Developing Brand Positioning Strategy for Canadian Club

Developing Brand Positioning Strategy for Canadian Club Whiskey [pic] Developing branding strategy for Canadian Club A. Assess and fully critique the success of Canadian Club’s repositioning strategies used in the case. Use brand theories and concepts to evaluate the company’s branding strategies listed in the case. According to Keller(1993) the effective brand positioning gives a brand a competitive advantage or “unique selling proposition” that determines a reason why consumers are buying this product or service (Keller, 1993).
Similarly, Kay (2004) argues that brand’s strength depends on its successful positioning within consumers’ mind. Furthermore, it is claimed that strong brands should possess “difference” and “consistency”, however the difference should be meaningful for consumers. In the case of Canadian Club whisky it aimed to differentiate its quality and uniqueness through exciting advertising campaigns such as “Adventure Series”, “Hide A Case”, “CC Find-A-Case Challenge” or “Damn Right Your Dad Drank It”. Also, Keller (1993) claims that brand knowledge consists of brand awareness and perceived brand image among consumers.
Brand image is further divided into favourability, strength and uniqueness of brand associations. Therefore, in the case of Canadian Club a brand image is conveyed through unique and distinctive experiences that consumers associate with a brand. For example, introduction of “Adventure Series” advertising campaign in 1920s aimed to increase CC’s global sales whilst showcasing print ads of travellers going to remote locations all over the world and performing brave actions. After that they were relaxing with a glass of CC.

As a result a brand’s image is distinctive from the category as it appeals to its target audience as a unique and exclusive drink associated with adventures. Also, it benefits consumer experientially. In addition, Keller (1993) claims that developing a brand equity requires four value stages: marketing program investment, customer mind-set, market performance and shareholder value (Keller, 1993). Furthermore, marketing program should be clear, relevant, distinctive and consistent throughout all the marketing communications.
For example, CC introduced “Hide-A-Case” campaign in 1967 which aimed to challenge drinkers to search for bottles of Canadian Club kept hidden at remote locations all over the world. CC cases were hidden in places such as the Swiss Alps (Switzerland), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Angel Falls (Venezuela) etc. Therefore, the campaign was interactive and engaging which is another distinctiveness for the category. Also, the campaign was communicated through the hints of where to find CC cases published in magazine ads or sport pages in daily newspapers.
Therefore, it was relevant for targeted audience and consistent throughout all the communications. Other campaigns involved “CC Find-A-Case Challenge”(1981) and “Find A Case Challenge”(2004) which were similar to earlier launched “Hide-A-Case” campaign, however CC cases were hidden in locations such as in Death Valley in California, on top of a skyscraper in New York City, etc. Also, the campaign involved a form of contest where teams were participating in 7 different fun-filled events or games assessing their physical and mental skills like CC Poker Run, Roll the Barrel, CC Hockey Challenge etc.
The winning team was awarded of US 10000. Hence, all these campaigns were interactive, engaging and communicating brand’s uniqueness and exclusivity to the target audience. However, due to failure to address declining sales in 1990s the company had to develop new repositioning strategy for a brand. Therefore, they launched “Damn Right Your Dad Drank It” campaign aiming to expand their target audience into young male drinkers. The campaign was based on nostalgia branding concept. According to Kay (2006) reviving brands is a viable strategy.
Furthermore, it is claimed that retro branding or nostalgia branding is where perception towards brand depends upon consumers’ nostalgic leanings can be a powerful management option (Kay, 2006). Similarly, Kessous and Roux (2002) argue that nostalgia can be used to reposition company’s product in the market and differentiate it through creating emotional appeals to the consumers of their past experiences (Kessous, 2002). Therefore, nostalgia is defined as a preference towards objects (people, places or things) which were common when one was younger.
The nostalgia can be further classified into “first-time nostalgia” and “long-standing nostalgia”. However, nostalgia branding is usually used within confectionary or sweets market which is why pursuing this type of strategy for Canadian Club whisky was criticised as being risky. Furthermore, whisky category itself is viewed as drinks for mature and old consumers and there was a threat to strengthen this image even more whilst using nostalgia branding. However, the campaign succeeded as it was relevant to the target audience (young males) and consistent to its brand image as it provoked masculinity and stylishness.
Also, it was consistent through all the marketing communications such as billboards, point-of-sale items, radio advertising, out-of-home advertising, in-market events, and experiential elements. In addition it was distinctive to the usual category’s advertising campaigns that usually consisted of stereotyped “sex sells” ads playing on hot chicks and smoking’ bods or “James Bond” appeal. Finally, the brand’s image and values were clearly communicated through the campaign. Therefore, nostalgia branding enabled company to reposition itself from being an exclusive and sophisticated drink into more of a mass market product.
