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Fig Newton rebrands itself

Published June 27, 2014 at 8:23 am

Adsoft_direct_local_marketing_automation_newtonsCompanies re-vamp and rename their brands all the time, but when this needs to be implemented carefully so that customers don’t get confused and the product still retains some of its original identity.

AdWeek recently reported on the way that a classic Nabisco cookie, the “Fig Newton,” has changed over the years. The actual name of the brand was changed two years ago, according to the source, and is now simply “Newtons.”

Why did they do this, especially since they had been Fig Newtons for more than a century? According to the source, there were multiple reasons: one, the brand had other fruit fillings it wanted to emphasize, including blueberries.

But there was also the sense that the word “fig” was somehow behind the times, a link back to an older form of snack production that doesn’t mesh with the current state of the industry. Something as radical as giving a product a different name requires especially delicate and well-planned marketing campaign execution.

The change that they undertook does make sense, and if you look at the example ad included in the article, you can see an attempt to make the fresh blueberries and other ingredients a key focus. This fits into the “all-natural” movement that has caught on in recent years, as evidenced in this Nashville Ledger piece that looked at the contrast between “real” figs and the processed Newton bars.

In this article, the author compares the difference between various kinds of figs, and states them to be far superior to the popular cookie.

“For those of you who have never tasted a fig, other than a Newton, let me say, those are NOTHING like a fresh fig,” the article reads. “Eating a Fig Newton and thinking you are tasting a fig is like eating a Strawberry Pop Tart and thinking you are tasting strawberries.”

Perhaps this is a sign that the rebranding was a good move.

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