Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Nature Valley Granola : 100% Natural , 100% Delicious

Brand : Nature Valley
Company : General Mills

Brand Analysis Count # 452

Last day when I was shopping in a grocery store, a young guy came rushing in to the cash counter to tell the staff that he is going to consume a granola bar which is placed in front of the counter without waiting for billing because he is feeling very hungry.Welcome to a new way to satisfy your hunger pangs.

Granola bars is an emerging new category in the Indian market. Granola is a snack food made from oats, honey, nuts etc which are baked till crispy ( Wiki). Granola Bars are the bar form -packed like a typical chocolate bar. Granola bars are popular in Western and European markets as a convenient healthy snack food.

Nature Valley is a brand from the US Foods giant General Mills. The brand claims to be world's first granola bar brand with its origin dating back to 1975. The brand is said to have an iconic status in the US market.

Nature Valley was launched in India in 2006. The brand had a very soft launch and the distribution was restricted to certain markets. I think that now the brand has gone for a national launch.

Granola bars comes under the broad category of functional foods. The functional foods market in India is estimated to be around Rs 1700 crores. The bar form of functional foods emerged just recently.
Nature Valley is currently running a small campaign in some select TV campaign. The imported ad just shows a waterfall and a voice over explaining the nutritional benefits of the product. The brand has the tagline " 100 % Natural, 100 % Delicious ". The launch campaign is too small and basic that there is nothing much to talk about. The ad at best just introduces the brand name - nothing more, nothing less.

One would have expected some thing unique and creative from a marketing giant like General Mills especially when they launch an iconic product. But at present, nothing so far has been on air. Globally Nature Valley brand is pitching heavily on the " Natural " platform . Infact the name is a unlikely candidate for a snack food brand.

Brands like Nature Valley and Horlicks Nutribar have a difficult task of creating brand salience . Brand salience covers all aspects of brand awareness. Professor Keller describes two facets of brand awareness - Depth and Breadth of Awareness. Depth of brand awareness refers to the ease with which the brand elements can be recalled. Breadth refers to the awareness about the brand under various potential usage situations.

In the case of Nature Valley, Depth of Awareness refers to how easily a consumer can remember the brand. Breadth refers to the various usage situations and how easily the brand is recalled in those situations . For example, Nature Valley can claim breadth of awareness when consumers remembers the brand when hungry/ while traveling/ watching movies/ after a workout or a game etc. It may be easy to create awareness depth with high profile ads. To create breadth, marketers may have to convince the brand efficacy in various usage situations. So brands first must decide on the targeted usage situations and then device communication strategies to create the breadth of awareness.

It is interesting to see that both globally and in Indian market, the NatureValley pitches not on "hunger/food platform" but on the natural ingredient platform which is quite different. Even the global campaigns give a different view on the brand. Hopefully the brand will follow the same framework here also. It can work here because most of the functional foods including the brands that directly competes with Nature Valley like Horlicks Nutribar, talks about hunger . So the brand can stand out by taking such a different platform. The brand has priced itself smartly at Rs 12 for a single bar and Rs 20 for pack of two. This is significantly lower than Horlicks Nutribar.

Whether consumers will get hooked to the " green " nature of the brand is a different story altogether.

Related Brand
Horlicks Nutribar