Marketing Society Awards for Excellence: Marketing capabilities


Having begun life as a milk-processing operation, Dairy Crest sought to transform itself into a leading brand-building business following its acquisition of the St Ivel portfolio in 2002.

Dairy Crest had no formal marketing procedure, so decided to invest in a robust marketing strategy for the first time in order to generate strong business performance in its low-interest categories of milk, cheese, butters and spreads.

The first step was to identify the company's goals through interviews, surveys and audits across the business. The result was a clear set of priorities for 2005-2006, including creating and communicating compelling positionings for its brands, focusing on insight and driving new ideas to market.

Dairy Crest's repositioning of its Cathedral City cheese brand helped boost sales, contributing to the product's rise in value to £123m - a 125% increase from 2002 to 2006.

The approach was later used for the company's other brands, which have also shown impressive value growth. Flavoured milk drink Frijj rose in value by 89%, while Country Life butter grew by 50%, with Clover seeing a 22% rise over the campaign period.

Dairy Crest also invested in people development, including £250,000 annually in its Marketing Excellence Programme; the initiative significantly improved the marketing team's performance, with a talent management review showing that 22% of marketers improved their performance in 2006.

Brand value growth has increased, production costs have fallen and product launches are delivering extra revenues. Dairy Crest has now successfully shifted from being a commodity-led to a marketing-led business.


With ambitious commercial goals, Cadbury Schweppes needed organic growth of 6%-8% in order to move into the top quartile of industry performers.

A winning performance depended on its ability to integrate its sales and marketing functions, a huge shift for the company that involved a £10m investment in its biggest-ever change management and capability programme, 'Building Commercial Capabilities' (BCC).

Phase one required the development of new internal behaviour and processes, bringing together the expertise of commercial staff and the HR team's experience in change management.

Phase two involved an internal communications initiative, giving all commercial employees the tools they needed to put BCC into practice.

While the programme will not be completed until 2008, Cadbury Schweppes is already seeing vital changes. It has entered the UK chewing gum market with the launch of Trident, which the firm estimates will be the number two brand in its sector by its second year.

Meanwhile, 7-UP in the US is seeing consistent growth for the first time as a result of the BCC programme.

Internal research shows 90% of commercial and support-function employees in 50 countries support the initiative, and 84% believe it has delivered value. In 2005, Cadbury Schweppes UK saw a significant shift in performance, achieving its highest organic growth - 6.3% - in a decade.

Client: Dairy Crest
Agency: Brand Learning

Client: Cadbury Schweppes
Agency: Monitor Group


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