Sunday, March 16, 2008

Brand Update : Kit Kat Chunky

Kit Kat has launched its globally successful variant Chunky in India this year. Kit Kat Chunky is a king size single finger variant of KitKat.
Kit Kat Chunky was globally launched in 1999. The high profile launch was a result of an internal rejuvenation project ( project Tyson) to lift up the sagging Kit Kat brand. Kit Kat Chunky was an instant hit and was touted as Nestle's most high profile brand success in that decade.

The reason for the variant launch in 1999 was because of the lack of popularity of original Kit Kat among the 18-25 year old. Chunky made the brand popular again in that segment.

In India , the brand has been launched in two variants : African Choco and Hazel nut
The variant is being promoted through TVC. Watch the commercial here : Kitkat Chunky

The look of the product itself raised some questions in me. The product is so Un Kit Kat like . Instead of the famous four finger product you have a single finger chunky chocolate bar. The packaging is also entirely different from the original brand. Will it not affect the parent brand ?

The success of this variant globally shows the paradox of marketing. The success of Chunky itself contradicts the 'conventional ' wisdom of Brand Extensions that extensions should be in line with the original brand's core values and strengths. Here that rule is broken that too successfully.

Having said that I feel that one has to be very lucky to get away with that kind of extensions. In India the market for wafer based chocolates has been negligible. Although Perk and Kit Kat had initial volumes, these brands now occupy a negligible share in the total chocolate market. The reason for Chunky's launch is to address this issue. Compared to the wafer chocolate, Chunky is a full finger Chocolate with added crispies like nuts. The launch is from the insight that Indian consumers like to have more chocolate than anything else.
But Kit Kat Chunky is not the first brand to try out these products. I remember Cadbury's having a Chunky range which later faded in the market . Whether Chunky will raise the fortune of Kit Kat is some thing to watch for.

Related Brand
Kit Kat