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This is a report on the investigation and evaluation of the marketing strategies adopted by Kellogg Company for the marketing of Kellogg Cornflakes a popular household name among branded breakfast foodstuff. Kellogg cornflake is a cereal product which is highly consumed by children and adults as breakfast foods. Cereals are major popular items at the grocery store. Kellogg Company is a leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavoured snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods. The report explores the marketing strategies for Kellogg Cornflakes on the basis of the promotional methods and target consumer. It also makes some recommendation for the improvement of these marketing strategies.
Marketing is a fundamental aspect of any organisation sustainable competiveness. It is at the heart of the organisation and a key driver of its financial and economy performances. As a result of its importance, organisation defines the best appropriate ways to market the company and its product. Kotler et al (1999, p. 7) notes that today’s successful organisation is one that is dedicated to sensing, serving, and the satisfying of the needs of the customers in well-defined markets. Marketing is at the core of this. Marketing is simply “the delivery of customer satisfaction at a profit” (ibid, p. 7). Therefore, marketing involves the process to identify and satisfy the need of the consumers. These processes are made in several parts, and the main purpose of this short report is to identify, investigate and evaluate this process in regards to Kellogg Cornflakes.
In this light, this report will investigate and evaluate the design of Kellogg Cornflakes to satisfy and attend to the needs of the consumer. The consumers as identified are parents and older adults; they represent the main buyer of this product. The transmission of the company’s offers to the specific target is therefore very important in the process to meets consumers satisfaction. Specifically, it relates to the identification of target consumer, identification of objectives of the goods (Kellogg Cornflakes), evaluation of media options and identification of best possible media vehicle and the content of the message both in terms of the verbal and visual contents of the message. Therefore, the investigation and evaluation of the marketing strategies for Kellogg Cornflakes would be done on the basis of target consumer and the promotional methods. However, these are simultaneously examined in the context of traditional marketing mix within the customer perspectives of four Cs  of marketing. This section followed by recommendations on the best ways Kellogg Company needs to go about marketing Kellogg Cornflakes. It also serves as the conclusion.
3.0 Promotional methods/marketing tools
The most noticeable contemporary marketing tool for Kellogg Cornflakes are the company newsletter which incorporates all its product and latest news on each, mass advertising i.e., TV and print media, and direct promotion i.e., coupons. The company is using the right marketing tools through such avenues as newsletter that kept updating the consumer on latest improvement and available offers by Kellogg Company; its television advert in United Kingdom which is based on the sunshine street breakfast and “putting the good in good morning” and its direct promotion by using coupons which enable consumers to redeem prices. The coupons allow customer to claim box of cereal. This is even made much easier by allowing the customers to claim the free box of cereal coupons on the Kellogg’s promotional website (www.freecereal.co.uk).
Kellogg’s Company promotional methods show that it focus more on its target consumers so as to get in their minds. The company recognises the needs to get in the minds of its customers which are also important towards getting information from the customers. Kellogg Cornflakes is not only appealing in outlook and contents, its promotional offer of free cereal box are also appealing to customers. Therefore, through its coupons Kellogg management is aware of price sensitivity of consumers and gives out coupons that will enable the consumer redeem a free cereal box which is an indirect way of price reduction. The company has also been using the packaging of Kellogg Cornflakes to influence consumer beliefs about the product. Kellogg Cornflakes has colours green, purple and yellow which depict perceptions of green as wellness, natural and organic, purple as creativity and sensitivity and yellow as brightness, happy and uplifting. Colour plays an essential part of business and marketing at both strategic and tactical level since it affects consumer emotion and behaviours towards a particular product (Wright 2006, p. 115-116).
Kellogg cereal promotional offers such as news and offers from Kellogg i.e., coupons, special offers and promotions, great tasting recipes, nutrition tips, product sneak peeks and getting great saving on their products ensure the company maintain its competitiveness. With its innovative promotional adverts, it is able to strengthening the company market shares and develops more focus organisation. Doyle (2000, p. 1) affirms that in today’s rapidly changing environment, a company cannot long maintain market share of profits unless it is innovative. While, keeping abreast of competition in the food industry, it has not in any way compromise it product’s value. It consistently provides its teeming customers healthy food and as specified on the product packs. However, it is notable that Kellogg Cornflakes promotions are made according to the specification of targeted consumers, in this case mainly children. Therefore it has fancy phrases; fancy labels and pictures specifically to attract children who as earlier stated are the highest consumer of cereals.
