ByÂ Princewill Ekwujuru
Since Maltina introduced the Maltina Dance Hall Reality Television Show, a family dance show whereÂ families contest for the star prize, things has not been rosy in the market,Â an indicationÂ that a battle line was imminentÂ between Guinness Nigeria Plc, brewersÂ of the Malta Guinness brand and Maltina, from the stable of the Nigerian Breweries Plc.
The introduction of the reality show by Maltina was primarily to connect its consumers; which the brandÂ has sustained overtime, this factÂ seems to have fired up the system, even as Malta Guinness followed suitÂ with the Malta Guinness Street Dance Africa, a reality television dance show, which focuses on youth street dancers.
Accordingly, it is a common strategy that brands thatÂ key to an activity that involves itâ€™s target audience is likely to leverage on such activity or sponsorship to win consumers loyalty, this, both brands are using to their advantage.
Today, the market is being rattled by both brands.Â A visit to bars, restaurants, canteens and hotels, one would definitely see one of the brands being consumed.Â The question that pops up is which of these drinks could be said to pass asÂ the market leader or more popular in the market, even though both products are laying claim to the No 1 spot.
Vanguard investigation from a recent random survey in parts of Lagos showed that Maltina controls 35 percent of the market as against Malta Guinnessâ€™s 34.97 percent .The result revealed that Maltina is facing a real challenge in the leadership position ofÂ the market, despite the fact that it has engaged its consumers more.
It is a fact that shop owners cannot do without any of these brands, as this may either affect their sales margin, where one of the products is not available.
The survey mostly carried out amongst distributors and consumers, cutting across all age brackets, was designed to to find out the differentiation in taste, price and promotional activities of both brands.
Probing into public acceptance and perception of the brands, the report noted that both brands are readily available at Supermarkets, restaurants, canteens, bus-stops and shops, and well packaged also as gift item in roll of six at bus-stops, which is an indication that both brands are at the tip of the market.
While Maltina is working hard to remain at the top of the ladder, one area Malta Guinness has missedÂ it, isÂ in the perception of consumers, in advertising and promotional activities of the brand.
Malta Guinness lags behind looking at the way and manner Maltina is going about it.Â Fifty nineÂ percent of respondents admit they are aware and could easily recall Maltinaâ€™s marketing communication tools on television, radio, outdoors, print, internet and other below-the-line advertisement and promotional items compared to forty one percent who could recall Malta Guinnessâ€™s promotional activities.
For example, some of the distributors interviewed in the survey said 1,000 cartoons of Maltina is exhausted almost the same time with Malta Guinness. Some say both brands are inter-changeable, some say both do not matter to them, but some say they prefer Maltina to Malta Guinness, because, the name Maltina, is easier to pronounce, andÂ readily comes to mind, this was as aÂ result of the promotional materials that drive the brand.
History of Malta Guinness:
Malta Guinness was launched into the Nigerian market in 1990 with a campaign tagged â€˜Bicycle Manâ€™ with the pay-off line â€˜Malta Guinness, makes your day.â€™
This was followed later with the I feel good executions, with the introduction of the James Brown music â€˜I feel Goodâ€™ as the brand music. This built a very strong association with the brand and over the years, the â€˜I feel Goodâ€™ music became a strong brand property and was synonymous with the brand.
In 2002, the brand communication was taken to another level, with the introduction of Malta Man, in which the idea was to acquire a likeable and relevant personality for Malta Man. This character was to be the living embodiment of everything that Malta Guinness stands for. This used the recharge platform to build consideration for the brand.
The Malta Man progressed further with the development of Malta Man 2. This was aimed at developing further the personality of the Malta Man.
This campaign was built on the importance of an emotional recharge as well as a physical one, reinforcing the importance of drinking Malta Guinness everyday and at home.
After running this campaign for over 3 years, there arose a need to refresh and develop a new campaign for the brand. This also resulted in the need to differentiate Malta Guinness from competition, re-energise the brand, create emotional engagement with the consumers and build optimal desirability for Malta Guinness as a brand of choice.
With this campaign, the company expects to create a change in the way Malta Guinness is communicated as well as create excitement and fun around the brand. As a result, the Brandâ€™s pay-off line changed to â€˜Top of the World Smilesâ€™
History of Maltina
Maltina was launched into the Nigerian market in 1976 as Maltona, resting its market prowess on the energy platform and positioned as a â€˜pick-me-upâ€™ drink for tired consumers who needed to replenish.Â The slogan â€“ Maltona for pleasure and energy drove the first Press and TV advertising campaigns. In 1977 Maltona was changed to Maltina.