What’s in a Name?

They say there’s no such thing as a new idea in PR and marketing – and the latest campaign by Heinz illustrates this perfectly.

After 104 years being dolloped onto our plates, Heinz Salad Cream is sadly seeing a consistent slide in sales. Appetites change, eating habits move along and it turns out only 14 % of consumers who buy the product actually use it on salads.

The response of Heinz? Change the name, of course. Look at what it IS used for and adapt the packaging accordingly. Heinz Salad Cream makes way for Heinz Sandwich Cream. The packaging remains virtually the same, the product unchanged; it has simply moved with the times – and created a nice PR story along the way.

Those of a certain age may not look kindly on all food name changes (it’s Marathon, okay? They’re OPAL FRUITS!), and many are still troubled by the attempt a few years back to change the name of Coco Pops to Choco Krispies (thankfully a temporary blip in the cereal’s timeline).

This name change however, does seem to offer more of a reason than cross-continent brand synergy or plain old PR stunt.

If Heinz was looking to communicate its range of uses and reinvigorate an old brand to boost sales, then this has worked perfectly so far. In changing its name, it has enabled the communications team to send out some lovely stats about what people use the product for, no doubt wheeling poor old millennials into it as the go-to headline grabbing social demographic.

Masses of media coverage have followed the story, consumers have been reminded what the product can be used for (or introduced to it for the first time) and retailers have been shown that it is still relevant.

Hopefully this will result in a genuine sales upturn for an old classic, and not a relegation to the sandwich paste category. This product still deserves a place on our supermarket shelves and in our hearts. Although not in our sandwiches – but that’s just our personal opinion.