Marmite Marketing: Is It For You?

July 24, 2015

Whether you love or hate the yeast-based spread (FYI, I’m in the love camp), you have to take your hat off to Marmite’s marketing team. The memorable “My mate Marmite” tagline of the 80s has now been replaced with the brave “Love It or Hate It” campaign. I say “now” – their creative team actually launched this around 20 years ago.

It was a bold move for the brand, but the phrase is now a well-coined one; say it to anyone and they’ll instantly picture the little black and yellow jar. It’s almost become something of a cliché (“Kanye West is like Marmite; you either love him or you hate him”).

Marmite’s marketing is a prime example of polarisation. Polarisation in marketing is when you don’t try to appeal to everyone; instead you aim to make an impact by focusing on a specific (polarised) audience.

According to a quote cited on Marketoonist last week, most companies strive to market products that appeal to “every demographic, social-economic background, and geographic location.” To attempt to do so, though, “guarantees mediocrity.”

My question is this: In the world of B2B, is polarising your audience just too risky? Marmite can get away with it as they don’t have any major competitors. In such a cluttered market place, though, would you be brave enough to dabble in this level of polarisation?

Jessica Ellis - Business Development Director

Photo credit: Ian Law /