Skittles: Brand and Consumer Understanding

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Skittles: An analysis of Skittles global positioning

Text of Skittles: Brand and Consumer Understanding

  • Creating the Brand Experience Skittles Case Study August 23, 2005 SAATCHI & SAATCHI
  • Objectives Why and how did Skittles change its brand positioning and creative strategies? What exactly did Skittles change? What is the roadmap for developing insightful and impactful communications?
  • Skittles Background A European favorite, Skittles was launched in the USA in 1981 A bite-sized candy with a coated hard shell and chewy center Competitive set: Fruit-flavored confectionaries, primarily non-chocolate candy and gum
  • Confectionary Market Dynamics (USA) Non-chocolate candy sector value is $5.3B Chewy candy: $659MM for 2003, 1.4% YOY Gum: $309MM for 2003, (4.8%) YOY 427 new candy products were launched in 2004 Per capita consumption of candy and chocolate is 22.3lbs for 2003 vs 18.9lbs in 1984 Mature and consolidating sector w/ increased competition from other vertical players Source: USDA; National Confectioners Association; Convenience Store News, 2005
  • Confectionary Trends Novelty Part candy, part toy Licensing and entertainment partnerships and tie-ins Transformers Candy changes into gum Extreme mints Liquid mint blasts and capsules Mash Ups Unorthodox flavor, texture, and taste combinations Source:, 2005
  • Make me Feel It Intensity of Experience Concoctions & The Usual Wizardry Creativity Sweeten Up Not inclusive of broader competitive set eg, macrosnacks
  • Taste the Rainbow A Functional Benefit Strategy Pre 2005
  • Skittles: Product Truths Hard, shiny, colorful shells Fruit-inspired soft, chewy center Round/disc-like Fruity and floral aromas Noisy and crunchy Signature S badge Base Brand (Original Skittles), does not include line extensions
  • Taste MessagingSimple but Limiting Skittles previous communications (pre 2005) focused solely on taste and flavor messaging Taste the Rainbow Target: Gender Agnostic teens, ages 13-17 who frequently consume macrosnacks User Benefit: Combination of fruity, tropical, and colorful flavors; multi-sensory (hard & chewy) - Rational Reason to Believe: Only Skittles brand is the color of the rainbow
  • A Literal & Undifferentiated Positioning Brand Message Taste the Rainbow Product Offering Experience the different hues, flavors of Skittles Consumer Motivation When I want a fruit-flavored candy
  • Only 1/2 of the Story Taste the Rainbow (Product)
  • Diagnosis Messaging taste and flavor in a commoditized and undifferentiated category, where rational elements are the price of entry is not a strategy Product has become king, trumping the actual brand; once consumption is finished, the brand has no extraneous role for the user No emotional dialogue or relationship with user/audience
  • Implications [Young] consumers value relationships with brands that have a clear POV, stand for something, and are different. Brands that do not strategically sound brand promise, defined essence, and positioning, run the risk of consumer disinterest Low awareness Infrequent consumption Ambiguous perceptions Negative equity measures (eg, regard, recognition) Weak brand loyalty
  • Believe the Rainbow. Taste the Rainbow. An Evolved Experiential Brand Strategy 2005
  • Skittles: Target (Lifestyle) 13-17year olds; sweet spot 16 Full time students (junior to high school) Responsibilities: Part time gig, community service, familial duties Living life to the fullest (active) Social creatures powered by positive energy Vibrant and dynamic personalities Multi-cultural/ethnic Self expressive and experimental On the Go but not sure how to get There yet Source: LSI, 2005
  • Skittles: What/When is it for? Functional Gives me a boost Lets me focus Satisfies my indulgence Flavor rush Allows me to feel Emotional Makes me excited Brings out positivity Changes my perspective Makes me happy Engages all of my senses Affirms my good mood
  • The Solution [Young] consumers value relationships with brands that have a clear POV, stand for something real, and are freshly different. The experience can be greater than the product. Develop natural product extensions that organically create occasions/moments for the desired and intended experience and/or solution to an unmet need.
  • Skittles Smoothie Mix Skittles Bubble Gum Skittles: Original, Sour, Tropical, Blend the Rainbow Inflate the Rainbow Hear, See, Touch, Smell, Taste the Rainbow Multi-sensory Experience
  • Consumer Brand Product As Real As It Gets
  • To users ages 13-17, sweet spot 16, who use candy and macrosnacks, only Skittles delivers a fruit-inspired multi-sensory experience to color your world Brand Essence EXPERIENCE LIFE IN COLOR Emotional LIVE W/IN RAINBOW Functional TASTE THE RAINBOW Assumed brand positioning and benefits
  • Believe the Rainbow. (Brand) The Skittles Experience + Taste the Rainbow. (Product)
  • Results June 2005 sales have increased 10% (IRI)to approx. $80MM for the 52 weeks ending July 10, 2005 Unaided Awareness increased 3% (Ipsos-ASI) June 2005, had 318K visitors vs 11K for the same period in 2004 Source: Adweek, August 8, 2005
  • Advantages of a Prescient Strategy Inspiration and development for revenue-building brand extensions - both flavors and new products A Skittles differentiated brand in the non-chocolate candy and gum sectors, and the MasterFoods/Mars portfolio Resonation with the target audience