Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Different Dunks

April 11, 2006

Rather than writing about uses for blogs in marketing or other emerging technologies in the field, Toby chose to write about something totally different for this week: Nabisco’s latest marketing idea for its Oreo cookie. The classic American cookie sandwich has come out with an oblong-shaped Oreo cookie to improve the ease of dunking Oreos in milk: “Oreo Dunkers.” This is a drastic change for Oreo, which has never changed the shape of its cookie before (other than the Oreo 100 Calorie Pack snacks that it released a year or so ago – but those don’t claim to be authentic Oreo cookies). It does, however, reflect that Oreo has been trying eagerly to retain its market share in recent years.
I remember when I was growing up and there were only two varieties of Oreos to choose from: regular or Double Stuf, which boasted twice the amount of sweet frosting. A few years later, as a result of the American low fat/reduced fat/fat free trend, Oreo released its Reduced Fat Oreos. However, until this point an Oreo was still virtually the same Oreo, whether it was the original, Double Stuf, or Reduced Fat: vanilla crème frosting sandwiched by two round chocolate wafers.
It is evident that the Oreo cookie has reached the maturity stage in its life cycle, and the brand has appropriately taken several steps to prevent the cookie from fading out of America’s cookie jars. Over the past few years, Nabisco has launched many different flavors and varieties of the traditional cookie. Some of these include: Chocolate Crème Oreo, Golden Oreo Original, Fudge Covered Oreo, Fudge Mint Covered Oreo, Golden Oreo Chocolate Crème, Double Delight Oreo Mint ‘n’ Crème, Double Delight Oreo Peanut Butter & Chocolate, Milk Chocolate Covered Oreo and Milk Chocolate Covered Mint Oreo. Additionally, Nabisco has released many Oreo baking supplies, such as Oreo Crumbs, Oreo Chocolate Cones, Oreo Jello Pudding… the list goes on.
This blog is marketing related for obvious reasons. It provides an example of a company launching effective marketing campaigns once its product has reached maturity. Rather than give up on the brand, Nabisco has embraced the Oreo and gotten creative with it. By introducing new product lines under the Oreo name, the cookie is able to retain original Oreo lovers, who will most likely continue buying the original Oreo and may also try some of the new releases, while additionally attracting today’s children. These young consumers may not have the same nostalgia for the Oreo as their parents and grandparents do, but they are exposed to so many options in the dessert aisle of the store and the Oreo gives them the opportunity to choose the Oreo that is right for them. In effect, this means that Oreo is striving to create an “Oreo consumer identity,” allowing the consumers to identify themselves by which Oreo suits their individual desires and tastes. Similar measures have been taken all over the candy industry – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups now offer an abundance of shapes and varieties of the original concept; the same goes for Kit Kat bars and many other candies that have been in the market for as long as anyone (or at least I) can remember. Apparently these cookie companies are doing something right, because they consume more shelf space than ever before with their many varieties.
Oreo’s story informs marketing by providing an example of a product in its maturity stage that has been able to retain market share and to remain innovative in a constantly changing world. By remaining creative and thinking outside the box, Oreo has been able to continuously hold the attention of dessert consumers of all ages.
The blog improved my understanding of marketing by reinforcing the ideas stated above. While I knew that mature products should strive to create marketing campaigns aimed at retaining marketing share, Oreo was able to refresh this concept in my mind and provide concrete examples. It also made me contemplate the motives which spawned the emergence of the modern day varieties of our old candy classics. By continuously launching new product lines, candy brands can keep attracting new buyers while retaining the loyal ones and potentially even getting more money from those traditional customers.
My critique of the blog is really of what Toby mentions after the Oreo Dunker; she attempts to segue into astrology and throws in an “Astro Tips” section. I would be interested in reading horoscopes, but I’m not sure what exactly those have to do with marketing, or why she only decided to publish the horoscope section once.


Anonymous Toby said...

Karina - yours is an excellent analysis of how a mature brand might be able to capture additional share/new audience by changing one characteristic of the this case the shape.

Wanted to shed some light on the astrology part of that post. When I started Diva I wanted an excuse to go off topic into something that might be non marketing but was fun and light hearted. So I began a feature - "Friday Fun." Consider it a bit of a happy hour playground or as a reader put it "recess" after a hard week of work.

Astro Tips is intended to be an on-going part of Friday Fun. (We'll see if the guest bloggers keep it up!).

What I learned from your post was that I should add a consistent intro tag to all Friday Fun posts to ensure the new readers understand the concept of the post.


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