Kraft’s Name Change and Branding Change


Kraft announced its international parent name for daughter companies such as Cadbury, Nabisco, Oreo, etc.:  Mondelēz. The thinking was that “monde” represents world, and “elez”, according to Kraft, represents “a fanciful expression of ‘delicious’”.

The company is splitting in two and needed a new name for the international snack foods division that will become a separate entity.  Personally, the name “Mondelēz” reminds me of words as varied as sleeze and Mona Lisa.  But, we’ll see how this goes.   We can only wait and see how the international community responds.

*Update: Sales have decreased since the rename, whereas they had been increasing and were expected to continue to rise before the name change.

One concern:  I don’t think the name options were passed by a group of potential or current customers.  When doing a branding campaign or choosing a name, it’s crucial that you get feedback from your customers or potential customers.  Otherwise, no matter how hard you try, you can’t know what disinterested parties will think of your ideas. Even when you try to think like a non-owner or non-employee, you just can’t.  It’s imperative to get that outside opinion.

Kraft’s name seems to have come from a several-month competition within the company, and they received many name submissions.  I would be curious to know if any customer focus groups or polls were taken. This would have been a great opportunity to do a social media campaign, thus helping customers feel ownership and perhaps loyalty toward the new brand.  Unfortunately, it sounds like it remained an internally-focused affair, with limited outside feedback from regular consumers Kraft should be trying to engage.

Lesson:  Before you make a huge change or announce a big change, always, always, always get feedback from your target audience, whether that be investors, customers or potential customers.

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