“America wanted Hostess back — they wanted the original. Very soon consumers will once again be able to enjoy Twinkies, CupCakes and other great Hostess snack cakes. A comeback by any other name could never be as sweet,” Daren Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos & Co., said in a statement to ABC News.
So what does it tell us about marketing? I can point out three lessons here, at least.
# 1. Power of a brand
Never underestimate the power of a brand. Coca-Cola made that mistake during the 80’s with New Coke, but they were able to rebound after that. It is the same thing with Twinkies. Sure, sales have been down due to changing customer preferences, but you cannot deny that this cream-filled pastry still commands quite a market due to the strength of its brand.
# 2. Nostalgia
Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool. The loss of Twinkies, CupCakes, and other Hostess products struck a chord in the market. Now that it is coming back, more people are willing to revisit these products again. And the company is banking on this single factor.
# 3. Social media
Social media is a great tool for measuring market trends. Sure, sales are down, the buyers are shifting preferences, but there will always be those who stay with them. If not for the adverse reaction of people online and through social media networks, not to mention someone from the company monitoring what customers say, then Twinkies would not have been brought back at all.
Lastly, innovation is always a necessity. The reason Hostess was forced to close down was because their customer base is shifting to other products that have a different offer. As previously mentioned, more people are looking for healthier alternatives. For a Hostess product to remain as is (without anything new to offer) is just inviting the inevitable.
It is lucky that Twinkies are coming back. The talk is strong and the market is expectant. Of course, the company will have to work on their marketing and product development efforts. They need to shore up their current customers, as well as attract new ones to them.
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Images: ”MADISON,WI-NOV16: Grocery store shelves empty out as customers buy up Hostess Brand snacks such as Twinkies after Hostess announces it is filing bankruptcy and closing plants, on Friday Nov 16, 2012 / Shutterstock.com“