Marketing to make your mouth water

opalfruits.jpgTen years after US confectionary giants Mars left legions of UK sugar addicts seriously bitter at its renaming of Opal Fruits to its global brand Starburst it’s set to bring back the moniker for a limited run.ASDA will sell the sweets ‘made to make your mouth water’ from 11 May for 12 weeks, complete with the original flavours and packaging.Much as we'd love to attribute credit to the noble organisation that is the Opal Fruit Liberation Front, it’s probably wiser to slip back on our natural cynicism and assume Mars has taken a look at Cadbury’s successful relaunch of Wispa, supposedly a decision taken in reaction to a 14,000-strong Facebook campaign (a claim doubted among chocolate conspiracy theorists).Indeed, Mars’ marketing department are positively salivating over the prospect of wrecking all that expensive dental work of the 30-somethings who reluctantly moved on when Opal Fruits did.“The brand is a classic. Everyone of a particular generation remembers the Opal Fruit catchphrase and we wanted to give our customers something back as a thank you for their support," a spokesman told thelondonpaper.They’re too kind – but it’s an amazing example of the power of branding, especially to youth markets. So many experts talk about product being everything, but as Mars has proved twice (remember Marathon?), even a well-respected, established product can be damaged by the most superficial of changes.If you’re thinking of rebranding, think twice.

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