Brand Overload!


April wrote a post about her new favorite kind of Cheerios, and asked about putting a new spin on existing brands… but the curmudgeon in me wants to start my reply with “Well, when I was a kid…”

So I will.

(First, a disclaimer: I’m old. When I say “When I was a kid” I’m referring to the 1970s.)

So, when I was a kid, there was one kind of Oreo. There were not Oreo cookies filled with peanut butter, or orange creme for Halloween, or green stuff for St. Patrick’s Day, or dipped in fudge, or available in miniature sizes, or as an ice cream sandwich… We just ate plain old Oreo cookies and we survived. And it was good.

Oh sure, Oreo Double Stuf(f) came out in 1975, but it was one variation on the original, just with more… stuff.

But somewhere along the line, every product started to have all sorts of variations. Take the Ritz cracker. There was the plain old Ritz, and then Ritz Bits, and Rizt with cheese, and Ritz Sticks, and Ritz peanut butter and jelly. (Really!?)

Is it just the snack food industry that does this? If someone asks you for chips, do they want “regular” or cool ranch, or salt & vinegar, or jalapeño, or some other crazy flavor.

As of this post, I can view 47 different Oreo “products” available.

But is this all just the process of “extending the brand”? Are companies doing this sort of thing just to get more shelf space? To appeal to wider and more peculiar tastes? For publicity?

Oreo just had a birthday, and here at the office we had some sort of “Birthday Cake” Oreos and they were terrible. Well, I thought they were terrible, but as I said, I’m old. Maybe a kid would love them. (Especially a kid who loves cookies dipped in frosting and then rolled in sugar.)

Anyway, enjoy whatever weird flavored product you have in the name of extending a brand. :)

March 26, 2012 · Posted by in branding, marketing  


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