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Stella Artois demonstrate brand alignment is key when launching spin-off brand
Stella show that using an established community to promote a spin-off brand need not alienate an existing fan-base, as long as the new brand is correctly aligned with the orignal one.
It has now been almost a year since Stella Artois, the multinational AB InBev alcohol brand, launched Stella Artois Cidre, a spin-off from their well-known lager. With retail analysts such as Mintel consistently reporting large rises in cider sales, driven particularly by uptake from women and younger generations, the growing market represents an opportunity for large scale brands to diversify their offering. However, WaveMetrix have previously demonstrated the potential dangers of repositioning a brand within an established social media community. Although it is tempting to take advantage of established large communities to reach more consumers, fans, by definition, like a brand the way it is, and any radical changes in positioning can risk a backlash.
Nonetheless, WaveMetrix analysis of the UK Stella Artois community shows that Stella have successfully blended the new Cidre brand into their community, without incurring resistance from their original fan base. Furthermore, analysis reveals that women on the page are even more upbeat than males, suggesting Stella are reaching and engaging a newer target market. Additional analysis demonstrates that Stella’s original beer is discussed in equal proportions to the new Cidre, suggesting the page’s focus has successfully been diversified to encompass the new product. Unlike the Lynx example, the new Cidre brand was aligned with the original Stella Artois lager branding and community type, and it was therefore appropriate to market the new brand through this channel without the risk of backlash.
Although women are still in the minority on the page, they respond extremely positively:
- Although some male consumers comment negatively, this is not the result of brand repositioning: The negative comments mainly reflect Stella Artois’ recently weakened ABV, rather than alienation from the new cidre product
- Women are particularly positive, although still a minority within the community: They comment both on Stella lager and cider and are very upbeat towards both ranges
Both beer and lager are discussed on the page, suggesting Stella have successfully diversified the page’s focus without alienating their initial fans: