A brand in serious trouble
Hovis is a great British brand, once purchased by three-quarters of households, yet from 2006 had found itself in a steepening decline.
Previous owners had trimmed marketing efforts and allowed product quality to deteriorate, just as consumers were discovering northern rival Warbutons. Market share was plummeting, and a spiral of distribution losses seemed a real possibility.
"Reflect who we really are"
Restore consumers' waning belief in the 'inherent goodness' of Hovis.
Move away from a mass-manufactured image and re-established Hovis as 'naturally healthy, tasty bread from a real baker.'
Deliver fresh, powerful designs to shelf within six months.
Traditional yet progressive
Needing to command attention and encourage re-trial within a glance we couldn't play safe.
We wanted to celebrate the brand's roots as well as its contemporary relevance. Latent consumer affection for Hovis was triggered through equities such as the delivery boy and the original wordmark.
Eye-catching colours meanwhile, distinguish between the variety of Hovis products and provide the necessary modern touch. Dominant branding and attractive, clean lines get Hovis noticed.
Above all, the transparent half of the bag demonstrates the improved quality of the product, and indeed, the confidence that Hovis has in its appeal to consumer.
Market share recovery
From May 2008, as market share hit a low of 22.9%, reformulated products in their shiny new livery hit the shelf. Penetration and average weight of purchase immediately picked up.
In September new advertising and PR began. The power of an integrated relaunch is clear from the V-shaped turnaround in Hovis’ share of the market.
In the year following the relaunch, Hovis’ sales rose by +20%. Household penetration has gone from 31% to 35%, average purchase is up from £3.40 to £4.00 and market share was within a whisker of its all-time peak of 28%.
Return on Investment
If the downwards trend had continued, Hovis was projected to reach just 17% by year end. In a market worth £1.84bn, the value of a share 9.8% higher than would have been achieved is £181m.
Using published gross profit of Hovis’ owner, Premier Foods, of 30% and a total marketing investment of £15m, this equates to a 3.6-fold return on investment.
We fully acknowledge the contribution of PR and advertising to the mix. Nevertheless, while design was a minor element in the marketing spend (at c.£200,000), it is credited with an instrumental role by the Hovis team. Its value in tipping the balance at a critical moment is perhaps best illustrated by the response of the Tesco buying team, when presented with the new design at a tense review - ‘Now, that’s more like it. How soon can we have it? And we want an exclusive!’