Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Laser flakes

No, I didn't find this in MSNBC's weird news. I found this via B.L. Ochman's blog. I encourage you to read Ochman's thoughts on large corporate marketing strategies, but I'm just going to focus on one small part of the post.

Kellogg's...has become so worried about losing their identity to similarly packaged supermarket cereals that they developed a way to laser their name onto each tiny corn flake. The concentrated beam of light, they say, creates a toasted appearance, helping them fight fake flakes, without changing the taste.

Yep...laser flakes.

One of Ochman's commenters, Greg, noticed one tiny little problem with Kellogg's strategy.

I'm never going to see those laser-branded cornflakes unless I've bought the cereal already. Are they concerned that when I get my continental breakfast at the motor inn that I'm assuming the soggy cereal I'm given is Kelloggs?

But not everyone shares Greg's disdain for the change. Landor:

So although it is meant to prevent "fake flakes" fraud, it also looks very cool, and one might get curious about whether this is really about protecting intellectual—or better yet, eatable—brand equity, or if the whole change is just a smart marketing move. Branding a formerly unbranded product in your bowl.

Now certainly there is room for trendiness in the breakfast food industry, but if you're going to do something trendy...don't do it on corn flakes, probably the least trendy food imaginable. True story - a couple of decades ago, I was in a small town grocery store and wandered down the cereal aisle, and I happened to notice that this aisle was wall-to-wall Kellogg's Corn Flakes. So if you have a product that is valued by traditionalists, perhaps laser logos on the food isn't the way to go.
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