History of Vegemite, Consumer Involvement Old Hat

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Here is the first lesson from Symbols of Australia

As much as marketers like to think about Consumer Involvement as this new marketing technique it is not. The story of the Australian icon Vegemite is testament that this technique has been around for years.

‘In 1910, the popular English spread Marmite was registered in Australia. Made from beef extract, the product is still in exsistence today. In early 1923, Fred Walker, an enterprising general merchant produced a vegetable extract. To position it in direct compeititon with Marmite, he called it Parwill: ‘Marmite-mother might, Parwill- father will.

The brand didn’t take on and Walker assumed it may have had something to do with the name. Late 1923 he conducted a competition to rename it. The result was Vegemite, which Walker duly registered.’

A recent example that comes to mind of the food industry using this consumer involvement in the product naming is the Name It Burger competition from McDonalds. Link here.

In the picture above is a Vegemite ad from 1923 and a bottle from 1950 and one from the 1980’s.


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