Is it Chocomel, C..c.mel or Cécémel?
Dutch people like to drink a Chocomel, which is the same product as the Belgian chocolate milk Cécémel. But why do they have different names? Let’s go back to 1932: Nutricia introduces the first long-life chocolate milk that is given the name Melcola. However, this was against the wishes of the Intellectual Property Office because, Melcola wasn’t available for registration.
The creative Belgian solution for Chocomel
Nutricia was therefore forced to look for a new name for the chocolate drink and transformed Melcola into Chocomel. Unfortunately, it turned out that this new name was also already registered. Nutricia managed to buy the trademark from a manufacturer in Baarn for 50 guilders, and in that way, Chocomel could still enter the market in the Netherlands.
Nutricia also wanted to use the name Chocomel in Belgium, of course, but this name was too close to the generic name ‘chocomelk’. The Belgian department of the Brand found a creative solution; they changed the name to ‘C..C.mel’ (with the dots in the middle!). The attached ‘C..c.mel’ sign is a valuable part of our remarkable collection of brand antiques. As brand experts with 35 years of experience and a deep interest in the world of Brands, we cherish remarkable brand stories.
Unfortunately, C..c.mel was short-lived… In popular speech, it soon became ‘Cécémel’. Eventually, Nutricia decided to keep this name in Belgium, with all the well-known consequences… Meanwhile, the Brand is now also available in Germany, the UK, Austria and Denmark under the same brand name.
With this case, Cécémel proves how important a strong internationalisation strategy can be. What can you do when you want to break internationally with the same brand name, but it isn’t legally possible? Always consult a brand specialist for additional questions about internationalisation.
Cécémel’s success was unstoppable. Millions of bottles of Cécémel were served and after more than 70 years, the chocolate milk Brand is still a go-to product for a lot of families. At the time, sculptor and graphic designer Paul Ibou, known for his impressive career in logo creation for Tele Onthaal and 350 other brands, was working for the growing company. He designed a logo and a brand new packaging for the Brand, after which the Cécémel-bottles were sold in supermarkets. From now on, the well-know chocolate drink could also be consumed at home, which also meant the start of the renewed chocolate milk cartons.
Iconic yellow & taste
The iconic yellow colour that Paul gave to Cécémel became indispensable. Friesland Campina bought the Brand from Nutricia with one goal; to use their age-old knowledge to produce even better chocolate milk. In 2018, Cécémel came up with a new design where the built-up brand elements were preserved: the yellow colour remained in the foreground, but they also kept the familiar taste of the one and only Cécémel.
Meanwhile, the Brand exists for more than 70 years. This is a solid proof that maintaining and consistently propagating Brand Assets result in strong Brands. Want to read more about Brand Assets and their built-up Brand Equity? Read our blog about Lu's & Lotus' dino biscuits.