Finally, Shamma (2011) claims that total brand equity consists of product and corporate brand equity which depends on company’s market, social and financial performance. Furthermore, there is a positive relationship between company’s corporate brand and socially responsible marketing and total brand equity (Shamma, 2011). Similarly, Grace and King (2011) talks about employee brand equity, which is the result of positive and productive employee brand-related behaviour and is strongly linked with brand’s strength (Grace and King, 2011).
In contrast, Kay (2004) argues that corporate branding differs from product and service branding as it is aimed at different target audiences. For instance, corporate branding usually targets company’s shareholders and employees whereas product and service branding is focused on consumers who are not really interested in corporate brand identity (Kay, 2004). However, it is also claimed that some companies, especially those that started as niche businesses that appealed to small segments of socially conscious customers succeeded in creating strong and distinctive corporate brands.
Referring to CC and Jim Beam corporation consumers are not that concerned about company’s overall image, however introduction of corporate social responsibility and socially responsible marketing could enhance employees’ satisfaction and therefore employee brand equity. B. You have assumed the role of, Brand Manager for Canadian Club. Develop a brand positioning plan to strengthen the Canadian Club brand for the next three years (2014-2017). Suggest a variety of branding strategies that are appropriate for the brand’s identity and target market.
Use current research about the brand and the whiskey industry prior to answering this part of the assignment. Use theory to justify your arguments! Canadian Club whiskey belongs to UK spirits market which was estimated to be worth ? 11. 09 bn. at current prices in 2011 (Keynote, 2012). The UK spirits and liquors market is expected to grow by 16. 4% reaching a value of ? 13. 42bn in 2016. Thus, there is an opportunity for Canadian Club to further increase and strengthen its share of market. Canadian Club whiskey is a prestigious brand owned by Beam Global Spirits & Wine Corporation which is US-based company.
It also owns brands such as Jim Beam, Courvoisier and Tequila Sauza. Since 1920s Canadian Club differentiated itself as a high quality, exclusive whisky offering experiential experience for its drinkers. Its current target market is those from legal drinking age to 34, however company is looking forward to strengthen its appeal among younger consumers in order to capture their life-time loyalty (Twiss, 2012). Referring to its main competitors the direct competitors are Diageo’s Johnnie Walker scotch whiskey and Jack Daniels “Tennessee Whiskey”.
Diageo is a leading distiller which currently owns more than 35% of the spirits and liquors market globally and is expanding to emergent markets such as India and Asia (BBC, 2013). It also owns brands such as Smirnoff Vodka and Gordon’s Gin. Furthermore, Scotch whiskey is the leader of whiskey category in UK and worldwide and its exports were worth ? 4. 23bn in 2011 (BBC, 2013). However, there is an increasing trend among younger consumers to choose vodka and other “white” spirits to mix them in their cocktails.
Therefore, in order to sustain and increase its market share Canadian Club needs to tackle competition arousing not only from “dark” spirits but also from “white” spirits such as vodka, rum, gin etc. Referring to category’s recent adverts Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky (Diageo) launched a new global advertising campaign in September 2012 entitled “Where Flavour is a King”. The campaign uses facebook application to educate users about different flavours that make up each Johnnie Walker label (MarketingWeek, 2012).
Meanwhile, Jack Daniels “Tennessee Whiskey” has recently introduced their “Legend” campaign where it is positioned as a whiskey of “Rock & Roll” era (International Business Times, 2013). On the other hand, Canadian Club recently introduced its “Beer fairies” campaign in Australia featuring unattractive beer drinker possessing all the negative traits associated with beer drinking. The campaign seeks to position CC as a refreshing alternative through the use of parody and provocative advertising (Campaign Brief, 2012).
Furthermore, it introduced “Join the Club” campaign where company’s CEO is represented as a brand ambassador and is sharing his “Whiskey wisdoms” with consumers about masculinity and manhood. It is evident that several classic liquor companies have been recently using manly images in order to appeal to growing macho men population. For instance, John Jameson and its campaign “legend of John Jameson” with images of its founder arm-wrestling or Canadian Wiser’s whiskey and its “Wiserhood” campaign featuring a “society of uncompromising men” who applaud any man who resists an occasion that threatens his manhood (Krashinsky, 2012).
Also, many of spirits and liquor companies are incorporating social media when creating a branding strategy in order to target younger and more affluent audience. For instance, Canadian Club whiskey fans are encouraged to share their “Whiskey Wisdoms” on facebook in order to get an access to exclusive content, invitations to local events and wisdom (Lukovitz, 2012,). Similarly, Smirnoff promoted its Vodka Ice drink through social media whilst encouraging fans to participate in a drinking game and share experiences and photos on facebook page.
