By decreasing advertising over the past few years (Kingsford has not advertised in any significant way since 1998), Kingsford stopped communicating their value to consumers. While its competitor gas grilling increased its media spending, Kingsford reduced its media spending significantly. They took several things for granted. First, the company had always enjoyed being the brand name in a category that had no other advertisers among it's competitors. This is a position that the company should have remained dominant in had it been consistent in communicating its relevance and value to customers. It also took for granted that the category as a whole would continue to grow. The industry had consistently grown for almost 20 years and Kingsford had gotten used to being the big fish in a really small pond. It seems that they thought that by doing nothing they could remain on top. This thinking led to widespread belief that the business could rely solely on the sales team and that advertising was a waste of money. That in turn led to Kingsford phasing advertising out of it's strategy. If there is no brand differentiation centered around some sort of USP, customers begin to base their decision on price. Lastly the company had marketing myopia because it didn't see the competition outside other charcoal brands. The rise of the gas grill happened in plain sight and Kingsford missed an opportunity to first differentiate itself from gas on the basis of taste and second to educate their customers on that point. Besides Kingsford, neither Royal Oak nor the private label brands did any advertising, so when Kingsford did not advertise, there was no charcoal message on the air. In addition, this situation was further exacerbated by a reduction in promotional activity across the charcoal category. Royal Oak had pulled back its effect on contributing substantial funds towards merchandising opportunities at retailers such as temporary...