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Grow the Core: How to Focus on your Core Business for Brand Success by David Taylor

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Chapter 3

The case for the core

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Brand stretch is not the only route to take to growth. Growing the core has many advantages over brand stretching, creating less complexity and reinforcing what made the brand famous in the first place. The case for core growth is compelling, with evidence that the majority of high-performing companies have a strong core business. Growing the core presents its own challenges, especially the need for creativity, given the lack of help and support on how to do it.

Two ways to make a million – Heinz soup

In 2007, Heinz soup stretched out of its strong core of canned soup and moved into chilled soup, with a proposition called ‘Farmers’ Market'. The size of prize seemed attractive; the chilled soup market was big and growing and had positive values relating to freshness and modernity. In contrast, the canned soup market was seen as being old-fashioned and lacking in food values. The concept, product and packaging for the chilled soups were pretty good and probably did well in consumer testing. There was little doubt that the Heinz brand could, in theory, stretch from canned to chilled soup. But ‘can the brand stretch?’ is the wrong question to ask. The right question is ‘can we make any money in the new market?’ and it's here that Heinz hit problems.

In terms of ability to win, Heinz was up against a dominant Leader Brand, Covent Garden, ...

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