According to Avery and Fournier (2011) open source branding is a new concept in marketing where a “brand is embedded in a cultural conversation such that consumers gain an equal, if not greater, say than marketers in what the brand looks like and how it behaves” (Fournier, 2011, pp. 194). It is enabled through social media technologies such as blogging, video sharing, social bookmarking, social networking, and community platforms (Fournier, 2011).
Furthermore, it is evident that engaging with the “right” individuals through social media platforms can help to promote word-of-mouth for a brand, spread brand knowledge, generate sales and increase return on investment (Kumar, 2012). However, since the marketers do not have so much control on the overall brand’s image in open source branding social media can also have a negative impact on brand’s equity.
Therefore, it is claimed that when incorporating social media in their marketing activities companies should take into consideration four powerful and challenging Web-enabled themes: The Age of the Social Collective, The Age of Transparency, The Age of Criticism, and The Age of Parody (Fournier, 2011). Referring to social collectiveness it is evident that online communities provide an opportunity for in-depth discussion of shared interests among consumers, therefore strengthening group bonds. Also, some of the companies developed their business models based on social collectiveness concept.
For instance, Groupon offers a variety of daily deals for restaurants, spas, massages and other activities for its members but offers are valid only if enough people sign up to receive them (Fournier, 2011). The Age of Transparency and The Age of Criticism claim that due to significant technology changes the news and opinions about particular brand spread very fast and can have a significant impact on brand equity (Fournier, 2011). For instance, due to transparency BP recently experienced a fiasco with its leaking Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
The news had a significant impact on negative brand’s reputation as BP was pursuing an image of the environmentally-friendly petroleum company and was developing activities to strengthen this image. Similarly, there is a power of disappointed company’s internal employees revealing market’s and firm’s secrets to a wider public that can damage company’s image. Criticism enabled through social media technologies can also have a great impact on company’s brand equity even if a small number of consumers is complaining. For instance, when introduced its new product formulation called Dry Max,
Pampers had to deal with a negative impact arousing from consumers who claimed that a product caused diaper rash and was not suitable for consumers. Finally, The Age of Parody refers to online users’ view of social media being a pastime or a source of entertainment. Therefore, it is not surprising that many companies are trying to grab consumers’ attention through creating funny and interactive campaigns that go viral. However, the difficulty is to evaluate the impact and reach of these campaigns. Another recent trend in social media applications is mobile marketing and mobile social media.
With increasingly powerful mobile devices, many social media applications have gone mobile in order to reach customer instantly without any time or location limitations (Kaplan, 2012). Thus, mobile marketing is defined as “any marketing activity conducted through a ubiquitous network to which consumers are constantly connected using a personal mobile device” (Kaplan, 2012, pp. 130). In contrast, mobile social media is defined as a “group of mobile marketing applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content” (Kaplan, 2012, pp. 31). It is also claimed that mobile social media applications can be classified according to users’ time and location sensitivity. For example, quick-timers involve transfer of traditional social media applications to mobile devices to increase immediacy such as posting Twitter messages or Facebook status updates. In contrast, space-timers involve exchange of messages with relevance for one specific location at one specific point-in time, for example Facebook places, Foursquare and Gowalla.
Space-timers are the most sophisticated form of mobile social marketing applications as user’s participation does not primarily depend on user’s monetary motivation. According to the theory the increasing willingness to check in certain locations through Foursquare can be explained through self-presentation and self-disclosure concepts, and impulsiveness theory which claims that individuals often struggle between displaying long-term control and giving into short-term temptations (Kaplan, 2012).
Therefore, lots of companies are collaborating with Foursquare to promote their sales and discounts, develop relationships and loyalty programs. Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2020 a mobile device will be the primary Internet connection tool for most people in the world (Kaplan, 2010). However, when integrating mobile social marketing applications companies should also make sure that it is integrated into the lives of consumers, offered activities or promotions are individualized according to each user’s preferences and interests and users are involved through engaging in conversations.
