Nestle Maggi Brand Management

Gone in 2 Minutes! How Nestle Can Rebrand Maggi

Branding and Design

It’s hot, it’s yummy, and it’s the ultimate comfort food of millions across the globe but will it survive the ongoing controversy? Only time can tell. Nestlé’ Maggi is creating havoc in the food space. It’s definitely going to take a lot more than 2 minutes for Maggi to get over this trauma but what’s all the fuss about?

Recently, a laboratory test revealed that the amount of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in Maggi is far more than the permissible level. Due to this, the sales of Maggi have dropped by 60-70% since the inspection began and brand might face a ban in the country.

Misbranding has led two officials of Nestle and Bollywood celebrity stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta into trouble for promoting the product in advertisements. Such controversies have been marked in the past where many leading companies have come under the scanner of the government officials.

Here’s a sneak-peek into the past controversies.

Cadbury Dairy Milk: There were reports of worms found in Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, which brought down the sales of Cadbury by 30 percent. Cadbury actively responded that contamination could have occurred due to improper storage by the retailer. Cadbury took this crisis head-on and soon launched a PR campaign and also came up with an ad campaign that featured Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador for Cadbury to revive the brands reputation and trustworthiness. They also revamped their packaging by investing nearly Rs 25 crore in imported machinery and secure packaging. This daunting business crisis was recovered by consistent marketing communications, after which the sales grew by 20% in the year 2005.

Coca-Cola: New York Times filed a complaint mentioning that companies manufacturing cola had pesticides dissolved in them. This led to an immediate drop in the sales by 11 %. Later, a nationwide ban on Coke and Pepsi was announced; following which Pepsi declared via advertisements that it is one of the safest beverages one can have; also stating that the pesticide level in Pepsi is almost negligible. Post controversy, the cola giants took pro-active measures by implementing re-branding strategies and offered their customers special guided tours to their processing plants and regained their tarnished reputation.

KFC: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India inspected the samples of ‘Rizo Rice’ taken from KFC and declared that it contained artificial colour. In defence, KFC confidently said “We only use the natural colour (beta carotene) which is sourced from highly reputed international suppliers, in our Rizo rice meals”

Past brand controversies can help Maggi come out of its current crisis. Successful crisis management purely depends on finding an integrated solution and continuous communication with end consumers.

Here are some ways how brands (in this case Maggi) can navigate crisis and rebuild their loyalty.

Plan and Prepare: Effective preliminary plan should be ready, which can be implemented when such crisis arises. Staff training is also very essential as they have the power to improve or destruct the brand reputation. For instance, staff can have one-on-one interaction with the customers and educate them about the ingredients used in their food product.

Communication is the key: Communicate and give customers a reason to get back to your product. Brands can tell their side of the story. Make sure that the head of the business is available to talk to the media and share some insights of what is being done or what went wrong. Other unusual way is to upload the test results and mention the health benefits of the product on your website and then let customers draw their own conclusions. YouTube videos can also be a solution because of the viral nature it possesses and lets the brand communicate with concern and empathy.

Keep it positive: Plan effective PR campaigns and manage brand reputation after the controversy. Your customers should feel a sense of sincerity and believe in the engagement that you have taken to resolve the issue. Advertising and other social media communications with customers will help in reducing negative associations.

The digital media can act as a trustworthy rescuer in such situations provided the brands connect with their consumers on a regular basis and maintain their online reputation by constructively working on the feedback given by their loyal customers.

The right kind of interaction and engagement on social media platforms can turn your consumers into your brand’s greatest advocates. Do you agree with us? Share your opinion in the comments below!

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