Sometimes you wonder: “what the…?!” when it comes to business’s marketing strategies. Companies shoot themselves in the foot and commit commercial suicide every day.
Not that chocolate-spread maker Ferrero, which makes Nutella, is suicidal but you have to wonder what planet they live on.
It’s news to me (although I love Nutella, very yum), but there’s a World Nutella Day. Strange, but there you have it. Some people are real fans of the stuff. They adore Nutella and they want everyone to know about the brand.
Any right-thinking company’s marketing people would be quivering with delight. Tears of gratitude would be shed.
Not so. Ferrero’s discovered World Nutella Day it seems — a few years late, but you know how slowly lawyers work. They’ve not only found out about World Nutella Day, they’ve also banned it.
I’ve spent hundreds of hours interacting with you, the fans, collecting and sharing your contributions, updating the World Nutella Day website with more than 700 recipes which were painstakingly gathered from bloggers sending me their posts and by scouring the internet for the best Nutella recipes, Tweeting and sharing on Facebook your favorite sayings, stories, and links about Nutella, and encouraging everyone to try it just once!
After all that, you’d think Ferrero would send Ms Rosso at least one palette of jars, enough to feed her and her family for a year. But according to news.com.au, “Ferrero, the Italian company that makes Nutella, has ordered Ms Rosso to ‘cease and desist’ from publishing anything with the Nutella name or logo on it.”
Companies need to maintain control of their trademarks, so you can see their point in one way. In another, the attitude is plain silly. I like Nutella enough to keep it in the pantry, but I have no loyalty to the brand. I do dislike discourtesy however, and silliness. You should pardon the pun, but Ferrero’s biting the hands that feed it. Next time I add “chocolate spread” to my shopping list, I’ll be checking out Nutella’s competitors.
How hard would it be for any company (worries about trademarks aside) to make the most of this public relations coup, rather than trashing it? Sad.
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