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Beer war: Harp threatens Star dominance

Princewill Ekwujuru

The dominance enjoyed by Star larger beer has come under severe threat by Harp larger, if the result obtained in the market is anything to go by.

There are indications that if the Star brand does not strengthen it’s marketing strategy and remain consistent in its activities, it may be difficult for the brand to maintain its hitherto dominant role in the beer segment of the market.

The marketing rule that the challenger should follow the leader, does not subsist in this regard; the rule has changed, the challenger today develops strategy to outwit the leader, and this has become a threat to leading brands in the market.

This threat however has been premised on the survey conducted by Vanguard, where it was discovered that harp larger has rejuvenated it’s sales machinery and strategy, while conducting itself in a manner capable of taking dominance of the beer market.

The survey also showed that since Harp larger went back to the drawing board, and came out with the triple filtered campaign, things has sharpened up for the brand, and the beer market is experiencing some stint of  possible upstage and a not too conducive market in-balance for the perceived market leader.

The unveiling of the Friendship campaign where consumers were rewarded with a shopping spree at “Park and Shop’ has further endeared the brand to consumers.
On the other hand, consumers also said that after taking the harp brand there is no hangover another unique selling proposition which the brand has leveraged on to puncture the dominance of the market.
Observation also showed that Harp adopted the direct marketing approach by meeting consumers at the point of purchase and drinking bars across major restaurants in Lagos and some states were consumers are compensated with a bottle of Guinness stout (small) after buying a bottle of Harp, a campaign some few months back which invariably endeared several consumers to the Harp brand.

Even though the market dominance by Star over the years had been sustained by some marketing communication activities. The best known factors for the phenomenal sustenance of the brand in the market is the advertising support which has consistently projected the superior quality of Star over other brands in the market as the survey can clearly deduce.

However, from the first campaign slogan of Ah! Star Beer at its best introduced in 1949 through the Brightness campaign of the 1970s/80s, from the Turn to Star – the ideal brew campaign launched in 1989, to the Live the Brighter life in style, Star game show among others, Star has ben a catalyst for social interactions, the check list include Star Quest, Star Trek, Star Mega Jam, all these has kept the brand going.
Consumers and distributors alike observed that Harp is not left out in this fray as the beer is also running a 360 degree marketing communication materials on the friendship and the triple filtered campaign ran on both the broadcast and print medium. But firm footed in organising  reality shows to breed young Nigerians, this has remained one of the cardinal point Star has being using to gain the heart of its lovers.

The survey conducted also showed  that Harp has always remained an alternative to the Star larger; the argument being that Harp’s taste, golden colour and sparkling bubbles, are no much separation from the Star larger.

Loyalists to Star asserted that they cannot shift ground even though that Harp is a good  alternative to Star. However, out of 25 consumers interviewed, 11 agreed that Harp is coming close to dominance if it is consistent with its campaigns and ready to go the way of Star by instituting other marketing communication activities. For Star,  14 respondents said that the beer will still remain top in the market if it does not renege in its activities.


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.