When Kraft announced the name of their new vegemite recipe it was widely met with derision. At first I joined in the jeering - the lowercase apple-esque i, the buzzword 2.0 – it’s brand name smacking of bandwagon jumping, of me-too, of being down with the kids. Big mistake Kraft, big mistake.
Or was it?
The more I think about it, the more I realise we are actually looking at a very clever (if somewhat cynical) marketing ploy. Would Kraft really choose such a ridiculous name from nearly 50,000 entries? Was there really nothing better? Or did Kraft know exactly what they were doing, choosing a name they knew would polarise (much like their love it or hate it spread)?
Why wouldn’t they have a public vote in the first instance? Because to maximise response, you have to get everyone interested & invested first. And now that there is a vote, you know that in order to vote there will be a data capture element, creating an instant eCRM database for Kraft. “We have been overwhelmed by the passion for Vegemite.” said Simon Talbot Kraft’s corporate affairs head for Australia and New Zealand as explanation for the change. Do you really believe Kraft were unaware of the passion for their iconic spread? Or were they using that passion to generate interest in their new spread? Thousands of the iSnack branded jar have already been delivered to supermarkets -after the announcement that they were back-tracking on the name change & opening it to a public vote- these will quickly become collectors’ items. Would there be such public interest in ‘Cream Cheese Vegemite’?
Kraft have taken what is essentially a small recipe change and used it to generate international PR, thousands of blog posts & even several You Tube videos (remember the old adage, all publicity is good publicity). The result is they have managed to launch a whole new brand, with almost no marketing support.
iSnack 2.0? Genius.