In yet another example of how companies all to often overlook the permissions consumers grant their brand, recent news headlines report Kripsy Kreme is preparing to ramp up a new “healthy” product menu. After seeing one of the best quarters since as far back as 2004, Kristy Kreme’s new menu is designed to attract a consumer base that might not be swayed by hot, glazed, carbohydrates.
The problem is that Krispy Kreme is not a “health” brand, so healthiness is not a value that will be believed by the consumer. In fact, trying to think about a single aspect of Krispy Kreme’s brand that relates back to health has me at a loss. In thinking of the competition, Dunkin Donuts pushing premium coffee makes sense as the link between coffee and doughnuts is not a difficult one to make. Linking doughnuts, however, with a line of products for the health conscience feels a bit like Chick-fil-a going into the hamburger market. (Boy, wouldn’t those bad-spelling cows be disappointed.)
One of the biggest problems with brands is that not enough consideration is given to the brand when decisions are made. The greatest brands (Apple, Google, IKEA, etc.) are the ones that always ask, “Is this on message with the brand?” As a result, these are the brands consumers pay more to own or inconvenience themselves to get. Without brand consistency, companies like Krispy Kreme are left with benign marketing like “we have healthy things”, not a high bar, or even a differentiator, when even KFC is saying that. (And not getting away with it either.)
Krispy Kreme’s problem is the same as Starbucks – cannibalization of its market by overexpansion. Now, as Krispy Kreme sales are showing positive signs, it needs to remember what its brand has permission to say or risk the recent positive growth being rather short lived.