Visit a retail store such as a grocery store, Target, or Walmart. Using a camera or your smartphone, take a few color photos of the product and its packaging (front and back). Next, post your photograph to the discussion topic and, in your post, address the following:
- Briefly describe the product and the strategy that was used to promote the product.
- What culture do you believe this product is marketed toward?
- How does this product differ from others within the same product category? Be descriptive and provide three key points.
- Why do you think this marketing strategy is effective?
- How can this market strategy be improved?
In responding to your peers, comment on any similarities or differences in the products they chose to discuss (compared to your own) and their responses regarding the product. What key points did they discuss about their chosen product that you had not considered? What key points might they have overlooked?
Here are the two posts to reply back to:
This DB came at a perfect time because I actually had to do some basic grocery shopping this week and chose to go to Target. First on my list: cereal. I don’t have kids, but I do always notice the children’s cereals because of the way they are positioned with other cereal brands. I also love Froot Loops. 🙂
I took pictures of a brand called Mom’s Best Cereals. This is an organic cereal with no corn syrup or artificial flavors. It was positioned in the organic cereal aisle, but in their children’s version section. I have never heard of Mom’s Best Cereals. I have noticed that organic companies such as Annie’s and Kashi’s now have children’s cereals, which are really just “younger” versions of themselves so moms will buy them for their kids to get them to eat a healthier breakfast. When you look at the box for Annie’s or similar brands, there is emphasis on the animal names (Cinnabunnies) or cute real-life pictures of the animals such as the cheetah (my favorite picture, as it’s the cutest). Kashi has a cereal called Cocoa Crisp, which sounds a lot like Cocoa Crispies. These are placed in the high-low section???????????? of the rows so kids can look at them directly and feel like they want those cereals in particular. Mom’s Best’s strategy is different – to be focused directly on the mom, for the mom to buy for their child. It is placed in the middle of the other options that the children looked at, so the mothers can see it relative to their other alternatives. The benefits of the cereal, such as no artificial colors or flavors, are listed on the box for the mother to weigh against other cereals which might not offer that option.
Mom’s Best Cereals is marketed toward the culture of Western women; more specifically, those that are mothers that place family in the highest regard. Buying this type of cereal is considered an exchange ritual, as the cereal would be presented from one consumer to another. (Kardes, Cronley, and Cline, 2013) Buying Mom’s Best would be teaching the child cultural meaning; instead of focusing on the cute animals that mask the healthier ingredients, the mother would be teaching the child that their well-being and health is important and therefore would pass cultural values from generation to generation.
Mom’s Best has an effective marketing strategy. The package is gender-neutral, indicating that they are not for boys or girls, just children. Their benefits are listed right on the box, which some of their competitors do not. The name of the brand is “Mom’s Best,” which indicates that it is the alternative that mothers will want for healthier children. However, Mom’s Best could benefit from a higher placement on store shelves, as they are right on the bottom. There is a good chance that a purchase decision may have already been made by the time that cereal is even noticed, or the consumer may have already stopped looking. Also, the benefits that Mom’s Best lists on their box are standard for all healthy cereals, but on their website (https://momsbestcereals.com/our-products/), they also say they are affordable and environmentally friendly, and provide recipes to make with their cereal. They may even point out their other breakfast products, such as granola and oatmeal, which are more “adult” and will appeal to their general market, moms. That may be something to list on their box to make them stand out from the rest.
I have provided three pictures, one of the front of the box and one of the back. I also took a shot as best I could of the organic cereal aisle so you could all see how the product was placed. It’s the one in the very middle of the bottom row. FYI, the Special K was like that when I got there.
I’m looking forward to all of your products this week!
Kardes, F., Cronley, M., and Cline, T. (2013). Consumer Behavior, 2nd Ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning
I have chosen two products for this week’s post. They are Heinz ketchup and Bush’s baked beans. The reason I chose the two products is that they were both featured in the end-cap display together as part of a marketing strategy. Both products are more popular during the Spring and Summer months because more people barbecue during these months and both products are staples for these events. By placing the products on endcaps, they are separated from products in the same category and will be the first thing consumers see when they are shopping.
Because barbecuing is commonly seen as a group event I think that the products are marketed to a collectivistic culture, people who define themselves in terms of group memberships and emphasize group goals (Kardes et al., pg. 376). I think it is also marketed towards the age subculture Generations X people currently in their thirties or forties.
From my venture into the grocery store, I saw that one way these two products differ from other products in the same product category is that they both offer more options of the same product. Heinz offers organic ketchup, a no salt, no sugar, and even a jalapeno flavor. Bush’s overs at least six different flavors including the original.
Heinz differs from other products in its product category in its bottle design. Bush’s differs in its signature copper colored wrapping. Bush also offers various sizes of the same product from an 8.3 oz all the way up to 117 oz, can of the original.
I think that placing both of these products on the endcaps is an effective strategy because it takes the competitors out of the mix. It limits the decision-making process for the consumer taking away the evaluation of alternatives option.
Although the endcap strategy is effective, I think that there is room for improvement. First of all, the display is not attention grabbing. There should be some sort of advertisement that brings focus to the display. There could be a tear-off pad that features a recipe using both Bush’s baked beans and Heinz ketchup. An advertisement showing a family eating food that features the two products. Or a coupon that offers a discount for purchasing both products.
Kardes, F, Cronley, M, Cline. T. (2014). Consumer Behavior, 2nd Edition. Cengage Learning.