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    Brewer repositions drink to target young adults

    Kenya is reportedly Africa's third largest beer market and a growing market for brewers. The East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) has unveiled a new identity for its Pilsner Lager drink with a clear strategy to target the young adults market that forms a bulk of Kenya's growing middle class.

    The Pilsner beer brand enjoys the number three spot in Kenya's competitive beer market. It is also notable that the launch also comes two months before the festive season, a time that beer consumption rates in Kenya are high.

    A recent research report by Deutsch Bank Market Research shows Kenya as Africa's third largest alcohol market after Nigeria and South Africa. The research was based on Diageo's sales in Africa which put Kenya's alcohol market share at 17% of the continent's total. Diageo owns majority shares in EABL.

    Renewing the brand

    EABL says the change in identity follows findings from a consumer research and is part of the brewers market strategy to renew its positioning and rejuvenate the brands connection with its consumers through a marketing platform titled 'King of Bold'.

    Previously, the Pilsner brand was known for the 'Imara Kama Simba' slogan which loosely translated into Swahili means; "as steady as a lion." The slogan was meant to represent the drinks masculinity and perceived strength.

    The new Pilsner brand includes a redesign of the iconic Pilsner bottle, and a reworked iconography of the logo, crown and label. The new long neck bottle replaces the short neck (Euro) packaging, a redesign aimed at giving the drink an aesthetic appeal. Additional elements include a reworking of the back label and crown whilst the iconic trademark lion symbol has been re-vamped to bring to life the brand attributes of the 'King of Bold' lion.

    Speaking during the launch on Thursday, 20 September 2012, Joe Muganda, EABL Kenya's managing director, reinforced the brand's rationale for seeking an invigorating connection with its core consumers.

    "Further to enhancing the brand's relevance amongst young adult consumers who want a contemporary brand, we expect this launch to set stage for not only creating a new bold identity and repositioning among its consumers but also to revitalize a powerful connection that will unlock its long-term growth in the market," he explained.

    An estimated 42.1% of Kenya's population are aged 0-14 years and 55.2% are 15-65 years.

    Brand appraisal

    Muganda said the rejuvenation is a reward to loyal Pilsner consumers and does not affect the drinks flavour and volume. "This year we reignite the belief in our Pilsner consumers with an end-to-end campaign positioned at driving brand re-appraisal. The bold changes better reflects on the consumers' dynamic lifestyles while enhancing the premium positioning of the brand," explained Debra Mallowah, EABL Group Marketing and Innovations Director.

    The rejuvenation will be supported by an integrated media campaign featuring both above-the-line and below-the-line and consumer activations in all parts of Kenya.

    In an article published in Business Daily, James Shikwati, director of Inter Region Economic Network argues that people have different reasons why they frequent 'watering' joints (places where alcohol is sold). "But for our youth, it is not linked to feeling African: it's mostly based on the false impression that one is "classy," macho-man, and sexy."

    About Carole Kimutai: @CaroleKimutai

    Carole Kimutai is a writer and editor based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently an MA student in New Media at the University of Leicester, UK. Follow her on Twitter at @CaroleKimutai.
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