Tuesday, April 3, 2007

IAMs what IAMs

Proctor and Gamble have just launched damage control ads in 59 major newspapers explaining the steps that they have taken to ensure their customers that the tainted pet food issue is seriously being addressed. Advertising Age covers this launch nicely.

I hope this effort is successful for Proctor and Gamble, but one issue that alerted me when the event first surfaced was that IAMs wet products were manufactured by Menu Foods. Since I equate Menu with cheap, I was immediately questioning the quality of the IAMs brand. I asked myself, "If IAMs is so superior to other brands, how can that be if it is made by Menu?" Is it just marketing spin? Are all the brands made by one place? I suppose with a little research you could determine where the truth lies. But the bottom line is the superiority of the brand has taken a body blow. Before this event I thought the IAMs brand was the high road, now I view it on the same foot path as every other brand including house brands.

It will be interesting to watch the brand recover. Proctor and Gamble are brilliant when it comes to brand, but this episode is a very serious breach of trust. A perfect opportunity for pet brands NOT involved in the recall. Is your trust in the "premium" pet brands compromized?



dante said...

I know the recall only affects the wet food, but I lost my faith in the Iams brand quite a few years ago. I fed their adult weight-loss dry product to my cat for about 2 years, following the recommended serving sizes, etc. - saw no results. Switched to another, more common brand (which costed half the price) and he dropped 3 pounds within about 6 months.

It seems like the same old story that we're just "paying for the name on the box"... but I guess that's what branding is all about, isn't it? (That is, until their secret get outs.)

Ed Roach said...

Actually Dante, 'that same old story' is what advertising is all about. Branding is your over all relationship with the brand. In this case it was not a very positive one. You felt that the promise of a healthier pet went unfulfilled. You moved on. If a company positions itself as the healthier alternative then you have every right to expect that your pet is better off with it. If the product is no better than anything else, it will suffer as wisdom to this truth grows.


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