The petfood maker is set to bring greater balance to its marketing by giving its smaller brands a more prominent role in its annual calendar of activity. It will lead to more awareness building efforts for brands such as the Dreamies and Misfits pet snacks as well as the Sheba and Cesar products.
Mars’ flagship Whiskas and Pedigree bands have enjoyed global campaigns in recent years in order to bolster the company’s share of the petcare market. With consumers transferring their health-conscious, fragmented diets over to their pets, the time is right to use the full scope of its portfolio to open up new occasions, says Lindley.
“We’re hugely proud of our Pedigree and Whiskas brands but we have other brands in the portfolio. If you look at Cesar it has distinctive assets and has built a distinctive position for dog lovers, while Dreamies has been growing the care and treats category for us in recent years.
“We have to make sure that we’re delivering against all the many different consumer types out there but also the different needs that they have.”
The plan will not have a detrimental effect on Mars’ bigger brands, pledges Lindley. Support will continue for Pedigree’s 50th anniversary in the coming weeks, while upcoming plans for 2015 are being prepped.
Innovation will form another pillar of the strategy through updates to packaging and product that attempt to exploit demand for healthier, smaller-sized portions. Social media will also play a bigger role in the marketing mix, particularly when activating the brand’s tie-up with animal charity WWF.
Lindley replaced Miranda Sambles last month and says the overarching strategy will lead iterative rather than wholesale changes to its brands so as to not disrupt the momentum behind Mars’ Petcare. Mars Petcare makes up more than 30 per cent of revenue for Mars.
“The vast majority of Mars petcare brands are gaining share and growing fast in the market and the challenge is maintaining that performance”, he adds.