The Kelloggs: Marketing Pioneers In More Ways Than One
Talk about marketing pioneers. You know the Kelloggs family more for their cereal successes than anything else. The company’s brands include Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, and Corn Flakes, plus cereal bars, cookies, waffles and a whole lot more. While the company is great at market segmentation for its many products, the family history includes even more interesting target marketing and creation of another industry.
I learned this by stumbling across a post in Bloomberg Business Week about The Man Who Invented Wellness–John Kellogg and a new book about him and his brother.
One brother, Will, worked with John at the first ever wellness center called The San until 1906 when he left to start the Kellogg Corn Flake Company as a spinoff to the wellness business. While his brother John pushed for people to eat a healthy breakfast, John Kellogg pushed for health and wellness until his death in 1943. Many of his philosophies are common today: Eat grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and soy milk. Keep meat and sugar to a minimum. He was a pioneer in some ways and probably ahead of his time.
He and his brother were also ahead of their time and pioneers as marketers way before the rest of the world. John pushed the wellness message and leveraged both horizontal and vertical integration with the emphasis on specific foods in the wellness diet and then producing and selling those foods. And of course, Will Kellogg took that initial corn flake business and grew it way beyond. Kelloggs has been a leader in segmentation, positioning by segment, messaging and marketing for over 50 years.
Check out the book The Kelloggs, Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Markel. And keep in mind how both brothers knew how to Hit the Bullseye.