Cadbury: Balancing short- and long-term growth is a ‘tricky tightrope’

Cadbury is a brand committed to consistency, but the pressures of delivering short-term as well as long-term growth means that path isn’t without its challenges, says brand lead David Clements.

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The pressure to deliver both short- and long-term growth can be a “tricky tightrope” and tempt brands to stray away from their core principles, according to David Clements, UK marketing lead at Cadbury parent company Mondelez International.

“Growth is our obsession,” he said, addressing marketers at the Advertising Association’s LEAD 2024 conference yesterday (8 February). “If I look at the organisation I work for, if we don’t have growth in the short term and the longer term, it’s a really challenging position. How you navigate that short and long term is a really tricky tightrope.”

He underlined the importance of Cadbury’s focus on consistency and constantly orientating itself around the “DNA” of the brand.

Cadbury has talked before about the enduring theme of being “generous”. This has been brought to life via its ‘Glass and a half in everyone’ brand platform, which has been running since 2018.

Cadbury celebrates 200 years with ‘consistent’ message of generosity

While the brand is adamant that sticking to its DNA is essential for growth, environmental factors like Covid followed by inflation pose real challenges to any business, Clements said.

“The danger is actually you can depart from some of these principles,” he explained. “It’d be really easy to take a different track, but actually I think that the harder, the bolder, the braver choice is to stay the course.”

While Cadbury and Mondelez are “disciplined” in sticking with this consistent approach, Clements admitted, “it’s not without its challenges”.

Also speaking on the panel, was Lucky Saint head of brand Emily Laws who echoed the sentiment about the power of consistency.

‘Fresh consistency is the mantra’: Inside Lucky Saint’s plan to drive awareness

“That idea of doing something again and again, and being consistent, I think it’s important to not think of that as uncreative,” she said.

The aspiration at Lucky Saint is to make its brand assets, like its nun and “bold blue font”, as well-recognised as Cadbury’s purple and gold writing.

“I’ve seen other small brands want to do something different all the time. I think, with LinkedIn, the idea of posting something and getting lots of likes can overtake the idea of slowly building a brand,” she said.

While a smaller and newer brand than 200-year-old Cadbury, Lucky Saint has quickly adopted the mantra of “fresh consistency” to shape its strategy.

“If you want to build a distinctive brand, you need to be very disciplined,” Kerttu Inkeroinen, marketing and ecommerce director at Lucky Saint, told Marketing Week in December.