The company believes responsibility for the brand should be shared throughout the whole business and is working with is peers to implement a corporate-wide scheme dubbed “BCubed” – Brand Building Blueprint. The training scheme teaches the company’s non-marketers the core mechanics of its 7-point marketing strategy (see below) in the hope of sourcing what it says are disruptive ideas around media spend, product innovation and campaigns.
Moving forward, the marketing team will organise internal workshops and other crowdsourcing programmes for the rest of the business. The move was trialled last October when staff were asked to share NPD ideas in a “My Müller Idea” ballot that it says is informing upcoming product launches.
Michael Inpong, Müller’s UK marketing director, told Marketing Week the changes reinforce a revamped strategy at the business, which is to “fully back” brand initiatives in order to push for “gaps in the needs of consumers”. In the past, the company would do a “fair amount of NPD”, but not fully support it once it went on sale.
It launched an internal marketing academy last year to accelerate this strategy and return the business to the more product-focused promotions following the failure of its “Wonderful Stuff” campaign in 2011. The academy is being expanded with marketers from other countries such as Germany and Italy being invited to attend “brand building colleges” in the UK over the coming weeks.
Inpong adds: “Marketing is central at Müller so we need to make sure we know how it affects every part of the business.
“We want to share our knowledge of the brand with the rest of the business because Müller operates in a fast moving category where customer habits change fast. The international colleges and other things we’re planning with the wider teams are a way of meeting those changes and really trying to encourage more collaboration across the business.”
The company credits the marketing shift for stealing its top spot back from rival Danone in 2013. Müller’s flagship Corner range posted its highest ever value sales of over £230m for the 12 months to December 2013, according to Nielsen. Elsewhere, the dairy maker’s Müller Rice range saw sales jump 10 per cent following its relaunch last June, buoyed by the viral success of its Tasty B bear character.
The sales success is underpinned by Müller increasing its marketing spend year-on-year. It is to launch a new ad campaign for its Müller Corner range in the coming weeks along with expanding into digital channels.
Inpong adds: “To turnaround the business like we did, we had to focus on NPD, the people, the training and the campaigns. Now we’re strong in all those aspects we can look at other channels like digital and really push forward.”
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Müller’s Magnificent Seven strategy for 2013
- Use its marketing to encourage consumers to indulge more often in a bid to reduce its dependence on promotions and maintain sales.
- Committing to its biggest ever investment in product development and advertising in the hope of attracting new customers.
- Support its rice and desserts businesses to take advantage of growing demand for chilled desserts to stave off competition from own-label brands.
- Focus health messaging on weight management rather than weight loss to try and boost sales of its Müllerlight range.
- Make its brand manifesto, ‘making the most out of the world now’ more prominent in its communications after admitting that it has remained in the background for “too long”.
- Promote the taste benefits of yoghurt more and be more experimental when it comes to product development.
- Use consumer insight more when developing future initiatives.
|Yoghurt Brands||Value Sales 52 w/e 5 Jan, 13||Value Sales 52 w/e 4 Jan, 14||% CHANGE|
|Yoghurt and Pot Desserts||£2,298,798,736||£2,307,932,096||0.4|