Fox's is relaunching its Rocky and Echo biscuit bars in the wake of consumer research revealing the brand positioning didn't work.
Rocky will be repositioned later this year as a family brand rather than a children's brand. The Rocky Robin character, which was revived in 2003 as a rap star in a campaign aimed at eight to 11-year olds, will be ditched after consumers deemed the product as much a snack for adults as children.
When consumers were asked to give the brand human traits, they said it was personified by a fireman, according to senior brand manager Jim Procter-Blain.
"We always advertised it as a kids' brand, but customers said: 'Why restrict it?' We discovered it has mainstream family appeal and we hadn't been doing it justice," he said.
In contrast, Echo was likened to a "suited, sophisticated Italian". As a result, Fox's has created new pack designs inspired by Rorschach-style ink-blot tests, which Fox's claimed could be interpreted differently by each consumer. The packaging would give more differentiation on shelf and lift its positioning as a premium, indulgent treat, added the company, which has also dropped the Fox's name from the brands' packaging for the first time.
"Echo and Rocky are now standalone brands away from Fox's," said Procter-Blain. "In some ways it's a risk as they won't get the halo effect from the huge investment being put behind Fox's. But it just means we need dedicated ad budgets for each of them."
Marketing is still being finalised, but the company is set to invest close to £1m across the two brands this year. TV ads could also be in the pipeline. The relaunch follows a year of poor sales for the brands. Rocky's value slipped 4% to £22.2m, while Echo's sales fell 15% to £8.5m.
However, Procter-Blain claimed this was down to "pulling away from some unprofitable promotions in the past year that affected value sales".
"We're confident the repositioning and relaunch will stimulate growth for these two key brands," he added.