Monday, August 13, 2007

Kit Kat : Have a break , Have a Kit Kat

Brand : Kit Kat
Company : Nestle
Agency : JWT

Brand Analysis Count : 261

Kit Kat is one of the world's largest selling chocolate brands. I am little nostalgic about this brand because when I was doing the management degree course, the war between Kit Kat and Perk was at the peak. I still remember doing a retailer survey to find out who was winning the fierce marketing battle at that time.
Kit Kat was born in 1935 as Chocolate Crisp. The company which manufactured this brand was Rowntree Ltd of York, England. The brand was renamed as Rowntree Chocolate Crisp in the year 1937 and acquired the brand name Kit Kat shortly after Worldwar II . The brand was acquired by Nestle in the year 1988. According to Wikipedia, Kit Kat derived its name from the Kit- Cat Club which was a literary club located in Christopher- Catling (Kit- Cat) Pie House. Except for US, Kit Kat is marketed by Nestle while in US the brand is marketed by Hershey's.

Kit Kat was launched in India in 1995. The brand was an instant hit because of smart marketing as well as the novelty of the product. Kit Kat is wafer covered in chocolate. During the time of the launch , there was no such kind of product although wafer biscuits were available in the market. The high profile launch of Kit Kat and Perk created a new segment of Wafer Chocolates. Though a new segment was created, none of the brands were able to sustain or grow this segment.

Kit Kat was launched as a young vibrant snack . The brand was positioned as an anytime snack ( similar to Perk). Kit Kat differentiated itself based on its finger shaped wafer bar( product form). More than the shape, Kit Kat differentiated itself by a ritual. We all know that to teach an Indian consumer new way of doing things is one of the most difficult tasks for a marketer. Nestle has proved to be a master in that. Using smart advertising, Kit Kat taught Indian consumers a new way of eating this product. Kit Kat used advertisement to promote a ritual for eating a Kit Kat. The ritual has the following steps:

Remove the wrapper.
Separate a finger bar using your finger
Break the bar
Eat it.

Surprisingly customers accepted this ritual. Even now, after over 12 years of this campaign, still customers follow this ritual. That shows the power of smart advertising. And I think that the campaign succeeded because
It made sense. ( Its first time customers are seeing such a product form)
&
The ads were cool.

The brand used the world famous campaign " Have a break, have a Kit Kat". I think it is one of the best taglines a brand can have. From the tagline itself, its obvious that the brand is positioned as anytime snack. The brand targeted the young crowd and the ads were in line with the TG. The segmentation is based on the Usage Occasion.

Surprisingly , during the 2004-05, the brand changed its famous tagline of Have a break to " Kit Kat Khao Khush Ho Jao" translated to Eat Kit Kat , Be Happy. I am not sure why brands change their famous and successful taglines. Kit Kat is currently running campaigns based on this tagline. I have seen some reports of legal hindrances faced by Nestle in copyrighting the tagline " Have a break " , but for a successful tagline like this , Nestle already have taken copyright from the customers. Even if the competitor uses this tagline, only Kit Kat benefits. But Kit Kat is now struggling with establishing the new tagline.

In 2007 , the brand made a smart move by launching a new variant Kit Kat Lite , which is a low sugar low calorie variant. The launch is in line with the trend in the Indian market for healthy foods. The brand is now promoted with a cool commercial. I am sure the ad will appeal to the hip -hop crowd.

Watch the commercial here : Kit Kat Lite
Kit Kat lite is promoted as a healthy option for all the calorie conscious. The variant uses the tagline " 50% less sugar, 100 % taste, don't think Just bite" . There is also a brand site justbite.com. I am little skeptical about the attractiveness of " 50% less sugar" : whether it is compelling enough for a calorie conscious to take the bite. However, the brand has to be lauded for the initiative.

Kit Kat faced tough competition from Perk during the nineties , but now Perk is also struggling to find the right positioning after discarding its original positioning. Both the brands have struggled to expand the market for this segment. I personally feel that Kit Kat may do well if it gets back its original positioning based on the tagline " Have a break".

source: wikipedia, nestle.in