How Mars rebranded Ben’s Original with a focus on purpose and activism

Ben’s Original’s rebrand and subsequent community commitments garnered the Mars Foods team first prize in the CSR & ESG Business Practices: Brand Activism category of Ragan’s CSR & Diversity Awards.

How Mars food rebranded Ben's Original

The murder of George Floyd and the ensuing racial justice movement of the summer 2020 caused many organizations to reevaluate their messaging and branding with respect to racial sensitivity.

For rice dish producer Uncle Ben’s, this meant taking a hard look at the history of the company’s name and its implications in modern-day society. “After listening to thousands of consumers, its own Associates, from around the world — particularly those in the Black community — to understand the inequities associated with the name and face of the Uncle Ben’s brand, in September 2020, the brand announced that 80-year-old Uncle Ben’s brand would become Ben’s Original,” Mars Food writes.

To introduce the brand’s new name, packaging and purpose with sensitivity, the Mars Food team laid out a four-step process.

First, they drove awareness of the new name and purpose commitments in 2020.

Second, before the launch, they prepared shoppers for the new visual identity of the brand. “This 360-effort ensured shoppers were prepared to see the new visual identity, including a press announcement, owned channel content, as well as digital, TV and in-store POS advertising,” Mars Food writes.

Third, the team launched the new name with two creative campaigns, “Everyone’s Original” and “My Original Recipe.”

Finally, they sustained Ben’s Original’s purpose-driven commitments with community investments and strategic brand storytelling, funding scholarships to eight students through the inaugural Seat at the Table initiative. Additionally, Mars Food announced a collaboration with Kroger and Molina Healthcare to bring healthy foods and nutritional education to residents of the U.S. Delta Region.

Congratulations to the Mars Food team.

COMMENT Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from directly in your inbox.