Each year Fortune Magazine gives the world a list of the 500 best and worst companies of the year. It’s an aim for many companies to make the Fortune 500 list, it is one of the most important recognitions that can be achieved which is not an easy task, even more difficult is staying then climbing up the ladder. A lot of criteria have to be met before a company qualifies for the list. This paper looks at the history and growth of the company that managed to secure spot no 184 on the Fortune 500 list, Kellogg’s.
Will Keith Kellogg founded Kellogg’s on February 19, 1906 and today 104 years down the line, it is the largest cereal maker in the world. The Company began with a mere 44 employees but now has production factories in over 18 countries and availability of its products in more than 180 countries. Kellogg’s did not restrain itself just to cereals but also moved into other sectors which include cereal bars, crackers, cookies, toaster pastries, frozen waffles, fruit-flavored snacks, and veggie foods (Our Company, 2010).
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The secret behind Kellogg’s colossal success has been Kellogg’s steadfast determination to remain ahead, innovation to bring around more and better products and its commitment to provide quality products to its consumers. Kellogg’s competitors Kellogg’s has been around for so long, that we expect to see it on shelves on the supermarkets, on the breakfast table and expect everyone to have something or another from the house of Kellogg’s in their kitchen the same way we expect the sun to rise every morning.
This though doesn’t mean that it is able to do so because it has no competitors. On the contrary, it’s given fierce competition by General Mills, Nestle, and Quaker, not only in the business of breakfast cereals but also in the conventional foods sector (Kellogg Company, 2010). Kellogg’s consumers For any company to do well in any industry, it is an understood thing that it needs to retain its customers/ consumers base at all costs. This means that during the establishing phase the company has to go all out to make them loyal consumers of the future and not just one-time users.
Kellogg’s did this by focusing on children and very subtly their mothers (the ones with the decision power) to replace toast with cereal for breakfast. This target market has changed though over the years. The cause for focusing on a larger target audience was that in 1999 (Kellogg and Keebler, 2010), Kellogg’s permanent spot as the number one cereal maker was taken over by its arch rival, General Mills. Kellogg’s realized it was time to move on and focus on entirely different segment.
The baby boomers were a untapped market and held a lot of potential for Kellogg’s, through innovative and decisive marketing tactics, Kellogg’s managed not only to capture attention of this segment but also regain its position as America’s best cereal maker, it holds the largest market share in both the US and the UK. Work Environment William Keith Kellogg was a man who took risks and has left the same philosophy for his company to follow upon. Having accidently stumbled upon a recipe of corn flakes, Kellogg persevered to bring it to the world even after being ridiculed and laughed at by his family and peers.
His hard work paid off and has been an example for all in the world to what little determination and focus can bring on. Though he was a strict boss he was a good boss, who took care of workers, not only did he have shrewd business sense but also humanity. (Snap, Crackle, and Pop to Success: How Kellogg Built a Cereal Empire, 2010) Innovation Kellogg’s has remained true to the core to its dedication to innovation over the years, which it has had to keep coming back with to remain ahead of the competition If we were to carry out a SWOT analysis of the company and list just one item under each head then this is what we would get.
Kellogg’s brands are very strong with a loyal consumer base; Weakness- As its moving into diversification and more nutritious products, those consumers who don’t want to purchase those are unsure of their own brands of choices futures; Opportunity- The market for healthier and more nutritious markets is growing, hence the consumer base for Kellogg’s; Threat- Smaller, localized supermarket brands have now entered the industry and risen as competition. Not only does Kellogg’s provide to the different lifestyles of people but also to the different cultures and tastes of its consumers.
In 1994, Kellogg’s entered the Indian market with its premier brand, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Disappointingly though the company did not receive the response it had foreseen. Many consumers could not develop the taste to replace their breakfast menu with cornflakes, major reason for that being they found them to be bland and pricy, when the Indian foods are known world over for their spiciness. Over the years Kellogg’s brought more of its brands to India like Rice Flakes, Frosties, All Bran, Special K, Honey Crunch, and Chocos Chocolate Puffs, not one of them managed to make the same success story as it had been able to show in the West.
This was a drastic fallback for Kellogg’s but being ones to face challenges head on and not run away from the problem they produced and introduced a new line of ‘Indianized’ corn flakes. They branded it as the Mazza series with fusion cereals having flavors such as coconut, mango, and rose, but this effort again failed (Kellogg’s in India, 2010), but hats off to Kellogg’s for always going that extra mile to give its customers what they want. They decided that they’ll explore an already established market of biscuits, where it has done much better than it did in the cereal business.
A Campaign that Stands
Out Having already included healthier and more nutritious products to its brands, Kellogg’s gave the world its two week challenge to “Feel Great in a Fortnight” Challenge (Building a brand in order to sustain its life cycle, 2010). The campaign was used all over the world with the promise that if the consumer on completing the two week challenge hadn’t felt great (read lost weight) than they would be reimbursed by Kellogg’s.
How well it did to deliver its promise, would rather not say but the campaign has leftist mark as one of the best the world has seen especially in recent times when competition is cut throat. The campaign has to make the consumer stop and think, if it manages to do that, that’s half the job done but the promise also needs to be delivered to complete and reinforce consumers trust in the brand and company. Kellogg’s has been recognized over the years for its innovative campaigns but even more notable are the mascots it has designed for its different cereal brands.
The rooster, Tiger, Coco the monkey, the three Rice Krispies brothers and so many more have become permanent fixtures and representatives of Kellogg’s world over. A consumer no longer needs to be able to read to recognize their favorite brands, the mascots say it all Conclusion Kellogg’s is a brand that has come a long way in this extremely competitive world and even more competitive sector that it provides too. It is no longer very difficult to come up with new products with the resources available to all the companies; hence it needs to constantly stay on top of its game.
The Fortune 500 list has picked it up and placed it on the 168th spot but to climb up the ladder Kellogg’s needs to continue striving and diversifying its product range to provide to various demographics world over.
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