Branding? With a name like Smucker’s…

Branding? With a name like Smucker’s…

Apparently, choosey mothers choose Smucker’s.

That’s right, Smucker’s purchased the Jif brand in 2002.

It also purchased the Laura Scudders peanut butter brand, and Knott’s Berry Farm jams, jellies and preserves.

While we know that peanut butter and jelly go together like, well, peanut butter and jelly, here’s another brand addition: Since 2008, the best part of waking up, is apparently Smucker’s in your cup, because the firm purchased Folgers that year!

What do these brands share with the Smucker’s brand?

They are all true Americana brands, known for consistent quality. Just like Pillsbury baking mixes, which are also owned by Smucker’s.

So what does it mean to brand a company?

It’s a lot more than choosing a catchy name. For example, the founder of Smucker’s was J.M. Smucker. So that just happens to be the name of the firm.

It’s a lot more than graphics, which are important, but don’t tell the whole story for any brand.

Smartly, the Smucker’s graphic product brand has remained fairly unchanged for decades. It’s cheery checked-cloth background matches their unchanged roots, their unchanged quality and their unchanged appeal.

The branding and marketing as a whole have continued to show Smucker’s as a family brand with a strong family history.

So the brand isn’t about their graphics or their name, it’s about their true DNA.

This is the kind of branding that will go the distance if properly strategized and implemented. At Smucker’s, they did just that.

Based on their brand, they’ve used their marketing to continue to remind you that Smucker’s is a brand that also has a long history in your family.

This makes it feel wholesome, which is a major value in today’s world of wanting “real” food. Smucker’s grape jelly has no fat, no cholesterol, and only 5 grams of sodium.

When your company wants to create or refresh its brand, Smucker’s might be a great company to use as a model.

A brand should reflect the reality of the company. It can certainly reflect the best of what the company is, but it should not be what the company simply wishes it were. It has to be based on reality.

Over time, you can create a new marketing campaign theme or even update your look within the same brand strategy. And you can certainly utilize new tools to reach customers with a new message, as long as it’s within the same brand strategy. And you can add products or services within your brand as you grow.

The point is, the consistency of the branding of a company has a great deal to do with its long-term value. If you buy a jar of Smucker’s raspberry jam, you know what you’re getting. Just like you do with a cup of Folger’s.

So when you think of branding your firm, it may be as simple as creating a great product or service, and putting your own name on it, as J. M. Smucker did.

But even if your solution is that simple. it is still complex to ensure that your brand is clear and that everything the company does matches your brand, internally and externally.

As it turns out, America runs on Smucker’s (or at least it does now that Smucker’s is manufacturing and distributing Dunkin Donuts’ retail coffee for home.) And your brand should have some quality fuel, too.

If you’d like to start a discussion about your brand, please call me at (949) 955-7940 or email me. With a name like yours, it has to be good.

— Judith Brower Fancher