The Importance of Effective Communication in a Competitive Market
A Kellogg's case study

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Page 2: Communication Process

The basic communication process involves transmitting information from a sender to a receiver. However, effective communication requires not only that the message or information is received but also that it is understood. The following diagram illustrates the main stages involved in any communication process.

Encoding is the stage when the sender transforms her/his idea into a communicable Kelloggs 20 Diag1message. This can involve a range of elements including words, sounds, images and symbols. The key is to ensure the message is appropriate to the intended recipients or receivers, (sometimes referred to as the ‘audience’) and that it is easily understood.


As market leader, Kellogg’s is constantly under threat of competition from both existing competitors and new entrants. Consumer research identified two key learnings which led to the development of the Origins project in June 2014.


  1. Consumers increasingly want to know how the foods they consume are made and where they come from and are of the belief that foods which have identifiable ingredients are less processed/better for you.
  2. The opportunity is to reassure consumers about the simple goodness of our foods i.e. Kellogg cereals are made from grains and sunshine with a minimal amount of processing.

These learnings were distilled to the project’s main communication message

‘It all begins with sunshine and grain’.

The senior managers, having encoded this main message, broke it down into another three key messages to transmit to different stakeholders:

  1. All Kellogg cereals start with the same thing: sunshine and natural grains like wheat, oats, barely, rice and rye , helping millions of people get a great start to the day
  2. Kellogg works with farmers across Europe to ensure its cereals contain only the best quality grains
  3. Kellogg helps farmers improve efficiencies and optimise their yields while adopting sustainable practices to help preserve the natural habitat  around them.

Having prepared these messages, the sender must then select the best way to transmit the Kelloggs 20 Diag2messages to their intended receivers/audiences. This way of transmitting messages is called the channel or ‘medium’ of communication. Effective communication relies on selecting the most suitable channel. This aspect must be well planned as sending a message using an inappropriate medium will limit the audience’s response and inhibit the desired response. Selecting the correct channel will ultimately depend upon the objectives set, whether the stakeholders being targeted are internal or external and whether the communication is formal or informal.  The next two sections explore the main receivers of Kellogg’s Origins messages from the viewpoint of whether they are internal or external stakeholders and the main media used to communicate internally and externally.

Kellogg's | The Importance of Effective Communication in a Competitive Market