I read Mark Choueke’s article on Sunny Delight’s Parental Advisory Panel with interest (MW September 22). The company’s “bold step” to demonstrate its responsibility will ultimately fail if its parental advisory panel is regarded as empty symbolism by consumers.
To be successful, the panel needs to be perceived, both internally and externally, as a sign of root-and-branch reinvention of Sunny D’s business and brand model on a scale sufficient to drive substantive differences in core practices such as product development, communications strategy and promotion.
Post-P&G, the brand is the company. It is in the territory of brands such as Green & Black’s and Innocent, where brand and business model are indivisible. There can be no dislocation between brand promise and company delivery. The internal employee brand must be consistent with the external brand. To achieve this, there needs to be a core strategic shift in the mission of the company reaching into and redefining its ways of working from strategic planning, through commercial decision-making, to management reward systems – in short, a full re-evaluation of the brand’s ethics in marketing to children.
The scale of brand re-evaluation required to regain the dizzy heights of Sunny D’s heyday will demand nothing less. The company’s parental advisory panel needs to be a seamlessly integrated tip of the iceberg.
Oxford Strategic Marketing