Understanding the Brand Equity of Nestlé Crunch Bar: A Market Research Case
In early 2018, Nestl announced the sale of its U.S. candy-making division and a select collection of twenty of its confectionery brands, including the Nestl Crunch Bar, to Ferrero SpA for $2.8 billion. Under the terms of the Nestl acquisition, each of the purchased confectionery brands was permitted to use the Nestl parent brand name for one year after the close of the sale. After that time, the Nestl Crunch Bar would be rebranded as Crunch Bar with an endorsement from its new parent brand, Ferrara Candy Company, a division of Ferrero SpA. As the Nestl Crunch Bar brand transitioned to its new owners, it was time for some serious brand analysis to assess its brand equity and plot a course for its future growth. How strong/weak was the brand? What were its sources of brand equity that could be leveraged in brand storytelling? Which types of messages might attract new consumers to the brand and what might work to cause infrequent users to purchase more often? Did the product itself need to be changed? Were there brand extension possibilities? Luckily, an old consumer research study on the Nestl Crunch Bar conducted by Professor Gerald Zaltman was found on the shelves at Harvard Business School. The study used an innovative market research methodology developed by Professor Zaltman, the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET), which had proven to be useful to brand managers hoping to better assess and understand their brands. The research methodology and raw data from Professor Zaltman's ZMET study on the Nestl Crunch Bar are presented in the case as tools to help students assess and understand the brand equity of the Nestl Crunch Bar and map its future strategic course.