Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cereal for your Valentine

Monday is Valentine's Day, the occasion to express your love to the very special person in your life. Chocolates, flowers, and jewelry will be popular gifts, but what about cereal?

Cereal is hardly ready to be the premiere choice for demonstrating one's affection, but at least some companies are hoping that some will see it as unique and special. Both major U.S. custom-cereal companies have special Valentine's promotions, ranging from Gift Certificates to a Valentine's Day Mix.

What's really significant about this is that the newer, startup companies can get away with this whereas the established cereal companies can't. No one would dare risk their relationship by giving an off-the-shelf box of Kellogg's or General Mills cereal for Valentine's. That could spell disaster, or a long sleep in the doghouse. But, giving something out of the ordinary could actually earn you points! All this reinforces the idea that newer, innovative brands have a higher perceived value. That's the challenge that the big companies are going to have to deal with more and more. How can they move their cereals from mere commodities to high value brands?

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