Apparently diets are dead and mentioning them in the food industry is forbidden. At least according to an article in Advertising Age. As a result of this fact, Lean Cuisine has struggled. Or perhaps the product is not very good. (I have no idea, I haven’t eaten anything from them in years.)
Anyway, according to the Lean Cuisine brand manager, Chris Flora, Nestle is going to make a massive pivot with the 34-year-old brand. Really? They recognize that people most closely associate them with diets, but since diets are dead they want people to know they are truly shifting away from diet. Except of course the name.
That name also causes another problem according to the article: “But in one respect Lean Cuisine cannot stray too far from its diet roots. Because it uses the word “lean” in its name, the brand must adhere to certain standards, according to government regulations. For instance, meals must contain less than 10 grams of fat, according to rules cited by a Lean Cuisine spokeswoman.”
So the plan is to launch a huge repositioning campaign even though the name connotes diet. It has 34 years with that position, and a legal need to adhere to certain “lean” standards. It never ceases to amaze me that people believe completely changing an established brand’s position is easier and/or less expensive than launching a new brand?
Maybe they’re worried about losing shelf space if they change the name? That could be true; but one thing I know about retailers: if the product doesn’t sell, they will put something else on the shelf. So how does keeping a losing brand in a losing position help prevent that compared to launching a new brand?
As I noted in the title: would it just be easier (and more effective) to change the name?