Carlsberg brand refreshes

There was a worldwide event last week that was kinda held simultaneously in many countries – the global relaunch of the Carlsberg lager brand, on April 6, 2011, after a two-year process.

Slightly changed logo

To relaunch an established brand is a major and uncommon step. The Carlsberg Group saw it necessary to reposition and elevate their image. The all-malt lager’s sales was said to not always measure up to its brand recognition.

It felt the brand is undervalued, and there’s a new, standardized tagline now in all 140 markets (except Sweden) – “That calls for a Carlsberg.”

Out goes “Probably the best beer in the world.” This is the first global marketing campaign by a brewer.

Not sure how a global, uniform look and image will pan out if it’s not localized for cultural variances. Surprisingly, Carlsberg lager accounts for only 10% of Carlsberg group’s sales, with most sales coming from local brews that it owns.

However, this is not the case in Malaysia as there’re very few local beers. In most countries, local brands dominate, like Laos, where Beer Lao holds a 99% share!

Global brewers face several marketing issues, the main one being their same beer brand having different images in different countries.

Simpler & vertical

The relaunch in Malaysia took place at Carlsberg Brewery, Shah Alam. The visual identity has only been slightly altered. No change in the Carlsberg wordmark itself, but the logo (crown) now has an embossed look.

The small bottle and newish cans are maintained, the large bottle is significantly changed, following the more modern look of the small bottle.

The delivery trucks have a new look too

It comes at a good time for Carlsberg Malaysia, whose local revenue growth here has not been as impressive as competitor Guinness Anchor Bhd, GAB.

I guess the brewery rivalry i posted about’s gonna get more interesting.

No doubt, Carlsberg’s trying to look and feel younger and more relevant. With the number of beer brands and styles out there, consumers are more exposed and have many choices. And alcohol consumers now are gettin more adventurous, and choosy as well.

Also the staple income from being one of the ‘default’ beers at pubs and bars is not guaranteed anymore. Thus, the need for stronger branding. However, this needs to be balanced for the small town drinkers, coffee-shop dudes, and JB-type hill-billies, who are a significant market.

Chicks at Carlsberg's lounge. It's a real cool spot. O yea, that's the new large bottle

Will the tagline catch? Sounds kinda long.

This also means the end of Carlsberg’s “Nice One” campaign. Carlsberg Malaysia’s MD Soren Ravn says “This is the most ambitious re-launch in the Carlsberg Group history. We have high expectations on the outcome.”

Soren of Carlsberg Malaysia

“We have a strong belief that the brand has the potential to grow to a lot more than what it is today.”

Carlsberg global, the fourth largest brewer in the world, is pretty ambitious – it plans to double revenue within 4 years. I hope its not done primarily via ‘premiumization’.

I wish them all d best.

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