4th October 2016

Five Brands That Bake Off Can Learn From

After my initial Bake Off breakdown, I’ve now, reluctantly, come to terms with the fact that good things have to end.

I can’t help but think this move to Channel 4 is a recipe for disaster though (pun definitely intended!)? Just like the BBC, the Great British Bake Off is quintessentially British – and the two together make a perfect coupling of values, audience and tongue-in-cheek pre-watershed innuendos. As such, the BBC’s beloved Bake Off has built up a following of enormously loyal fans over the years. You only have to look at Mary, Mel and Sue’s reactions for that to be clear.

Unfortunately I think that many of its traditional audience will now write off the show, bidding farewell to Mel & Sue’s witty repartee, Mary’s quirky blazers and the shocking controversies like freezer-gate (#JusticeForIain).

In my opinion, Bake Off’s only way of surviving more than one season at its new home is to completely rebrand and target a new audience. So, here are five rebrands and launches that I think Channel 4’s #GBBO can learn a lesson or two from if it’s to stand a chance.

Burberry

From riches, to rags and then back to riches, Burberry managed a complete transformation and established itself as a respected name once again. But we all remember the days following Burberry’s American expansion when its infamous checks were more chav than chic.

Originally associated with designing the iconic trench coat worn by officers in World War 1, the brand decided to take action in the early 00s to restore its English Heritage image. The caps were axed, the checks were toned down and Burberry went back to the classic designs it did best.

The lesson here? Don’t turn your back on your heritage, Bake Off!

BBC 3

In one of the channel’s most controversial changes (pre-Bake Off that is), the BBC made the decision to move BBC 3 online. Despite a petition against the move gaining over 300,000 signatures, it’s actually been deemed a success by many, due to its increased online ratings across its younger 16-24 year old audience.

The channel is a great example of how a real understanding of a target audience can help brands make necessary changes without hindering their future.

Stella Artois

Similar to Burberry, Stella Artois went from its ‘reassuringly expensive’ prestigious reputation, to an association with less-than-desirable larger louts. In a bid to get back to its original upmarket beer branding, Stella diversified with the launch of its umbrella brand – Artois – and a new marketing campaign with the slogan ‘She is a thing of beauty’.

Tapping into a more feminine audience, the brand managed to shed its negative associations and become the premium choice for the mature market.

New Day

Unlike BBC 3, I can’t help but think New Day didn’t quite understand their target audience. Launched on 29th February 2016, the compact daily newspaper was marketed at ‘normal’ people. It was supposed to appeal to non-newspaper buyers, but getting people who don’t like newspapers to buy a newspaper is a tough ask for even established titles. With a rushed launch and marketing that missed the mark, it was hardly a surprise when the paper tanked after just two months.

Never underestimate the power of an inventive marketing campaign based on real market research.

Top Gear

Once an award-winning show with viewers exceeding six million an episode, Top Gear took a spectacular tumble after saying goodbye to its trio of tried and tested presenters. With new presenter Chris Evans at the helm, the show’s ratings plummeted to an all-time low of 1.9 million.

If there’s ever a lesson in life for Bake Off, surely this is it: don’t hire Chris Evans!

By Hannah Todd, B2B Senior Account Executive