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Absolut Vodka - Marketing

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ABSOLUT VODKA – REPORT

  1. BRAND OVERVIEW
  1. History
  2. Brand assets
  3. Brand values and personality
  1. BRAND POSITIONING
    2.1.      Segmentation
    2.2.      Targeting
    2.3.      Positioning

2.4.      Competitive advantage

  1. IMC
  1. Marketing Mix
  2. IMC
  3. Creative marketing
  1. GOING GLOBAL
    4.1.      India case study
    4.2.      Cultural sensitiveness


0. ABSTRACT

Over time, Absolut has grown to be one of the most loved and consumed brands of Vodka around the world. The aim of this project is to provide an overview of Absolut as a brand through an analysis of the factors that have influenced its global success, keeping a particular focus on its marketing communication strategy.

1. BRAND  OVERVIEW

1.1 History

Absolut has been founded in 1879 by a Swedish entrepreneur, Lars Olsson Smith. Consequently, in order to meet demand, a distillery was opened in 1906 in Ahus, a small village in Sweden, where they still produce their vodka. In 1979, it was introduced to America and turned into an instant success, quickly outperforming its Finnish and Russian competitors and becoming one of the most sold spirits around the globe.

1.2 Brand Assets

Nowadays, Absolut’s image largely relies on four main brand assets: its name, logo, packaging design and heritage. In the first place, both the name Absolut, which is promptly associated to the English word “absolute”, and its logo, presenting a full stop at the end, work together in order to communicate that the product is the ultimate and most perfect vodka on the market. Moreover, the design of the packaging has become iconic over time due to its high recognizability, fashionability and versatility. The current design of Absolut Vodka, indeed, is the result of a long research that led to the introduction on the market of a tall and thin bottle, substituting a shorter one that recalled medicine containers, in order to create in the minds of consumers the perception of an increased amount of product. Furthermore, the bottle displays a tag on the front reading “One source. One community. One superb vodka. Crafted in the village of Ahus, Sweden. Absolut since 1979” (Absolut.com, 2018) , which aims at underlying the strong roots of their vodka, thus communicating its heritage and increasing its perceived value.

1.3 Brand values and personality

Absolut as a company conducts its business pursuing three main core values: clarity, perfection and simplicity. Those values are the backbone of Absolut and the company never fails to enhance them through its marketing communication strategy. Some of its most demonstrative advertisement slogans are indeed “Absolut clarity”, “Absolut perfection” and “Absolut topless”, which altogether work in synergy to ensure that the core values of the brand are communicated effectively to its target consumers in an ironic, very straightforward and yet never predictable way. Moreover, the success of the company’s communication is enlightened by the perception that the target customer base has of the brand’s personality, with Absolut often being described as cutting edge, playful, sophisticated, stylish and sassy. All these characteristics associated with the brand are nevertheless explicative of the discordance between the brand domain and its reflection. On the one hand, the brand domain is young people, generally living in middle to high class urban areas and with an interest in art, fashion and music. On the other hand, the brand reflection of Absolut is that of high class successful young adults who embrace all the personality traits that are associated to the vodka they choose to drink, as it can be seen in one of the “In an Absolut World” adverts, portraying a young couple skipping the line of what seems an extremely fashionable club.

2. BRAND POSITIONING

2.1 Segmentation

Absolut vodka targets people who like drinking alcohol and share similar characteristics. The main variables used by Absolut in segmentation are:

Age segmentation: Absolut is aimed at men and women above the legal drinking age, more specifically at professionals with an age range between 25 and 35 years.

Social class segmentation: the difference in price between the standard and the premium products of Absolut allows the company to target people from the middle to the upper-middle class.

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