19 Nov

Is ‘old’ a benefit?

This’ll be relatively short, as I’m looking to pose a question more than write a long post – the question being: As a selling point, in an advertising campaign for a product or service, is ‘old’ (how long a company has been running) an actual consumer benefit?

Showing you what sparked this thought should clarify things. I saw this poster, for Mornflake breakfast cereals:


They’ve been making cereal for 340 years. They’ve been milling in Cheshire since 1675. They’re one of Britain’s oldest family-owned businesses.

All of this just made me think; ‘So?’

The age of the business is just not something I think about when I grab cereal from a supermarket shelf to stuff in my gob the next morning, eyes half closed.

I get what Mornflake are doing: they’re trying to say ‘heritage’ and ‘we know what makes good cereal’, but it feels like they’re telling you what they’re proud of, rather than thinking what you – as a consumer looking at cereals – want to hear.

If I’m brutally honest, I don’t give a toss that Mornflake have been ‘family milling in Cheshire since 1675’. It’s nice, but irrelevant. A cereal company could set up tomorrow and produce better tasting cereals than Mornflake.

But, is ‘old’ / heritage a non-benefit across the board?
I feel slightly more reassured by financial services companies that have been going for several/hundreds of years, but other than that…

So, there you have it. What do you think? Can ‘old’ be considered a benefit when advertising a product or service?

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