Why I eat breakfast that tastes of Kerosene

After 40 years of working in “marketing”, much of it FMCG, lots of B2C and nearly as much B2B, I have observed how few senior executives (even those with ‘marketing’ qualifications) actually recognise the power of segmentation.

This morning I sat down to eat my breakfast… almost wincing at the foul taste of my Goodness Foods cereal that I add to my hi-fibre Weet-Bix, mixed with fat free (taste-free?) milk.

What drives me to consume this left-field meal? What consumer insight can be honed from my devoted dedication to this negative taste experience?

I’m part of a segment in the market place… a segment I describe as the “Smart-Food eater”. My psychographics/behavioural motivator isn’t price, isn’t taste, it is partially nutrition/cognitive/’value” from a physiological return on investment perspective… I want my food to have a positive health benefit, incidental to the activity of consuming a breakfast that wont cause me to get fat, decay my teeth, or leave me starving, while still being time-efficient enough to consume without waking earlier than my routine allows.

THIS segment extends into the nutrition-focused segments, the weight-watchers segment, hypochondriacs, and other segments… it is appealing to sub-segment innovators and early adopters… brand switchers, variety seekers and others heterogeneous tiers and strata of the multi-dimensional aspects of consumers… targeting and positioning tisi segment creates shopper satisfaction and potential cross channel conversion.

What staggers me is despite the fact that recognition of this segment is a catalyst for dynamically continuous innovation, a recipe for win/win success in new product development and launch between manufacturer and retailer, and a path towards higher consumer satisfaction…. Many manufacturers avoid discovery, ignore the existence, or refute the potential of applying the craft of ‘marketing’ by segmentation.

It appears the Goodness Foods people simply sought to manufacture a product that the CSIRO believed might inhibit certain forms of cancer… they got lucky with a great piece of TV publicity through a current affairs program, and have coasted on the loyalty of viewers of that program (and some under-fertilized PR) since.

What COULD have been the foundation to becoming Australia’s biggest volume breakfast cereal died with the corporate arrogance of small success evident in under skilled management teams. (The weakest of all businesses are those where their switchboard operator discerns what consultants they select.)

Regardless, I’m likely to continue my habitual kerosene diet until something better comes along.

Published by Leigh Cowan

If you have a passion and enthusiasm for the art and science of strategic marketing and management, spawned from academic findings that work in commercial situations, we should get on fine! ;-) Check out http://leaderepiphany.com.au/

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