Monday, May 19

A1 Takes Out the Steak

Just like Starbucks took out the "coffee" a little while back, A.1. Steak Sauce is taking out the "steak."

Evidently with red meat consumption on the decline, the brand doesn't want to narrow its usage occasions anymore, so it's dropping "Steak" and replacing it with "Original."  A.1. Original Sauce.

A few questions pop in mind:  Will anyone notice?  Will anyone care?  Are people already using it on other things besides steak?

Not sure, but it's yet again another interesting study in how a brand defines itself, and if it can grow beyond its traditional boundaries, especially when those boundaries where self-inflicted.  We talk a lot about how a brand defines itself in my class at NYU, and here's an example of a brand that perhaps defined itself too narrowly and is trying to do something about it.

My bet is that many people are already using it on other things beside steak, especially those who really love the flavor.  But by opening up the possibilities, I do believe the brand will give people permission to explore even further ... and hopefully a multi-media campaign will put the options directly in front of consumers.  It's going to take a lot more than a packaging change to motivate that kind of behavior.

Here's a new piece of advertising that is just starting to run:

But advertising isn't enough either, so here's a social campaign the brand launched as well ... quite clever, actually.

Certainly making a great attempt to contemporize the brand and make it more (socially) relevant.

Time will tell if consumers can drop the "steak" as easily as the brand has.

What's your experience?  JIM.

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