If there was a list of great examples of brand, Cadbury would have to top the list. As the Kraft/Cadbury deal (takeover) becomes finalized, it is not the chocolate bars or creme filled eggs that Britons are fearing they will lose, it is what Cadbury stands for. Britons, yesterday, were so angry at the takeover that the former trade minister, Lord Digby Jones, was quoted as saying, ” My big wish is that Kraft get it when they see what made Cadbury the iconic brand they wanted to buy, and that’s its people, its reputation. That’s what Cadbury’s is, and they’re buying something that’s more than just a chocolate company.”
“…more than just a chocolate company.” That is the epitome of a successful brand; more than the sum of its products. The Cadbury brand is successful due to its people, its values, its history, its relationship with its employees, and of course the chocolate candy that the English have grown up with. Cadbury is seen as a force for good, constructing a model village in 1879 for workers to live in away from the industrial wastes; pioneering worker involvement in labor negotiations; and treating its workers fairly providing an excellent pension and medical benefits before they were mandated. Even the founding of the company was based off of a social benefit: the founder, a Quaker, developed chocolate drinks as a way to wean people off of alcohol.
The Cadbury brand has come to be synonymous with fairness, warmth, decency, compassion. And the Kraft brand? Cold, huge, uncaring, impersonal. And ironically, Kraft was rated highest in a yearly survey analyzing brand sincerity. The Reputation Institute analyzed the data of their annual Global Pulse survey and figured out that U.S. corporations perceived to be communicating with the most sincerity had the best reputations. Kraft was the top of the list.
And so, while the ingredients for the chocolate bars may not change, and the taste may remain the same, the brand will not. And if Kraft is smart, they will look beyond the total number of units sold, and they will do everything in their power to preserve the Cadbury brand, because the brand loyalty they have is hard to replace.