Brand.com Reviews Twinkie Rebranding Endeavors

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Brand.com weighs in on the recent rebranding of the Twinkie snack cake.

Last November, word broke that the long-running, cream-filled snack cake the Twinkie was ceasing production, with its manufacturer—Hostess Brands—falling into bankruptcy. When the word got out, however, the social media universe quickly reacted with an outpouring of support, leading to the surprising revival of Hostess and, now, the re-launch of the Twinkie. While Twinkies may be back on store shelves, however, they have undergone a subtle yet discernible shift in branding—one that has won the attention of Brand.com.

Brand.com has released a new statement to the press, in which company president Michael Zammuto opines on the particular challenges and opportunities that face Twinkie 2.0. “There is a balancing act that the Twinkie needs to strike, in this new incarnation,” Zammuto affirms. “On the one hand, this product has been brought back from the dead solely on the basis of consumer loyalty, and it is critical for Twinkie to continue pleasing those fans, not taking them for granted. At the same time, for the product to succeed, it is also going to need to bring in new supporters from different demographics.”

That is exactly what the new version of Twinkie is trying to do. Though the product itself has not changed, its marketing and distribution methods have. Twinkie will now be distributed to retail warehouses, rather than directly to stores—a move that signals a shift in focus away from grocery stores, and toward convenience stores.

This plays into the new branding mission of the company, which is to make Twinkie not just a product for moms to pack into school lunches, but rather a product geared toward “bros”—that is, young men.

Everything about the new Twinkie branding campaign testifies to the decision to make this a snack cake aimed at younger males. The new slogan, “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever,” has what Zammuto calls “a twentysomething flair to it.” Additionally, the site’s new viral marketing campaign, centered around prepareyourcakeface.com, makes ample use of cutting-edge social media channels such as Vine.

“The only real challenge that the company faces with this rebranding is the fact that many younger men have grown up with things like the food pyramid, and may be a little more health-savvy—but clearly, the company is going to great lengths to boost the appeal of the Twinkie, and this challenge is one that will surely be overcome,” Zammuto comments.

Ultimately, Zammuto believes that Twinkie is being rebranded the right way. “There are many levels on which we can commend these branding efforts,” he explains. “The new Twinkie is being launched with a viral ad campaign that fits right in with its target demographic, and it is implementing social media technologies in a way that makes sense.”

Brand.com reviews the marketing and branding visions of companies and products the world over.

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Brittany Herron
Brand.com
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