General Mills Corporation Mission and Vision
General Mills Corporation is a huge company that manufactures and markets a vast assortment of branded consumer foods. The company’s products are being used in millions of households all over the world. As a massive corporation, General Mills made it their mission to nourish lives, communities, and, ultimately, the future with their mission statement, “To make lives healthier, easier and richer” (Green America, 2013). The company upholds this pledge by providing products that help people manage their weight and contribute to a heart healthy diet with whole grain intake and other healthy food choices. Convenient packaging and products allow for easy on-the-go meals (Reereestads, 2012).
Aside from being committed to their mission statement, General Mills also adheres to their values statement which serves as the guiding dogma for how the company operates. It reinforces the sense of championship to their brands, people, innovation, and performance (Man on a Mission, 2005). Although not necessarily mentioned in a direct manner, the principles allude to the welfare of the consumers in all means that the company’s products and services can provide.
The company’s commitment to both its mission and values statements has a very huge significance in its competitive advantage. General Mills’ company philosophies encourage trust and respect from the consumer, and it is reflected on how the company is being viewed throughout the world.
General Mills Corporation and the issue on Environment
The looming presence of General Mills in the market cannot be refuted. That being said, it doesn’t take much to cogitate on the implications towards the social responsibilities of the company. It is, after all, a huge company; and it has an influence over the lives of its many employees, not to mention its consumers. Just like any other colossal corporation, General Mills is subject to the seven environmental forces in the economic, technological, cultural, demographic, legal, political, and ecological sense of the phrase.
In the political and ecological context, it won’t take long before the political football in the issues regarding climate change ends up in a regulation that requires the company to retool its manufacturing process in order to align to a greener system. This will cost a substantial amount of resources from the company. The issue on genetically modified food products doesn’t bring a lighter atmosphere to the company either (General Mills and Environmental Forces, 1969). Moreover, General Mills faced a legal conflict regarding the use of the “natural” labelling. Apparently, a particular product of General Mills which was endorsed as ‘natural’ actually contains highly processed substances, such as maltodextrin and maltose corn syrup (Strom, 2012).
General Mills Corporation and Customer Service Management
The company boasts its state-of-the-art customer service facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana that sports efficient technologies which have environmentally friendly design elements. Not only it is a customer service facility, it also serves as a delivery headquarters which uses a centralized computer-based transportation system regulating the efficient mapping of product deliveries in multiple destinations (Christenson, 2012).
General Mills on Marketing, Promotion, and Advertising
Packaged foods companies have always relied on TV and print advertising. Even General Mills, which is already an established household name, still makes use of the old school type of promotion. Having been around for almost a century, General Mills certainly has a few marketing tricks up its sleeve. The marketing principle of General Mills is very simple and it speaks for every single brand that the company holds: It can be summed up in this one question: “What is the bigger job this brand does in a consumer’s life?” (Fine, 2009).
The marketing outline of the company is very specific. Intensive research is key towards a successful marketing scheme and General Mills invests a lot of money into research. Aside from that, General Mills started pitching new products and new product developments with the use of social networks. A lot of other companies are using social network platforms to endorse their products. It is way too cheap compared to putting up TV and Print ads.
Positioning statements are necessary for a brand to identify where it is in the marketing realm. The market niche for General Mills products is pretty apparent and rigid. Thus, a position statement would seem redundant. The emphasis on branding can be an excellent help in the product’s marketing and advertising stratagem. However, an absence of a position statement would not seem to affect the company on the endorsement part in a major way.
“The breakfast of champions” appears to be an ingenious slogan to serve as the company’s position statement. A huge fraction of the company’s brands are consumed during breakfast, which makes the slogan spot-on. The target market is also very discernible. However, General Mills is looking to focus on three consumer populations which they believe are the drivers of the company’s future growth – the multicultural, the baby boomers, and the millennials (York, 2010). Just like the rest of the world, General Mills is facing the challenge of changing consumer demographics and evolving consumer needs. The company’s broad portfolio allows it to be well-positioned and flexible in meeting the demands of the consumers, not only in the US market but in the international setting as well.