3.1 Target Consumer
The target consumers for Kellogg Cornflakes are children. Therefore, this group of consumers should be able to identify Kellogg Cornflakes among the tens of cereal boxes in the grocery stores. Kellogg Company designs Kellogg’s Cornflakes is such a way that is very attractive to children. The picture on the park is cork hen head, which is bold enough to attract children attention. Children are assumed to like chickens, it fascinates them. So the pack design with cork head will fascinates children to draw the attention of their parent to buy Kellogg’s Cornflakes. It is a visual message that children understand easily. Therefore, for children as the consumer, it is convenience and an easy way to find a product they want as well as ensure their parents purchase it. The ability of a company to identify customers need and wants and design products that meet this need and wants is what Fifield describes as real marketing (2004, p.112). The graphics on the Kellogg Cornflakes box captures the customer convenience and communication as it relates to children. The visual communication content explains how this product is advertised to children.
On the part of the parents and older people who eat cornflakes, they are hardly concern about the visual contents of the adverts but rather the real contents in the cereal box. This has to do with the amount of cornflakes inside the box and the nutritional contents. In this regard, they will want to search for cereals that are healthy by looking at their nutrition fact labels. With the nutrition labels boldly inscribed on the side of the box of Kellogg’s Cornflakes, the parents/ adults are able to check through the nutrition label, which is certainly to meet the nutrition standard for a healthy living. In essence, the product description as low in saturated fat and cholesterol and contains several vitamins will catch the attraction of this group of consumers. This shapes their perceived value of the product. Kotler and Keller (2006, p. 141) argues that customers estimate which offer will deliver the most perceived value and act on it. Consumers are more educated and informed than ever, and they have the tools to verify companies’ claims and seek out superior alternatives (Ibid, p.141).
Certainly, a parent would not want to buy unhealthy product for the child likewise, an adult would not buy unhealthy foodstuff. By regularly updating the vitamin contents of this product therefore, Kellogg Company ensures that the product meets the changing consumer needs. It also has varieties of this product to satisfy different needs of consumer. This explains the promotional aspect of the marketing mix and where communication really matters. The product dimension shown in nutrition fact label explains what is good about Kellogg Cornflakes that is by providing healthy food with its fat specification near 0 and letting the target consumer aware of it easily. However, the possibility that an adult will not concern itself with the graphics on the Kellogg Cornflakes does not remove the fact that package graphic is very important in strengthening or weakening marketer’s explicit verbal claims (Bone and France, 2001). For instance, green is often used on a product package, particularly foodstuffs to denote wellness because consumers associate the colour with “fresh, natural and organic” (Ibid, p. 468).
Kellogg Company has more or less concentrate on marketing approaches that are meant to influence sale and turnover of the company. It has relegated to the background the need to make consumer happy, not just from the satisfaction derives from the product but also by developing a healthy customer relationships that seeks to secure customer loyalty. As a result of the lack of customer relationship aims at guaranteeing customer loyalty rather that directed mainly at product performance, this study recommends that the company upgrades its Kellogg Kid’s Club. The Kellogg Kid’s Club should be sponsor in all major primary school in the country. This club that will be taking place once a month will incorporates beautiful story telling about nutrition and wellness. This will ensure that Kellogg’s Cereals are established in the minds of the kids and even if their parents have not been buying the product, the children will persuade them to doing so on the long run.
Another important area that needs consideration is in the aspect of newsletter. Certainly, the purpose of a newsletter is to provide the necessary information that consumers need in regard to a product. However, considering that children are the major consumer of Kellogg Cornflakes, there should be a newsletter or children magazine that will covers such aspect on cartoons that children are most interested in. Corey, 1991 and; Kotler 1994 agree that “market targeting implies major commitment to satisfying the needs of particular customer groups through the development of specific capability and investment in dedicated resources” (Slater and Olson 2001, p. 1056). It should use striking and dramatic graphics that will draw the attention of children to want to read the magazine. Although they are children, the graphic pictures in the magazine should be to convey most of the advertorial messages. Hamilton states that we should never underestimate the reader’s intelligence but never overestimate their interests (1996, p. 11).
