The promotion campaign they run misses the link between eating Wheat’s and becoming champions. Wheat’s needs to change its USPS from the champions and legends from the field of sports to Champions like you and I in daily walks of life. Champions do so much more than win. Part attitude, part natural ability, and part hard work, living your life like a Hampton is possible in all walks of life, whether you’re an athlete, academic, businessmen, Mother or a Housewife.
Wheat’s need to build a connection with its target audience and help bring out a champion in them and define their own success.Change packaging to reflect change in target market. Endorse successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, top chefs, musicians, artists both men and women who are unknown to the world and share their story of challenges and success. Run a campaign on regular, digital and social media challenging the target audience like, Find a Champion in you” or “Champion your fears” wherein encourage them to pick up any challenge they like and complete it.
It could be music, cooking, loosing weight, Improvisation is an ongoing process and engaging your target market in this game will basically have no end and hence provide longevity and win loyalty. Engage customers on social media platforms.
Use Twitter, Backbone as space where people can interact and write about challenge they have taken up and their progress. Make it interactive and personal for your customers to get more and more people talking ND gain popularity and insights on the campaign.
Devise ad campaigns that communicate the health and fitness benefits of Have series of short 30 seconds campaign for each of product like hungry at night-Grab a healthy snack-Wheat’s snack. In a Hurry? Grab a healthy breakfast to go- Wheat’s go bars. Did you Fuel before workout? Grab Wheat’s fuel bar.
Got your protein in for the day? Grab Wheat’s protein bar. Run this campaign on television, radio, and billboards. Tie up with map my fitness app or other fitness app on mobile, which people use to track their daily activity and workouts. Add an option did you have Wheat’s today in the app.
This would be able to track their performance on days they had Wheat’s as against the days they didn’t and keep them motivated as they start seeing results. Tie up with companies who provide music lessons, cooking, gyms, dance classes, swimming, sports, sailing etc.
And provide the customers a chance to sign up for any of these at discounted prices as a part of take up a new challenge. Use sponsorship to build visibility, gain promotional platforms, featuring health-and-wellness positioning. Coupons can encourage consumers to purchase items they would not even their budget and preferences.
Now they are offered via multiple sources including daily papers, direct mail, mobile applications, and online websites and directly at retail locations. The strategy stated above will not abandon the core value of the brand and Wheat’s will still remain the ” Breakfast of Champions “.
The company will still be able to leverage the traditional bond from its loyal customers and at the same time will also be able to tap into new opportunities, by offering innovative products to suit the diverse tastes and needs of today’s cereal eating consumers in the US.