Brands do flirt! Part 2

Equal flirts with Splenda

The makers of Equal, the Low-Calorie Sweetener, decided to enter that part of the Zero-Calorie Sweetener category which had been created and led by Splenda, by making a Sucralose-based Artificial Sweetener derived from sugar. The owners of Splenda were the original manufacturers of the product, and it had been trademarked under the Splenda name, in the well-known Yellow packet

In a critical and daring move, Equal decided to market its entry into the category in a Yellow packet instead of in its usual yet well-known Blue that identifies the Equal Brand. In doing so, Equal gave consumers more reason to buy Splenda instead of its own Brand, by endorsing Splenda as the category leader

How and why was this the case?

Simple: The Branding strength applied by Equal worked to the advantage of Splenda by using the word Sucralose (again, a Splenda trademark) and the Color associated with the Category Leader—Yellow. This visual branding and positioning empowers Splenda in its domination of the category. Imagine if Sweet N Low, the Low-Calorie Sweetener category leader, decided to enter the Zero-Calorie Sweetener category and introduced its product in the same color as that of Splenda; Would that work? Obviously not. There has to be more reasoning than copying a color to beat the category owner. Splenda will sell many more yellow packets of sweetener with the help of Equal. Equal’s decision shows lack of corporate focus and zero understanding of the Power of Brands

Today Splenda and Equal are enjoying a less competitive market while both are battling for leadership, Splenda, of course is a focused Brand which is why it prevails

The article was first published on Linkedin Pulse on March 8th, 2015

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Branding Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on

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