Provide me with examples of retail or food/service franchise brands that have made a major brand turnaround through communication, even when their product lagged behind.
Through the use of better advertising and taglines, a number of major retail and food service franchise brands have made a profound turnaround. Domino's Pizza, California Milk Processor Board, Maggi and Wal-Mart have all overcome declining sales, poor brand image and general market decline through better communication or Taglines.
In 2008, to overcome poor sales that were linked to global recession, Domino’s Pizza launched their “30 minutes or it’s free” campaign. While this did increase sales for a period, it also led to the perception that Domino’s robotically cranked out unappetizing pizzas, an idea further supported by customer’s complaints that their pizzas tasted like “cardboard”.
In 2009, Domino’s Pizza went through a complete product transformation to overcome declining sales, low stock prices, and dissatisfied customers. They also launched a communication “Pizza Turnaround” campaign that resulted in record sales for the company.
Through clever advertising, Domino’s was able to entice the market with a transparent campaign that was focused on showing their desire to provide a better product. The “Pizza Turnaround” campaign was a slow process. It took 18 months and tens of millions of dollars for Domino’s to develop a new and better product. Domino’s then used the tried and true discount offers to get consumers to try the new product, knowing that it was the key to their success.
Domino’s market strategy was based on traditional advertising, public relations, as well as online/social outreach. They followed the Pizza Turnaround with the Pizza Holdouts, the Show Us Your Pizza, and the Behind the Pizza campaigns, all campaigns that reinforced the company’s original messages of product quality and corporate transparency.
CALIFORNIA MILK PROCESSOR BOARD
The “California Milk Processor Board” (CMPB) was created in 1993 and was responsible for the change in the financial destiny of California Milk processors after 20 years of decrease in the state’s milk consumption. To convince people to revert to milk as a drink of choice, the CMPB created the “GOT MILK?” campaign, which had a tremendous impact on sales and is considered one of the most important campaigns in history.
The California milk processors financed the CMPB by contributing 3 cents for every gallon of milk they processed. This allowed for a $23 million a year marketing budget. This allowed the creation of the tagline “GOT MILK?” which was created for the CMPB by Goodby Silverstein & Partners. The tagline was useful in the recovery of milk consumption, the decline being brought about by the massive consumption of soft drinks, bottled water and energy drinks. The “GOT MILK?” campaign was so successful, California’s milk sales increased in 1994 to 755 million gallons from the previous year’s 740 million.
The tagline “GOT MILK?” was also used in celebrity print ads, including prominent figures from sports, media, and entertainment.
Maggi noodles, a Nestle company, suffered a major blow when above acceptable levels of MSG were discovered in June of 2015. Following this, Maggi was removed from every store and market, losing the trust of consumers.
After the ban, Maggi’s parent company Nestle decided to increase its spending on television commercials and print ads, leading to a growth in ad volume to about 96% by September 2015. The first print ad that accompanied the re-launch announcement read “Your Maggi is safe, has been always.”
The nostalgia factor was a key in the Maggi re-launch campaign. Maggi has always used family based advertisements to attract customers. The first ad after the Maggi re-launch was of a mother speaking about her child’s enjoyment of his favorite noodles, thus further adding to the emotional value of the customers.
Along with increased spending on television ads, Maggi was relentless in its promotions of the upcoming re-launch on social media, with 261,433 likes on Facebook and an 87,700 following on Twitter.
Wal-Mart amassed its daunting market share by using sophisticated systems for logistics and operations. By contrast, its advertising was always somehow lacking, with retail ads looking homemade with the price slashing smiley face playing a prominent role. According to Stephen Quinn, who joined the company in 2005, marketing was considered a support function at Wal-Mart; it was his task to show that it could have a direct impact on sales.
In 2005, Wal-Mart sales were in a slump, with customers complaining about the large size of the stores and the difficulty in navigating them. An attempt was made to emulate Target — introducing new fashion lines and pricey home goods, but the attempt wasn’t well-received by consumers and many of these new approaches were abandoned. It was discovered that Wal-Mart’s most profitable customers were also the most money conscious. Quinn realized that they didn’t need to mimic Target; they needed to incorporate the low price mantra of Wal-Mart in a modern way.
In order to revive lagging sales, in 2007 a new communication tagline “Save money. Live better.” was created. Wal-Mart’s ad agency combed through corporate archives for ideas that would reach out to budget shoppers. They found what they were looking for in a 1992 speech given by Sam Walton. In the speech Walton stated “We’ll give the world the opportunity to see what it's like to save and have a better lifestyle," From this statement a tagline was born. Since the new campaign launched in September 2007, Wal-Mart’s stock has risen by 32%.
Declining sales and a poor brand image can be overcome with the use of good communication taglines and transparent ad campaigns. The four companies listed above all made a major comeback with the use of creative taglines, good campaign strategy and a lot of determination and patience.