The repositioning of Hobnobs
A United Biscuits case study

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Page 7: Why reposition a brand?

The market-place is dynamic - it changes continually. Skilful marketing involves being aware of the changes that are taking place and making sure that your brand is best positioned to benefit from opportunities.

Originally, Hobnobs were positioned to take advantage of their 'homebaked taste' where the appeal of the biscuit was its oaty, crumbly, wholesomeness. This approach to marketing Hobnobs meant that the biscuits proved to be particularly successful with a market that had the following characteristics.

  • ABC1 - this group is generally targeted by McVitie's for its premier brands as it incorporates a number of classes who are likely to be in a position to afford the choice and luxury of branded biscuits.
  • over 35 years old
  • 50% male and 50% female.

This target group provided McVitie's with a healthy core of loyal customers. However, more recent research has indicated that there is a far more substantial opportunity to target the biscuits at a wider and younger audience.

Market research has revealed that Hobnobs:

  • have the highest proportion of male consumers of any McVitie's biscuit
  • have the highest proportion of consumers under 35 years of age
  • have a high brand awareness
  • do not rely heavily on McVitie's endorsement to sell the product, rather they are able to act as a stand-alone brand
  • a key feature of the product is its 'nobble effect'
  • sell particularly well as a complement to soft drinks.

Armed with this research information it has been a logical step to reposition McVitie's marketing activities to focus on a repositioning of Hobnobs so that the primary focus has moved:

This does not mean that the original Hobnobs market has been abandoned - clearly this needs to be built on - however, the emphasis in marketing tools and tactics will now be on the younger age group.

United Biscuits | The repositioning of Hobnobs
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