Thursday, December 30, 2010

New focus for Special K

It's that time of year again when we're feeling guilty about over-indulgence during the Holidays and pondering New Year's resolutions for better fitness and weight loss. It's no surprise then that Kellogg is again gearing up its marketing for Special K, its cereal positioned to help people (and women in particular) shed pounds.

Unlike previous years, however, this year's Special K approach is somewhat different. Instead of focusing on being another weight loss product, the theme is now "What will you gain when you lose". In other words, they are emphasizing the emotional benefits of reaching their weight loss goals, such as confidence and pride.

I have long questioned whether or not Special K could sustain itself as credible weight loss system. This latest move might be a step in the right direction. Be not fooled, however. Kellogg is still taking advantage of the anxiety many are facing about being overweight. That's still a big part of the message. In fact, in conjunction with this campaign they have launched an iPhone app to assist those following the weight loss program. But, the shift to emotional needs, might be a better long-term strategy which could make for stronger overall brand identity. Helping women feel good about themselves could be extended to other aspects of life such as work, motherhood, aging, etc. It will probably require, however, an even more overt move to feminize Special K. That could be risky, but might be what it takes for Special K to assure its prominence long-term.

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