Hey guys, it’s been a while, well I have been so busy with work and forgot to blog, I really would like to appreciate those who have kept in touch via my blog, Thanks a lot. I would like to expand my blog tenet by starting digital PR and this would enable me give a lot more insight on our in-house brands here in Insight communications. Recently Legend extra stout was re-launched in Lagos to increase awareness about the brand which has been struggling to gain a share of the stout market.
The NB management may have decided silence may not always be golden, especially in brand management. Last week, on Friday 7 March, the management, at Jogor Centre, Ibadan, and in a show laden with pomp and personalities, re-presented Legend Extra Stout in a brand new and fashionable packaging. Two weeks earlier, the company’s officials had embarked on a tour of the North Central, East, West and South-South zones of the country to introduce the alcoholic beverage to its key distributors and retailers.
The new Legend Extra Stout, complete with new body and neck labels, also comes with a back label for the first time since it was first launched. To observers, this may signal a strategic repositioning for a brand which many consumers believe has the potential of rejuvenating the stout market.
Launched in 1994, Legend has always played the laggard behind Guinness Foreign Stout, indisputably the market leader on the sales shelf. NB plc is, however, resolved to seize the market in the next few years with Legend and has unfolded aggressive marketing plans. Mouthing a new pay-off line, Carry Da Touch, NB officials told distributors, retailers and consumers that for a long period, Legend had been too quiet. Now, they declared, it is time the drink made a loud statement in the stout market
The competition between the two major players in Nigeria’s brewing sector, the Nigerian Breweries plc and Guinness Nigeria plc, is itself legendary. Nigerian Breweries is the dominant leader in the brewed products sector in Nigeria. The company arguably leads in the lager and malt drinks sector, with its flagship, the Star lager beer and the Maltina range. Guinness fights back in these categories with its Harp lager beer and Guinness Malta. But Guinness’ Foreign Stout incontrovertibly controls the stout market and has been successfully warding off the Legend challenge.
Nigerian Breweries’ lager brands – Star, Gulder, Gulder Max and Heineken – control about 60 per cent of the lager market. Guinness Nigeria plc, on the other hand, derives its strength from its Foreign Extra Stout which controls a huge 91.2 per cent, leaving a meagre 4.6 per cent for Nigerian Breweries’ Legend, 2.4 per cent for Consolidated’s Turbo-King and 1.8 for other players.
Sustaining the Name ‘Legend’
Michael Jackson, Coca Cola, Mandela, Mercedes Benz and Fela Anikulapo Kuti have one thing in common: their names evoke originality, uniqueness and freshness. Hate them or love them, it’s difficult to ignore them because of their legendary attributes. Either young or old, these attributes follow them like star and it never diminished.
When it was reported recently in some foreign newspapers that 83 year-old Brooklyn-born comic Legend, Mel Brooks, was still riding high with his raspy and assertive voice; it was not a surprise to those who knew the power of being legendary.
Though Legend was seen mainly as a brand that was out to challenge existing brands when it was introduced, its spin doctors had bigger plans; they saw a vacuum the oppositions didn’t see and quickly moved in.
According to an inside source, the company had before the introduction of the product, established through a research that the youth segment of the market was yet to be captured.
Having discovered this fact, NB directed Legend’s communications materials toward the youth. Like a call to order, nearly all the campaigns that have been used to build it since it was first launched in 1992 have continued to remind them that stout was not an exclusive drink of the old.
For instance, few years ago, when the brand was re-launched and came out with the tagline; ‘express yourself,’ popular musician, Charles Oputa, who was then making waves with his ‘Charley Boy Show’ was used to reach out to the youths through road shows to various locations.
Aside advertising other marketing tools embarked upon by the company to unlock the market, have continued to target the same segment. Many years down the line, Legend promoters have successfully proved cynics wrong as the brand continued to established presence in the market. They have also challenged competitions and put them on their toes on the importance of youth segment of the market.
On March 7th, 2007 a re-launch took place at Jogor Centre, Ibadan and witnessed a huge turnout of celebrities to sensitise the youths. Two weeks before the launch, the company officials were on a country-wide tour to introduce the ‘new’ Legend Extra Stout to her key distributors and retailers, with a new body and neck labels.
Enter 2009 Re-launch
Determined to move up the ante and rev up competition, the company rolled out the drum again last Friday to re-launch Legend. Like all its past attempts to celebrate the brand, the event was another opportunity to remind the youths that it was their brand.