Otherwise, it can become intrusive, annoying and threaten personal privacy. Nevertheless, mobile marketing provides high rate of personalisation, interactivity, low cost of reaching large audience at the right time at the right place, immediate, one-to-one communication, does not depend on time and space etc. Hence, followed the benefits of increased brand awareness and sales through social media and mobile social marketing applications here are proposed brand positioning strategies for Canadian Club 2014-201 Strategy One
Firstly, a new brand positioning campaign called “Canadian Club-Unexceptional Quality” will be launched in September 2014. A campaign will focus on promoting major brand’s assets quality and exclusivity in order to capture wider audience. The main company’s strategy will be to use facebook application to educate users of brand’s quality and suitability for various occasions in order to increase the usage. It will involve posts of various taglines such as “There’s no better way to impress a woman than… Canadian Club-Unexceptional Quality” or “To be well groomed is an exception…
Canadian Club is Unexceptional! ” in order to strengthen marketing communications message. The campaign is also going to encourage users to post and share photos of various occasions when CC can be consumed. This way brand tries to engage with audience whilst suggesting that CC is not only old men drink and can be consumed during various occasions. Additionally, in order to boost users’ confidence and strengthen the relation between brand’s image and quality the campaign will provide tips on their facebook page for exclusive Canadian Club consumers of how to best dress up when drinking Canadian Club.
These tips will only be accessed if users liked a page. This campaign’s aim is to engage users in open and active conversations about the brand and its quality, as well as increase awareness. The campaign will be supported by billboards, radio and youtube videos. Strategy Two Secondly, since company aims to target younger audience in order to capture their life-time loyalty the use of mobile social marketing is essential. Therefore, it is suggested to develop a mobile application that either engages, interacts or benefits consumer.
Furthermore, many of the companies nowadays collaborates with mobile social media applications such as Foursquare in order to generate users’ word-of-mouth, facilitate sales promotions and discounts or develop relationships through loyalty programs. Hence, Canadian Club will use foursquare website to promote brand’s image and increase sales. Therefore, users will be encouraged to check-in at five high class luxurious bars, restaurants or hotels listed on Canadian Club’s foursquare web page in order to get a 40% discount for a suit for upcoming occasion from a local high quality retailer.
The check-ins should be followed by user’s comment about Canadian Club’s exceptional quality and shared on facebook with his friends. The number of discounts will be limited and the promotion campaign will run until all the discounts will be given away. Users will be updated of the remaining promotions on Canadian Club’s facebook page and personally reminded how many more locations they need to check-in if entered a competition. The campaign firstly will be tested in US and then adopted in emerging markets such as India, China, Russia. Some adjustments will be made if needed to adapt to local market. Conclusions
For decades Canadian Club whiskey was known for its exclusivity and unexceptional quality. A brand always tried to differentiate itself from competitors whilst launching various interactive and exciting advertising campaigns that were unusual and innovative for the category. Therefore, when suggesting different brand positioning strategies for 2014-2017 Canadian Club should remain enforcing its distinctive image and promoting high quality in the market. Hence, a number of social media and mobile social marketing strategies were suggested in order to capture younger users’ attention and build life-time loyalty towards the brand.
For instance, the use of facebook application to educate users about Canadian Club’s high quality and suitability for various occasions is suggested, which will increase brand’s awareness whilst engaging in users’ conversations and encouraging them to share comments and photos. Also, due to increasing number of mobile applications’ users and forecasts of mobile phone becoming as a primary internet connection tool marketers should pay a great attention into mobile social media marketing when developing a brand positioning plan.
Therefore, a Canadian Club’s collaboration with Foursquare website was advised in order to grab consumers’ attention, spread word-of-mouth and increase sales whilst asking users to check in at 5 high class listed locations to get a 20% discount for a high quality suit from a local retailer. Overall, both of these strategies will allow Canadian Club to position itself as high quality and suitable for various occasions drink among younger consumers and will help to achieve a competitive advantage through the use of mobile social marketing. References E-jounals: Fournier, S. , 2011.
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Canadian Club hires comic legend John Cleese to poke fun at ‘beer fairies’ in new campaign set to launch tomorrow via The Works, Sydney. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www. campaignbrief. com/2012/04/canadian-club-hires-comedian-j. html. [Accessed 05 March 13] Fraser, D. 2013. How Scotch whisky conquered the world. BBC News. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/uk-scotland-20946411. [Accessed 15 March 13] Joseph, S. 2013. Johnnie Walker launches first umbrella brand campaign. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www. marketingweek. co. uk/news/johnnie-walker-preps-umbrella-brand-campaign/4003702. article. Accessed 11 March 13] Key Note (2012) Spirits and Liquors Market 2012. Hampton: Key Note Krashinsky, S. 2012. Mustache marketing: Selling ‘whisky wisdom’ to younger drinkers. [ONLINE] Available at: http://m. theglobeandmail. com/report-on-business/industry-news/marketing/mustache-marketing-selling-whisky-wisdom-to-younger-drinkers/article5508749/? service=mobile. [Accessed 05 March 13] Lukovitz, K. 2012. Canadian Club Intros “Join the Club” Campaign. Marketing Daily. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www. mediapost. com/publications/article/188057/canadian-club-intros-join-the-club-campaign. html#axzz2O2P5U9uX. [Accessed 14 March 13]

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