General Mills is another company that hasn’t yet figured out that they have to constantly re-brand their traditional brands.  For example, Cheerios.

When was the last time you saw a Cheerios advertisement?  It’s been years.  Which means that the company is putting little or no money into advertising their products that have, for years, made them money.  But, as I have said repeatedly in posts, companies in today’s high competition marketplace cannot rely on traditional brands to carry their own weight – they need the assistance of new marketing, new reasons for customers to buy the products.  For one thing, there are generational changes that bring new customers to the marketplace, some of whom likely have never heard of Cheerios.  What that means is that the traditional products are going to have to be continually “re-introduced” or “re-branded” for the new group of consumers.  Companies are prone to just try something different rather than taking the rather boring approach (I suppose) of constantly pumping up the good products that they already have in their repertoire.  In General Mills’ case, they went with acquisition of a pet food company, Blue Buffalo – a relatively unknown quantity in the pet food industry that has thus necessitated advertising and pumping up that brand.  Why not just pump up their good, old American brands like Cheerios?  And, yes, I’m aware of the mantra that sugary breakfast foods won’t sell these days – but I remain unconvinced.  I think that the problem lies in how they are marketed – there is still a good share of the market that buys sugary drinks, snacks, – and, yes, even breakfast foods – if encouraged to do so through compelling advertising. Here’s hoping General Mills can get it together on that score.

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