Kraft Heinz and Campbell’s are in trouble. Kraft Heinz’s stock price dropped 25 percent two weeks ago and their fourth-quarter earnings report that included a 15.4 billion asset write-down. Basically, they’re finally admitting that some of its brands are not worth what they thought and adjusted their value accordingly. Campbell’s sales were flat in the last quarter only because their Goldfish crackers are offsetting their Soup sales. According to our real-time I-Factor® scores, these numbers also indicate their incredibly weak relationship with their consumers.
We used our proprietary I-Factor tool to measure the Kraft Heinz Irresistibility Score, revealing their true relationship with consumers. They clocked in at a 20 of 100. That’s about as bad as it gets. The scores on our scale range from 0 to 100, quantifying the 3 C’s of the modern relationship between brands and consumers, Comprehend, Crave and Craze. Most brands live in the middle from 30-50, but the brand that just about everyone at least knows, Kraft Heinz is all the way down at 20. Campbell’s is actually even worse at a 17. That basically tells us that right now that these brands are irrelevant to consumers.
How did this happen to some of America’s most quintessential brands? They stopped doing the fundamentals– making deep connections, having meaningful conversations and basically paying attention to the needs and wants of their consumer.
Let’s explore a little. Kraft Heinz brands like Kraft Mac and Cheese, Oscar Mayer, Maxwell House, and Campbell’s Soup are well-known and trusted brands. There is nothing inherently “bad” about them (although many health-conscious consumers might take issue). Some people would even say they have icon status, but in today’s changing food environment that status can actually be a barrier. Kraft and Campbell’s were brands that were wildly successful over the past 5 decades and although their advertising has changed over time, the way they communicate with (or at) consumers is still very old school. And we know today’s consumers want more than just being talked to, they want a true connection with their brands.
While most consumers may still have good memories about Kraft Mac and Cheese, they clearly don’t have a relationship with it and definitely are not going to post about it on their Instagram, because after all, what would that say?
Of course, there are many ways to solve these business problems. Kraft Heinz is looking into selling off some of the iconic brands that they see as problems, like Maxwell House and Oscar Mayer, while Campbell’s and their new management team, is buying up snack brands that have more consumer relevance like Snyder’s Lance and Late July. I don’t know if either of those tactics will work, but one thing I do know is that neither will be successful (nor will any brand today) if they don’t find a way to stay connected to their consumers.
Had they considered using a tool like I-Factor, that was designed to provide not only quantitative data on their consumers but also insights that uncover the why’s behind the data, things could be different. They could have already been tapped into what consumers already love and what parts of the relationship needed attention. I-Factor could have helped them hone in on the right target and message, enabling them to deepen the connection, and even predict the kinds of increases in sales they would likely see.
In today’s market, where you don’t even need to walk into a store to pick out your groceries, your brand MUST really be making incredibly strong connections with consumers to create and keep a strong relationship and even create brand advocates, who will do some of the hard work for them.
I don’t believe it’s too late for them and it’s certainly not for your brand. Reach out for your I-Factor score and a free consultation. I know I-Factor can help uncover solutions in just four weeks.