General Mills and the Marketing Mix
Product. People are embracing the movement to a healthier lifestyle and General Mills is up for the challenge. In the past decade, the company has introduced healthier food options and has, in fact, covered the entire spectrum for healthier breakfast food choices.
Price. Being a staple brand for cereals and breakfast foods, General Mill’s product prices do not fluctuate frequently. For the consumer’s perspective, it is one of the comforting things about having a trusted brand.
Place. For a brand that exists across the globe, General Mills doesn’t dwell on the precept ‘location, location, location’. The company has dominated the location pitch a long time ago.
Promotion. How does one promote a brand that is already everywhere? General Mills has a very solid marketing platform that allows them to promote and broadcast their products through the television and print ads. But the media is changing and the company needs to adapt into what is current. Social media is the most convenient and probably the most effective medium for marketing and promotions today. General Mills is taking advantage of this and is looking to expand its influence online.
General Mills uses the branding statement “Nourishing lives” to communicate the essence of what the company is about. Generally, it represents the company’s marketable distinctions, achievements, and positive characteristics. It also reflects the broad extent of their influence in terms of consumer demographics. With these two words, General Mills was able to display interest towards the welfare of its consumers. A branding statement is supposed to showcase the philosophy of the company and two simple words were able to exhibit what General Mills stands for. It is not time bound; it is not audience-specific; and it is constructive.
General Mills and Sustainability
Looking at the milestones that the company has achieved throughout the last century, one can justify how General Mills Corporation has become a forerunner in the industry where it belongs. Taking a closer look, it is exceptionally hard to find a loophole in the company’s marketing mix and operations considering how established it already is. Its pursuit in expanding in the natural and organic product portfolio is an outward effort to retain its place as one of the most trusted brands in the market. Their products bring wellness and great taste together, providing convenient, nutritious, and affordable food choices.
Currently, the company prides itself of its commitment towards fulfilling social responsibilities and being a fervent steward of the campaign for environmental sustainability. This effort is not only evident in their external commitments but is actually what they practice in their core manufacturing processes. They continue to seek for more environment friendly raw materials to re-engineer their existing product formulae. What they’re after is not short-term solution but a sustainable future.
General Mills Corporation considers it their business imperative to promote the sustainability of the planet by making a difference in the local communities (PR Newswire, 2015). They believe they have already made great progress inside their operations and supply chain. However, the company recognizes that there is so much more that needs to be done.
Christenson, B. (2012, September 5). General Mills' New Customer Service Facility Achieves LEED Gold Certification from U.S. Green Building Council| Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/05/idUS166432+05-Sep-2012+BW20120905
Fine, J. (2009, July 15). How General Mills' Marketing Pays Off. Bloomberg Business.
Green America. (2013). Deception at General Mills: The real Corporate Social Responsibility Report for General Mills.
Man on a Mission. (2005, October 31). Man on a Mission: General Mills' (GIS) Mission Statement [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://manonamission.blogspot.com/2005/10/general-mills-gis-mission-statement.html
PR Newswire. (2015, April 7). General Mills Reports Progress on Global Responsibility Commitments -- MINNEAPOLIS, April 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --. Retrieved from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/general-mills-reports-progress-on-global-responsibility-commitments-300061616.html
Reereestads. (2012, June 10). Nourishing Lives: Mission and Vision [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://reereestratmgmt.blogspot.com/2012/06/mission-and-vision.html
Strom, S. (2012, July 26). Lawsuit Forces General Mills to Defend the Accuracy of Its ‘Natural’ Labeling. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/business/general-mills-sued-over-natural-labeling.html?_r=0
York, E. B. (2010, February 16). Advertising: General Mills Targets 3 Groups to Fuel Growth | News - Advertising Age. Retrieved from http://adage.com/article/news/advertising-general-mills-targets-3-groups-fuel-growth/142138/