It was also used to woo other segments as it re-presented the drink as the ‘real stout’. With P-Square on the stage and the unveiling of new campaign that tells it all, it was not difficult to understand the language Nigerian Breweries was passing across.
Chairman Board of Directors, Nigerian Breweries, Chief Kola Jamodu, captured it well in his opening remark through which he set the tune of the event and what consumers should expect henceforth from the company.
Decked in a fitted shirt and trousers, Jamodu mounted the podium like an undergraduate in his twenties and told a mammoth crowd that; “the key element of the re-launch was to unveil a newly and uniquely designed proprietary bottle for the Legend brand, with the objective of having the best tasting stout in the best looking bottle.”
“In line with our tradition to always bring uppermost satisfaction to consumers, we organise this event to celebrate the success story with stakeholders and trade partners who have over the years remained committed to Legend,” he said.
Amidst pomp and pageantry, Jamodu invited other members of the board present to the stage for a toast and clink of glasses. In less than 10 minutes, two messages were passed again. One, the chairman appearance, no doubt, spoke volume of the position of the youth in the whole activity but the toast and the party that later followed went beyond that.
The hall was electrified for hours in celebration of the real thing with the dancing spree defying the rule of sex or age segmentation.
A 400-level English Student of the University of Abuja, Mr. Sina Odewale, told THISDAY that the brand’s success story could be linked to the fact that it ties its apron to the youths.
“The brand has not pretended for a day that it values the youth segment. And without being modest, NB would admit the fact that we have not deserted Legend for a moment. You can see from the audience that we turn up appreciatively to show solidarity to the brand.”
The climax of the day’s event was the rolling out of its new campaign. As a build-up to the launch, a teaser campaign was on in major newspapers for weeks, which left people guessing until Friday night when the face of the ‘real stout’ was revealed in the new campaign.
In its characteristic, the campaign specially targets the youth but with a passionate appeal to all segments that Legend is the real deal. A new pay-off ‘Legend – the real deal’ replaced ‘carry da touch’ that was rolled out two years ago during a similar event.
While giving insight into the reasons for the re-launch and what consumers stand to benefit from the new Legend Extra Stout, the company’s Marketing Director, Jacco van der Linden told journalists that the new tagline took its root from the way Legend is brewed.
Beyond the need to make inroads to tackle competition, another issue borders on why Legend is not enjoying the same level of promotional activities like other brands from NB.
When the marketing director was asked to comment on this, he did admit too that the brand is not enjoying the same level of promotional activities like others, but quickly wrapped it up with the fact that there would always being a ‘calm’ before ‘the storm’. He also assured consumers that the status quo would change henceforth.
“We have deliberately been keeping a bit quiet in order to have a big bang this month. And this would be the kick-start for continuous and higher activities level for Legend. I am particularly happy to be able to offer consumers Legend in a fantastic looking unique bottle now;
“Compare it with the following: you don’t put a Ferrari engine in a Skoda; the master-piece engine deserves a better packaging. Now that Legend has emerged as the best tasting stout as confirmed by tasters, you don’t put such a great product in a standard industry bottle. Having put the new Legend in a new bottle, we feel we need to increase our support level around it.”
As part of the company’s plan for the future, the marketing director said the NB would after the re-launch accelerate the growth of the brand’s share in the market.
“In the last three years, Legend has considerably increased its market share, and we aspire to continue and preferably accelerate this growth. Basically, we wish to shift to a higher gear now. And we believe with this re-launch we will continue to aggressively grow our market share in the next three to five years;
“The brand will be supported with an all-round marketing campaign. Last but certainly not least, we believe we have something great to offer to consumers; the best tasting stout, in a unique and great looking bottle, full brewed by Nigerian breweries, and with great value for money.”
Speaking further, he disclosed that the brand Unique Selling Point (USP) lies in its taste and that what is expected from consumers now is in tasting Legend to spot the difference. To achieve all these, the company has also indicated that it would totally embrace 360 degrees’ approach in its marketing communications, in line with what is obtainable in the market nowadays.
With such approach, it is expected that a full marketing mix that would include social media would be appropriately deplored. “I’m not sure whether you are referring to the sponsorship platform or the marketing communications platform. I think Gulder and Star are clearly in a different brand phase right now;
“The key thing for us on Legend is that first we want consumers to taste it. We’re so convinced about Legend’s superior taste and brewing process that when consumers taste it, and they see the enormous value for money that they get, they will stay loyal to the brand!
“Yes we will launch with a full marketing mix, and what 2010 will bring I will not disclose now, because we are still at the conceptual stage and I wouldn’t want to spoil the party”, he said.