How Far Can A Brand Stretch?
Ritz Opens Fun with Glitz and Sub Brands
OK, I get it. Ritz is the King of Crackers (it’s alright, folks. I don’t have a cracker obsession, but my kids might). The flaky, buttery cracker’s—first introduced in 1934—have always been about wealth and glamour. According to Kraft’s Nabisco, their #1 selling cracker was named after the Ritz-Carlton and can be enjoyed either by themselves or with a topping of choice. Certainly these salty snacks are familiar to most Americans. But how far can a cracker stretch without crumbling?
Original, Low Salt, Reduced Fat, 100% Whole Grain, and Cheddar—Bits, Fresh Stacks, and Toasted Chips. How many offerings are needed?
A recent article in BrandWeek and a trip to my local grocer spurred some observations. The cracker aisle—not unlike the rest of the market—represents a great deal of choice. But back to Ritz. This icon of the cracker aisle is seemingly balancing sub branded product variations for all of life’s events—dinner parties, school lunches, healthy snacks and decadent indulgences.
So what is too much? Has Ritz diluted it’s glitzy heritage with Ritz Bits Sandwiches or does the historic brand find new relevancy with the next generation? Can a limited-edition, fudge-covered variety drive holiday sales? Will Euro RSCG’s campaign “Open for Fun” give the brand the typical 25% Super Bowl bump by leveraging Wyclef Jean, Guy Fieri and Tiki Barber? Do celebrity endorsements from the music industry in celebration of a sporting event align with the brand’s equity? Will a Facebook group and recipes with Boomer Esiason really attract a younger demographic?
Is Ritz truly an “incredibly fun cracker” as stated in BrandWeek by Sheeba Philip, senior brand manager for Ritz?
What do you think?