The repositioning of Hobnobs
A United Biscuits case study

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Page 9: Relaunching in 1997

The challenge facing Hobnobs in relaunching the brand was to target young consumers (18-34 year olds). This was not an easy task because this group of consumers does not have static lifestyles, rather they are people who are out on the move.

The promotional mix of advertising, media selection and sampling had to be suited to this type of consumer. Issues that needed consideration included: Where would this consumer be? Are they likely to be at home watching television? Would cinema advertising be appropriate? Are they likely to be sporty? etc.

The group of consumers aged 18-34 actually incorporates a variety of people including students, young professionals, single status people and young married couples. The task in marketing Hobnobs was to reach this target audience effectively. Research indicated that this group of people score particularly highly against cinema, radio and satellite television.

The delivery of the correct media in the correct place is essential to the success of the campaign to re-vitalise the Hobnobs brand by appealing to a younger consumer profile.

The challenge was to find the most effective way to reach this target audience and ensure that the Hobnobs message is conveyed to them clearly amongst the clutter of other messages with which they are faced.

Sampling venues (i.e. locations at which potential consumers have the opportunity to taste and try the biscuits) would also need to be tailored to ensure that the locations are relevant to the desired consumer, e.g. sporting events, student unions, etc.

Hobnobs were relaunched in 1997 with the intention of repositioning the brand away from its 'homebaked taste' and to its new position of 'Irrepressible Nobbly Adventure'. The brand essence was to be seen as 'surprisingly and irresistibly entertaining'. The relaunch included a new pack design, on pack promotion and radio support.

Hobnobs respond very well to promotional activity (especially off shelf display). The campaign 'Talking Nobblers' with Vic Reeves generated increased sales. The promotion was presented on-pack with an instant 'ring and win' campaign which ran across Hobnobs Original, Chocolate, Bars and the newly launched Flapjacks. It offered consumers the chance to win one of three prizes of £25,000, a limited edition T-shirt or mug.

United Biscuits | The repositioning of Hobnobs