09:44 24 November 2009
Imagine walking into your local supermarket to find all of your favourite, tried, tested and trusted brands had changed. Most of us would feel shocked, disappointed and probably bewildered at what to buy instead. But just how far would you go to save your favourite products from changing or vanishing off shelves completely?
New research suggests that as many as one in 10 Brits have taken action to save a favourite brand from disappearing. And these days, consumers really do have the power to make a difference.
Public campaigns have previously seen the successful return of national favourites such as Arctic Roll and Monster Munch.
In February 2009, drinks company PepsiCo performed an about-turn after consumers complained about the packaging change, making their opinion heard through letters, e-mails and telephone calls, clamouring for a return of the original look and logo.
Most recently, several thousands of letters from disappointed fans of the British public successfully pleaded with Nestle to do a U-turn on their new modern-look re-brand for Black Magic chocolates and go back to the old style.
"We underestimated the following the original brand enjoyed," admitted Nestlé UK trade communications manager Graham Walker. "We repackaged it two years ago to be more premium but the market in premium dark chocolate has changed since then."
Walker said he believed consumers would "look for the safety of their old favourite brands" as they are recovering from the economic downturn.
In these recessionary times, as we look for stability and security from brands we have invested in for generations, it seems the need for nostalgia is more prevalent than ever.
Modern day campaign tools such as Facebook are bringing consumer power to the forefront giving the public a direct and immediate audience with their favourite products. Social networking site Twitter has been described by some as the ultimate focus group giving real consumer responses within hours or even minutes.
Whether its chocolate, beef stock or laundry detergent - what has caused our inherent loyalty to such brands? And why do we get so upset if the packaging, flavour or formula changes?
Join top historian Robert Opie as he takes a retrospective look at the power of the brand throughout the century, from the roots of brand creation, to the classic TV adverts from the 70s and 80s, right through to today. Then take a look at a classic Black Magic ad for a touch of 80s nostalgia.
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