Friday, March 8

Special K Expands, Again

I love when a brand has such a perfectly defined equity that it is able to carefully and discretely yet aggressively expand beyond its original category.

Such is the case with Special K.  Full disclosure here ... I'm a big fan and actually worked on the brand years ago.  I've watched the brand go from being a simple brand to a brand that truly means something to a brand that means something beyond just cereal.  Not just different flavors of cereal but also cereal bars and water and shakes.  It's become a mega-brand.  A mega-brand that helps people manage their weight, which moves it beyond an ordinary cereal brand.  I love that.

I always talk about how great marketing is all about making great decisions, and Special K is a great example.  The brand hasn't done anything too risky, just carefully thought-out moves that have built the franchise and have built consumer preference.  All built around their very clear equity of weight management.

The latest introduction, to my eye anyway, are breakfast sandwiches.  There's nothing better than a breakfast sandwich to get you started in the morning.  If you choose wisely, it can be a hearty, healthy boost.  I even recently learned how to make them from scratch at home from a segment on The Today Show!  Just made a whole batch of them the other weekend when my son had a bunch of friends sleep over.  Delicious.

Well now they come frozen and ready to eat from my friends at Special K.  It's a brilliant brand move as an addition to the product portfolio, but it also fills a true need in the marketplace, again to my eye anyway, and is perfectly aligned to how they have defined their mega-brand.

One more reason to love the brand ... one more reason to love watching brands in the marketplace.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

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