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Carling Blue Label 2

White collar, blue label: SAB’s new premium brand extension

Carling Black Label’s market share is around 28% and in recent years it has tried to move away from its blue-collar image, reports Financial Mail. SABMiller is hoping the new green bottle variation will help the brand gain a foothold in a demographic that has increasing influence and spending power.

SAB Vijay GovindsamyThe brand’s general manager, Vijay Govindsamy (left) says “some of our consumers have shown an interest in more premium offerings” and that the premium market is growing at a much faster rate.

The new blue label marque uses malted barley in the brewing process and is aimed at a drinker who “embodies the philosophy of making bold choices and questioning the status quo”.

SAB marketers will be aware of the dangers of either cannibalising or confusing the existing market. But SABMiller says it has done its homework.

Notes Govindsamy: “This new offering was a result of a specifically identified gap in the market for a masculine classic lager beer in the premium segment.”

Consumers, he says, are faced with an interesting range of choices in the alcohol category but he’s confident the new variation “will be added to the repertoire of the discerning drinker.” He adds the to-market strategy is to carefully nurture the new addition to the family “while not taking our eyes of its big brother”.

Govindsamy declines to say how much money is being put behind the Christmas season launch, saying only “sufficient resources will be allocated” and consumer tasting and activation will play a big part.

The agency Joe Public Ignite has been given the business and is focusing on targeted activations and in-store promotions. The brand’s packaging was designed by Cape Town based shop Berge Farrell with the overarching brief to convey “contemporary masculinity”.

This is not the first time SABMiller has ventured into the brand variant strategy. The popular Castle Lite has a lime-flavour offering and Castle Milk Stout has a chocolate infused variety. Govindsamy says: “Any brand needs to be managed so that it’s dynamic enough to evolve with the changing needs of the market.”

Apart from face-to-face marketing, social media will play a vital role in selling the new brand to a customer who is connected and mobile-savvy.

A campaign ranging across all platforms — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram — is under way.

Source: Financial Mail