Cadbury was established nearly 200 years ago in 1824 by John Cadbury. John himself held values of social justice and equality which have been inherent to the company and are still maintained to this day. Traditionally Cadburys has always been known as a family company; many of its employees were and are located in Bourneville and neighbouring areas, such that it is known as ‘Cadbury-town’. However, the recent takeover by Kraft, a US food giant for $11. billion, has seen Cadbury move from an intimate family brand to a corporate giant. Since the recent Kraft takeover there has been a great deal of conflict over the future course of the brand which we know and love. One of the key issues surrounding Cadburys future is whether Kraft will be able to maintain Cadburys current ethical stance. Many people have questioned Kraft’s ability to maintain the Cadbury brand promise.
Cadbury has already adopted an acute ethical position; many of their products are now Fair Trade and they have also recently involved themselves with the Make A Wish Foundation and launched Cadbury Wishes; for every star sold 10% of the profit goes to children with life threatening illnesses, and helps to make their wishes come true. Many critics believe that in order for the brand to continue being so successful Kraft need to ensure this ethical standpoint is maintained; failure to do so could result in loss of customers, who may choose to move to other brands who uphold these ethical values.
Former Group Chief Executive and Chairman of Cadbury, Sir Dominic Cadbury highlighted internal brand engagement as a key element of Cadbury’s future. He stressed how import it is that Kraft reconnect with the employees, especially those who are unhappy and do not necessarily agree with the recent developments that have taken place. Cadbury employees used to be a major strength to the brand and the company; Kraft need to recognise the importance of the Cadbury employees and keep them satisfied in order to prevent internal collapse of the brand.
Strong brand equity is furthermore another key issue. It has taken decades of investment for the Cadbury brand to build up high consumer equity. There are fears that the difference in culture may result in Kraft ‘dumbing’ down the iconic advertising which has been such an integral part of the Cadbury brand. The degree to which Kraft intend to stamp their presence across the brand will have a determining effect on the future of the brand.
To conclude; since the recent take over many critics, including Dominic Cadbury, have expressed how they believe that the Cadbury brand will never be the same again; and as a result of the Kraft takeover Cadbury have lost their family image. Thus it is possible to suggest that Kraft must work hard to maintain Cadburys current triumphant brand strategy and keep a firm handle on both internal and external brand rapport which Cadburys prides itself on.
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