Winning At Shelf: When Less Is More

13 July, 2015 Share socially

While many new products contribute to larger portfolio sizes, a key challenge is that not enough products get retired. So the portfolios increase in size rather than maintain a manageable number of SKUs. A one-in-one-out strategy may not be right but each product should have a clear reason for being. And similarly each product line should have a clear reason for being too. These questions are not being asked often enough.

Dannon has the Dan-o-nino and Danimals lines. Both target children, but its unclear when doing a quick check at shelf what is the unique proposition of the two lines. Or stated otherwise, is there ample difference between the offerings to support having two distinct lines? I had a hard time answering this question. Getting home and checking their websites, I realized that Dan-o-nino has twice the calcium content, and it might target younger children but I was unsure. I learned that Danimals has a wealth of formats within its line including its base product, Greek yoghurt, and smoothies. Couldn’t the calcium rich Dan-o-nino be integrated into the Danimals line as yet another format rather than creating a new product line? If I am a busy mom trying to buy yogurt for my kids’ lunches, I am not looking for the complex choice but the simple one.

But for the sake of argument, if the two lines are distinct and have a clear reason for being, how does packaging design help to convey their unique propositions? The current package design both use a dinosaur character, they both embrace a lot of red in their palette, and generally feel more similar than different. In this case, the design blurs the distinction instead of highlighting the unique difference. And the Dan prefix in the line names add to the blur especially given that the pronunciation for the Dannon varies from country to country.

I cannot speak for all consumers but as a busy mom, I love it when things are made simple—easy to grasp the product’s proposition, easy to understand how it links to the other products within a brand’s portfolio. Yes there are some consumers that will dig and dig but I rarely care that much to figure a brand out. A little help would be welcomed.