The first mention of Stella Artois in this article was a biography of the brand, dating from its humble roots in the late 1970s and its rise to fame as a popular international beer from Europe in the 1990s,sold as some form of luxury Beer Company that was available to mainstream audiences. A poor marketing campaign using the phrase "Reassuringly Expensive" was seen as marketed poorly to its typical buyer, which is an average beer drinker. The 2007 re launching of the Stella Artois brand showcased a made-for-internet commercial entitled La Bouteille, or the Bottle. The online features of the 2007 advertising re launch received positive response from test teams, and interactive games enhance the overall experience. The creation of a mythical narrative has worked wonders in portraying Stella Artois as having a long deep history, which is far from the truth of being a commercialized beer company intended for mainstream consumers.
Question 1: What are the communication benefits of building a 'brand narrative' in the way Stella Artois has?
When a company has an ongoing brand narrative, it has a focus point for where to take the brand next. If a beer brand is without character, then it must stand on its own among many competing beer brands. With a believable backstory and a hilarious advertising campaign to go with it, Stella Artois has succeeded in setting itself apart from the crowd. When the brand was able to apply comedy and entertainment to its fictional mythos, an entire marketing gimmick blended perfectly into the package of a very old and very well esteemed French estate blend. The negative associations which had previously plagued the brand's image were nearly wiped clean with the complete associative re launch of the campaign. There was a risk involved when trying to gauge what the market would want to see from the Stella brand, but the strategy paid off for Stella Artois. Engaging its audience in interactive features further works to change the negative associations of Stella by distracting from its past with hours of repetitive entertainment, and further allows the brand to redefine itself for a new generation.
Case 1 Close:
Cadbury, a long popular chocolate snack company, had a serious outbreak of Salmonella in its dairy milk in June 2006. The brand was stunned by the misfortune and how the public now perceived the chocolate company's flawless reputation. Further problems with Cadbury's controversial portrayal of racially offensive commercials leading to a legal battle over the issue, and the recall of thousands of Easter eggs which is one of the most popular holidays of the year for chocolate, second only to Halloween, only worsened the reputation of the chocolate company right during its peak sales season. The company decided to rebrand itself with a focus on its dairy milk content as a key trait of the Cadbury process, and turned the idea of chocolate confections into a piece of art or culture meant to separate the consumer from the average chocolate eater that does not favor real milk chocolate. Despite the ambivalence of the campaign toward Cadbury's chocolate problems, the company has seen growth in its most recent annual report of 9%.
Question 1: We are trading our traditional focus on proposition and persuasion in favor of deepening a relationship. Do you think this represents a philosophical shift from selling to entertaining? Do you think this reinforces the idea of a brand narrative?
In the modern age, many thousands of established corporations vie for our attention, and many of these companies are from established non-changing products. In order to compete with flashy competitors, old standbys like Cadbury turn to unique ways to re engage itself with the public. In this case, Cadbury chose to advertise its brand and its unique attributes, such as its use of real dairy milk, instead of appealing straight to the consumer's sweet tooth. I believe entertaining the consumer has become an integral part of the long-term sell to the consumer, and therefore entertainment should be considered when a new marketing campaign is looking to make contact on a more direct and personal level. This is why Cadbury has sought to expand its online presence by investing heavily into the look and feel of its website portals. This sort of false allusions to coolness and brand awareness rather than quality of chocolate product in this advertisement campaign walks the line of bad narrative, and certainly does so with good reason. Whether this poor narrative is reinforced or not matters less than restoring Cadbury's reputation and profits to the advertising executives in charge.
Case 2 Open:
LEGO is a brand synonymous with child's play and entrepreneurial success, but the company grew too large for its own good and succumbed to profit loss in 2003 and 2004. The brand became too specialized and non-committal to story's which could fuel its success; a teaming up with Harry Potter and Star Wars greatly expanded the possible market for the company. LEGO took two actions to restore it; first, it appealed to parents as former LEGO users themselves, parents are vital as they are the main purchasers for their own children's consumption. The second strategy LEGO made was to enter into the virtual world with its brand, creating video games and videos promoting its unique form of humor and design, and integrating the LEGO universe with other sagas, such as the new Star Wars Trilogy as well as Indiana Jones, reliving classic moments with the LEGO characters. The final strategy of LEGO was to appeal to the world of science and education; and did so by promoting the idea of LEGO playtime and the 'Builder Dad'.
Question 3: Do you think the scope for developing the LEGO narrative is in brand image-building campaigns that evoke memory and imagination or in engaging users in online dialogues, which are essentially user generated?
LEGO has found itself both sides of the marketing game at play; the long-term idea of the toys as educational tools from childhood, meant for a new generation of children to enjoy. On the other hand, by taking advantage of exciting new technologies and interactive communities that have been opened up by the coming of social networking, LEGO is able to take advantage of forums, chats, and other forms of online discussion. By engaging adults in the activity of LEGO Playtime, the company is able to reach into more serious hobbyists and those seeking a more challenging puzzle and better displays. This market has prompted the brand to begin its Architecture line, meant more for display by adults than as toys intended for children. Using an interactive blog allows LEGO fans to keep track of all the new consumer products and events in the future for the company.
Case 2 Close:
Zara, a Spanish fashion brand giant, first succeeded in Europe and then took its low price high style clothing abroad to the United States, where it has replicated success once again by changing its standards and looks for the different marketplaces. The idea of the shopping mall that is so different than Europe has caused Zara to change its overseas marketing strategy to focus on the clothing in the window, known as dressing the storefront. This method has become an art, and has been an essential part of Zara's strategy to bring young stylish people into its stores. The brand has been a leader in the concept of taking the looks of modern runway styles and offering them for low prices in their stores, allowing consumers to mimic the designs they are seeing in season for a fraction of the runway price. In order to stay on the cutting edge, Zara has mastered the technique of fat fashion, bringing products from the runway to consumers in a…