Kit Kat: Revitalising a Brand Leader
A Nestlé case study

Page 1: Introduction

All products have a life-cycle. It starts with preparations for the product's launch, followed by the launch itself. Some products are an immediate success; they capture public imagination. Often this results from well targeted, exciting promotional and advertising activity and from careful market research that has identified a genuine gap in the market. Other products take longer to come to...
Read full page

Page 2: The life-cycle of a product

Marketing departments are expected to ensure that products do not go into decline. Mature products need new life injected into them, to keep the buying public interested and aware of the product's benefits. This case study provides a classic example of how to put new life into a favourite, leading brand: Kit Kat.
Read full page

Page 3: Why Kit Kat needed revitalising

Kit Kat is the UK's best-selling chocolate bar. However, in the competitive modern world consumers' tastes continually change. As a result, even the most popular icons have to re-invent themselves from time to time in order to keep their appeal and stay 'on top'. For example, pop stars adjust their image, film animators amend their favourite cartoon characters, and car designers re-design old...
Read full page

Page 4: Project Tyson

Project Tyson resulted in the launch of Kit Kat ChunKy, a super size Kit Kat finger with a real mouthful of chunky milk chocolate. This 'heavyweight' idea assumes that younger consumers are looking for novelty, interest and even excitement when they buy a chocolate bar. While most of us are loyal to the chocolate products we buy regularly, we also seek novelty. Project Tyson, as with all...
Read full page

Page 5: Objectives for the launch

A wise company will look to justify every new venture in strict business terms: it will set tough performancetargets. These in turn can be converted into production targets, cost estimates and revenue projections.
Read full page

Page 6: Quantitative objectives

Nestlé set demanding quantitative objectives for the launch. Nestlé aimed to: achieve 90distribution in all sectors of the confectionery market within the first four weeks after the launch sell 50 million units (ie 2,750 tonnes of product) in 1999, the year of the launch increase sales in subsequent years.
Read full page

Page 7: Qualitative objectives

Nestlé also set several qualitative objectives. These were to: broaden the number of occasions on which people consume Kit Kat, with the vision that Kit Kat would be the natural choice for all breaks increase Kit Kat's market penetration by enticing new consumers to the brand, and by persuading lapsed users to return to the product, with particular emphasis on the 12-20 year old...
Read full page

Page 8: Supporting the launch: media, PR and point of sale

For a new product to grab public attention quickly, it is vital to support its launch with well-targeted advertising and promotional activities. Chunky was supported by two dedicated television adverts complemented by a phone site campaign. The advertising was a big departure from previous campaigns in that it focused on the targeted age group. It concentrated on 17-18 year olds in order to...
Read full page

Page 9: The success of the launch

The launch of Kit Kat Chunky proved to be one of the best marketing success stories in recent times. Over 50 million bars were despatched within the first few weeks of the launch. Kit Kat Chunky almost immediately became the best selling countline, and this success story has continued. Nestlé provided excellent support for retailers by providing them with in-store promotions and a smooth...
Read full page

Page 10: Conclusion

The launch of Kit Kat Chunky has shown that intelligent innovation and adaptation, supported by meticulous market research and product promotion, really can extend a successful product's life-cycle significantly.
Read full page

Related: Nestlé
Case studies in Business Case Studies


You can download resources for this case study below


Subscribe to our business studies newsletter for current business news including lesson plans and activity ideas.