Kellogg: Our ‘iconic brands’ are crucial for topline growth

WK Kellogg Co’s chief growth officer claims the company’s new marketing model will drive effectiveness and efficiency.

Source: Shutterstock

Cereal business WK Kellogg Co claims it is driving both efficiency and effectiveness through a new marketing model, which sees the function work more closely with other teams, bring multiple brands together in one campaign and focus on digital media.

In October, the Kellogg Company was split into Kellanova, comprising its snack business, and WK Kellogg Co, which owns the company’s North American cereal brands. As such, WK Kellogg is responsible for what CEO Gary Pilnick termed “an iconic portfolio” of cereal brands, including Corn Flakes, Rice Crispies and Special K.

Speaking at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference today (21 February), Pilnick said building on those brands would be crucial to the company’s success.

Our new marketing model will help amplify the power of our brands and make us more effective and more efficient.

Doug VandeVelde, WK Kellogg Co

While chief executive and chief financial officers typically speak at the CAGNY event, it is more unusual for marketers to address the crowd of financial analysts. WK Kellogg Co’s chief growth officer Doug VandeVelde, who leads the marketing function, revenue growth management, insights and analytics, told the CAGNY audience the company’s new marketing model will help deliver stable topline growth.

“Our new marketing model will help amplify the power of our brands and make us more effective and more efficient,” he said.

The new model will drive increased return on the company’s marketing investment, he claimed. The model hinges around four aspects: leveraging multiple brands in campaigns, a new media strategy, a more integrated agency model and increased attention to ecommerce.

The first initiative sees the business bring a number of its brands together in one campaign.

“When we take a unifying insight across three or four of our brands, and support that through one campaign, it drives overall portfolio effectiveness and efficiency,” said VandeVelde.

Coca-Cola on the strategy behind its first portfolio ad

He gave the example of the ‘Cereal for Dinner’ campaign, which saw Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes come together in one ad. Putting multiple brands together in a single advert is a strategy the Coca-Cola Company recently trialled in the US, with the launch of its first portfolio ad.

As well as driving increased return on investment, the advert also served WK Kellogg Co’s goal of positioning cereal as something to enjoy beyond breakfast time. 

The ad features Frosted Flake brand character Tony the Tiger and Froot Loop’s Toucan Sam. Speaking to the financial analysts assembled, VandeVelde emphasised the importance of distinctive brand assets in the form of these characters.

“Our unmatched team of characters plays a hugely important role in bringing our brands to life,” he claimed.

‘Seamless’ team structure

In its first few months as an independent company, WK Kellogg Co has also been making changes to the way its marketing function works with the rest of the business.

The company has shifted from having its marketing teams work through “centres of excellence” spanning multiple categories, to being an integrated function working with others only on cereal.

Brand marketing, research and development, innovation, revenue growth management and the “omni-commerce” teams are now working in an integrated structure, VandeVelde reported.

“They have the same priorities and are using the same data to drive insights,” he said.

“We have fully integrated our business and our teams to operate more seamlessly and as a result, we have clearer focus and better visibility to drive performance and to respond in a more agile way,” he added.



    Leave a comment