By its own admission Müller had lost its way in recent years - it was out of touch with consumers and over-reliant on promotions. But 2013 brought a triumphant return to form.
Müller developed a category vision for chilled dairy based on key growth drivers and set about redeveloping its offer.
This included a pack redesign for Müllerlight and Müller Rice and new individual ad campaigns for its core sub-brands: Corners was amusingly fronted by X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger; quirky and humorous Müllerlight ads featured firemen and lifeguards; and Müllerice offered disruptive ‘Rice, rice baby’ creatives.
Innovation, which had been lacking of late, was also ramped up in a big way. Among the products brought to market in 2013 were Müllerlight Greek Style to tap the booming yoghurt subcategory; Corner products for kids; and the super-premium Corner de Luxe.
Müller also addressed the issue of over-promotion head-on. It cut volume sold on deal, while it increased marketing investment including a significant hike in TV advertising spend.
Recognising an opportunity to develop the skills of its marketers, the business also created the Müller Marketing Academy.
The success of this initiative has been recognised by retailers, says Müller, and reflected in its business results - with Corner sales up 7.3% by value year-on-year, and Müllerlight up 14.2% [Nielsen 52 w/e 4 January 2014].
Just as impressive was the effect the turnaround had on staff morale, with the proportion of employees saying they are proud of the brand rising 18%.