By Princewill Ekwujuru
Every product brand has its playing ground. If a product does not have the financial muscle to play in the big league, it has to lay low.
This is what Goldberg and 33 Lager from Sona Breweries, a Nigerian Breweries (NB) subsidiary, whose majority share is owned by Heineken, and Kronenburg, belonging to Consolidated Breweries, just did, as their products could not raise their heads above waters where beer brands like Star, from same stable of NB and Harp, from Guinness Nigeria Plc hold sway.
Philip Kotler, a marketing professor had posited that there is hierarchy in every market or product category. He posited that, “The first is the market leader, the second is the challenger, third, the follower, the fourth, the market nicher and lastly the new entrant.”
According to Kotler, “a follower or nicher should not challenge the leader.” But it’s unfortunate, in these categories, Goldberg and Kronenburg do not belong.
Kotler further said that the best these unfortunate brands can do is to take their equal or near equal in the market. And that is why these brands are taking on their equal in the market. To make matters worse, these brands do not believe in visual adverts and print, while they have low rate in radio ad, and minimal billboard displays here and there.
However, in the view of Kotler, advertising creates advantage for established brands and creates problems for new (brands), entrants, where the likes of Goldberg, Kronenburg belong. On this note, both brands cannot be said to be new in the market, but have claimed to be new as a result of their inactivity in the market.
Investigation showed that both brands prefer to remain a regional brand, afraid to confront the leaders, may be because of the big spenders’ huge advertising budget, Brand journalists interviewed noted.
A look at the campaign materials of the three brands showed that they have not been doing well in the marketing communications industry, all boiling down to lack of funds to push the brands. On the part of 33 lager, which beer drinkers thought would wrest its way back to the market, failed because of inconsistency on its part.
33 Lager, however, is more visible on the airwaves, it’s selling point being word of mouth advertisement by consumers who often refer others to the beer, extolling its lightness and crispness.
In availability, neither of the beers under comparison outperforms the other. Goldberg and Kronenburg are only available in the Western and Eastern regions respectively. 33’s presence is quantifiable, largely in Lagos where the market resides, this was occasioned by its price differentiation.