Sunday, April 25, 2010


All brands are not created equal. If you are part of a large cluster, you may know this first hand. Some stations in your building, though they are profitable and deliver a quality product may, because of their position in the cluster, not have access to the resources available to their sister stations.

Lack of funds – at least compared to their larger counterparts – is among the difficulties in growing second-tier brands (this is also true for “Challenger” brands although these brands have other dimensions, issues and strategies than second-tier brands).

From electronics to airlines, there are many second tier brand success stories. Here are two from the food industry that absolutely have radio relevance.

Parsippany, New Jersey’s B&G Foods has assembled a portfolio of quality, second-tier food brands that were languishing at bigger companies. B&G has been quite successful in reviving old product lines and revitalizing newer ones, growing sales from $293-million in 2002 to $487-million in 2008.

Here are five strategies B&G uses to grow their brands:

1. Escalate the roll-out of product innovations
2. Use promotions and events to further improve distribution and promote trial
3. Ride the coattails of a consumer trend or of a bigger brand’s marketing campaign
4. Leverage your stronger brands’ access to improve the distribution of your smaller brands
5. Agree that being number two in a category doesn’t mean you are a bad brand – nor does it mean you won’t be profitable

The former Aurora Foods Inc. (now Pinnacle Foods Corporation) marketed their brands heavily but, a second critical part of their brand strategy was product-related including introducing new products to existing lines, reformulating others and developing new packaging to attract consumer attention or more closely marry the packaging to the product.

If marketing isn’t an option for you right now, what product innovations, promotions, packaging, or distribution changes can you launch to reignite interest in your brand - no matter what its tier?