Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kellogg wants monopoly on Toucans?

Kellogg recently entered into a public relations quagmire by taking legal action against the non-profit Maya Archaeology Initiative (MAI) claiming that the MAI's logo infringes on Kellogg's Toucan Sam character from Froot Loops.

Obviously, trademark infringement needs to be taken seriously, but sometimes corporations go to absurd lengths to prove their case, and in the process hurt their own brand image. In my opinion, MAI's toucan is not similar to the the current Froot Loops version and it is highly unlikely that there will be any confusion among the public. As MAI's president, Dr. Francisco Estrada-Bell, said, "This is a bit like the Washington Redskins claiming trademark infringement against the National Congress of American Indians".

Source: MAI

Thursday, August 11, 2011

[me ] & Goji to close

Now that I'm unpacked its time to get back to all things cereal. And, there's no better place to start than with breaking news from a company I have followed with interest over the past for years: [me] & Goji
Today the upstart company announced it will he shutting down at the end of the month. Here's an excerpt from a company email today:

When we decided to launch Me & Goji three years ago, our goal was to take a common product—cereal—and completely rethink it. We aimed to offer the best cereal on the market, from our packaging, to the quality of ingredients to the story and values behind it. We believe we succeeded in doing these things and our amazing customers have been the validation.
Ultimately, what led to our decision was our inability to progress out of the bootstrapping startup phase and into a scalable business.  Having tried everything from creating the first cereal of the month club, to a retail product, to a cobranded line of cereals with a teen pop star, we feel comfortable that we have tested all waters.
This is unfortunate news as [me] & Goji has been an impressive entrant into the crowded cereal marketplace. But, as I've pointed out before, it is difficult to compete in this environment, and especially to break into consumers' minds. The future will be won by those who innovate, but the journey there will not be an easy one. Sadly, there will be casualties along the way.