18 Oct 2010

Oh God

If there's anyone out there who still doubts that Gambrinus is going through a crisis, I think the new product of the best selling brand in the country will make things clear.

After, what in my opinion was, the pilot test of the unfiltered version of světlý, Gambrinus has now presented something almost revolutionary and very innovative, XCLNT. A new product specifically created for young people (I didn't know youngsters spoke all in capital letters and without vowels).

And what kind of young person is the target consumer of XCLNT? Fortunately, we have the answer right in the first paragraph of the press release announcing the launch:
They are 20 y.o. They live for each moment and friends mean everything to them. A bit dreamers, a bit rebels. They don't want to settle. They are independent and crazy. At parties, they are able to let loose and have fun until the morning. Clubs and bars are their second home. They like being the centre of attention, they wear designer shoes and fashion clothes and at the parties you can recognise them by the fluorescent bottles
I've got no idea how much Prazdroj is paying their marketing research agency, but after reading this I can't help but believe they are paying them way too much. Not only they've put in one paragraph all the clichés you can imagine about people in their twenties, but the new product they have for them is just something they can already buy, but in a new bottle, a fluorescent one. Behold.

Let me put this in other words. The most distinctive characteristic of Gambrinus XCLNT is that it comes in a 0.33l bottle with a fluorescent label on the neck. That's it. BRLLNT, isn't it?

Is this the best that the biggest brewer in the country can do to slow down the loss of sales? Do they really believe this product will work when they are taking their target consumers for a bunch of superficial morons?

Wait! I've got absolutely no doubt that there will be many clubs that will sell it. Prazdroj's sales teams have the resources and the muscle to convince many owners. And I can even imagine hostesses in mini-skirts opening bottles. But what will happen once out of the disco? I don't think this example of marketing laziness will be very effective when it comes to reinforce loyalty to the Gambrinus brand.

Fine, I'm already far from my 20's and I can't remember when was the last time I was at a disco. But I still remember how things were back in those days and, if you don't consider the changes in music and fashions, I don't believe they've  changed much. Dancing, jumping, moving and, with some luck, other more interesting activities will make you thirsty. At the bar there will be plenty to choose from: cocktails, pre-mixed drinks, juices, alcopops, energy drinks, water and beer. If you fancy a beer, you'll get what they give you, drink it and don't think about it anymore. What you want is to refresh yourself and, in that context, any beer will do. The fluorescent label will be a novelty, yes, and maybe even fun for some time, but all that will last as long as a fart in the wind. Your evening won't be any more or less memorable because of XCLNT, or any other beer. The next day o on Monday, you won't go around telling your mates how cool that bottle was. Nobody is going to pick one disco over another because they have this "new" beer. Nobody is going to run to the shop to unsuccessfully look for it only to settle with a boring bottle of Excelent.

I might be wrong. Perhaps next week I will run into a kid in his twenties who won't stop talking about how awesome this fluorescent bottle was. But for the time being, more than XCLNT, this product seems to me quite STPD.

Na Zdraví!

Reserve yourPrague hotel and win a walking tour.

11 comments:

  1. Oh right: "Excellent". I had been reading it "Ex-Clint", which would make no sense at all.

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  2. You can read it as you want. It still doesn't make much sense.

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  3. Hmm, the first thing I thought of looking at the label was "XCUNT". From which it follows that anyone falling for this masterpiece in marketing is a proper TWT.

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  4. "more than XCLNT, this product seems to me quite STPD" :-))))))

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  5. My complaint is with Gambrinus itself. It is my least favourite of Czech beers. Yet when I was in Prague it was the only beer carried by many place that I like to eat.
    I would love to see them replaced by smaller brewers.

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  6. I unconsciously added another vertical line to the L.

    This is a typical product from a large brewery that hasn't a clue. More of the same thing, just packaged in a stupid way. Another example of marketing-led product development.

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  7. I don't know. I think people in their 20's (and 18s, 19s) don't care about what they drink. So the quality is not the issue.

    But isn't usually beer one of the cheapest things to drink in a bar or disco? Half litter jug isn't too practical. So a small "cool" bottle might be an option. Just a thought.

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  8. Pavel, a small bottle is what you will more often than not get at a club. So, this beer isn't new in that sense, either.

    The point is, I'm sure it will sell at the clubs, but only because Prazdroj will make that happen, yet once out of the club, people will forget about it, just as they forget about any other beer they drink at other clubs. Therefore this moronic product will not do anything to improve brand loyalty and the novelty of the fluorescent label will be just that, a novelty.

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  9. I agree. But do you think that Prazdroj wants to increase the loyalty of its brand with this? Or sell it outside the clubs? I think it is made just to increase volumes of G11 and kick the other beers from the club segment.

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  10. But you see? This is why I believe this product is rather shortsighted. At the pub, beer is king, all the other drinks, including wine, are supplementary to beer.

    At a club, on the other hand, beer has to compete with a larger number of products. Those who like red bull & vodka, will keep on drinking red bull & vodka, etc. A fluorescent bottle won't make them stop drinking their favourite poison, at least not in the long term. Of course, it would also be interesting to see how much beer is sold at the posh clubs XCLNT aims at.

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  11. Generally speaking, any place where beer isn't the main drink and you're getting a small bottle, it's going to be Pilsner Urquell anyhow. Soooo, that's another strike against this as a good idea.

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