Cheerios: a brand aligned or an empty campaign?

no internal brand is like an empty cereal bowlThe Big Game is over but the conversation about the commercials continues. This year, 3 commercials tied a brand to a cause. Though they all had an emotional tug, it made me wonder whether they were authentic to the core—or simply an empty campaign.

cheering for cheerios
The second installment of the Cheerios interracial family was charming...with the talented young lady playing Gracie stealing the scene. The launch of the Family Breakfast Project (spinning off the Family Dinner Project) is a terrific initiative to get more families engaging with one another in meaningful ways over a meal. The tie-in makes a lot of sense. After all, haven't most of our mothers taught us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day?

General Mills does a great job of making us feel great about the Cheerios brand and the breakfast project without jamming it down our throats. But I wondered... is this an initiative that's purposefully filtering through all levels of the organization, or simply something dreamed up by the marketing department?

coming up empty
I went to their website to see. There's a blog section where employees can talk about what's happening and what it's like to work for the company. I was really hoping to read some exciting things about the brand and the Family Breakfast Project. Instead, I read an interview with the CMO and his point of view about this commercial, the Cheerios brand and other commercials within the game. That's just wak-wak.

something to sink your teeth into
What if the Family Breakfast Project really could filter deeper into the organization? Something really magical could happen. Here are some things they could try:

  • allow corporate employees some flexible time to have breakfast wtih their own famlies before coming to work
  • ask employees to share their favorite tips on better family mealtimes—both on the intranet and the employee blog the public and prospective employees can see
  • promote employee recipes for healthy meals using Cheerios and other products
  • encourage employees to volunteer in their local communities to promote healthy family meals—both traditional and nontraditional
  • create some special at-work mealtimes where employees can share camaradie with their colleagues (their family away from home)
  • invite employees to join in on social media conversations about the project and share their ideas
  • highlight employee tips and stories on the back of the cereal boxes to jumpstart consumer conversations

more please
When a brand is well aligned with internal and external strategies there's synergy. Every interaction between the brand and the consumer is delightful, strong and real... not just the fad du jour. Loyalty with both employees and comsumers grows and so does the bottom line.

For more ways to build loyalty for your brand from the inside out, call Martha at 785.969.6203.

Tags: internal brand, brand alignment, employee engagement, brand value, ROI, culture

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