By regularly sending cartoon magazines to children, it will ensure their loyalty to Kellogg through to adulthood. In actual fact, creativity is the heart of new paradigm on customer relationship management, and it those organisations that adopt an effective, well-conceive customer relationship that will succeed in the 21st century (2003, p.3). The Kellogg Kid’s Club will be an avenue to let children sign up for the magazine and will be dispatch to them via regular mail. Apart from ensuring the loyalty of the children, it will ensure that the company have an encompassing database of its consumer, which is essential for the company to tapped into the value that is locked in that customer base outside of what it currently delivers. Therefore, by focusing on targets and keeping track of children and parents that are committed to Kellogg’s line of products, it will be able use the database for future market forecast. This is important for the organisation performance.
The fact that kids are central influencing factor on their parent necessitates that Kellogg should consider the location of its print media advert bill boards. Understanding and identifying who has influence on Kellogg Cereal products will enable the company to understand how such group apply their influence and how to turn that into the company’s advantage. Therefore, given the impact the children can have on their parents buying decisions, it is essential that Kellogg Cornflakes advertorial be placed around children schools. Outdoor advertising is one of the main marketing tools that Kellogg Company should employ to win the attention of its target consumers. Advertising space is as important as the advert itself as such the adverts must reflect creativity that focuses on children sentiments. Hence, to focus on this sentiments and captures the attention of children, the billboards should be placed close and around children schools. At the same time, such outdoor adverts must reflect the product as affordable, best value for money and meets the standard requires in the industry.
There are lots of cereal manufacturing companies and some other major brands that posed threats to Kellogg’s share of the market using price competition and product proliferations. As a matter of facts, market competition is heated up in the breakfast cereal market as flat sales and low price are predominant. Simply, there are a lot of cereal boxes out at the grocery store and therefore Kellogg advertisement should focus on what differentiate and makes it product better than others. At the same time, the marketing of Kellogg’s cereal product should also reflect optimum customer value through pricing and the contents in the boxes. This should be made clear to the consumer. It is also adviceable to get product catalogues to the customers. A regularly mailed catalogue is a direct way of marketing that can improve the sales volume and assist in customer loyalty base. The customer relationship marketing (CRM) involves a mix of marketing intervention such a direct mail, internet contacts, personal selling contacts, telephone contacts etc (Rust and Verhoef, 2005). In this way, the children would be able to compel their parents to always buy Kellogg Cornflakes since they will be able to say: mum please let us buy Kellogg, I love it and after all it is not expensive and good for health.
Therefore, Kellogg market share is increasingly been challenged not only by other major brands but also by private label cereals product. Private labels cereals products are often more cheaper compare to the high price of branded cereal product. This underscored the need for Kellogg to have an effective marketing strategy so as to maintain its competitiveness in the industry. As stated by Slater and Olson (2001) marketing strategy is a crucial element that determines an organisation willingness to achieve it set objectives and goals. It is the set of integrated decisions and actions by which an organisation expects to achieve and meet its objectives and the value requirements of its customer (Ibid, p.1056).
The study have shown that Kellogg Company concentrate of customer, that is it chooses the 4 C’s of consumer-side marketing by focusing on cost, customer value, consumer and communication. As Saunders et al have stated, relationships with customer is a significant advantage generating resources (2008, p.144). Kellogg Company has thus establishes a brand name not only in the minds of its customer but also in the industry that distinguishes and differentiates its product from those of others in the cereal breakfast markets. Kellogg Cornflakes brand allows allow the consumer to identify their desirable qualities and traits with the product. This enables the customer to have a relationship with the brand and thus they feel complete because of the brand. The company knows its target as well as the people that consume the product (mainly children). It capitalizes on this, and using its marketing approaches its product was able to get in the minds of its customers. Customer can even pay more because of the value they get from the brand since they have been associated with it.
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