MarketLine Blog

Posts written in June 2013

EE launched 4G in the UK

MarketLine

At the end of October 2012, EE launched its 4G services in the UK, kicking off the technology’s implementation in the UK, the fourth largest mobile broadband industry in the world. Since then, the company has expanded its coverage to over 50 cities nationwide. This blog will evaluate the case for 4G services in the UK, how effective EE’s rollout of the service has been, and future challenges posed by the company’s rivals. There are two main variations of current technology that can be classed as 4G: Long Term Evolution… Read more

Premixed Smirnoff Vodka and Cola Case Study: Propelling Premix Spirits into the Mainstream

MarketLine

Although the UK RTD (ready to drink) sector is in long-term decline, Diageo has been innovating with a new range of canned premixed ready to drink spirit and mixer serves. Trading heavily on their low-entry price points and convenience credentials, this article looks at Diageo’s stable of premix alcoholic beverages, and the Smirnoff and Cola SKU in particular, and examines how they have created a distinct segment in the UK alcoholic beverages market. Convenience is not as big a consumer pull in alcohol as in other areas of CPG, such… Read more

FirstCape Tapping into the Needs of the UK Wine Consumer

MarketLine

Amid the economic downturn, price has become the key issue in the UK alcohol market with consumers turning to the off-trade where prices are lower and, in doing so, trading down to cheaper brands. The brands that have performed well in the UK wine category are those aligned with consumers’ ‘recessionary mindset’. This article explores one such brand, FirstCape—a South African wine brand—and determines that it has been successful by taking its marketing cues from the wider CPG arena in developing promotions, product tiering, branding, range, and pack sizes and… Read more

China: State induced liquidity crunch in order to allocate funds better

MarketLine

Xinhua, the official news agency of the People’s Republic, belatedly explained monetary policy action taken last Thursday, as “It is not that there is no money, but the money has been put in the wrong place”. Although no explicit statement of government policy or intent, Xinhua, considered as an official – in all but name – news agency of the state, explained that the reason the Chinese central bank has allowed interbank lending rates (Shibor) to surge on Thursday was because although banks, the stock market, and SMEs all lacked… Read more

Xbox One-80: Microsoft backs down on controversial DRM policies

MarketLine

Microsoft’s U-turn on its Xbox One DRM and Internet connectivity policies has completely changed the dynamics of the upcoming battle for next generation console dominance. The decision to go back on previously asserted policies has meant that many of the competitive advantages held by competitor Sony’s machine, the PlayStation 4 (PS4) have been negated. However, the decision has also confused Microsoft’s strategy, and the Xbox One’s higher price tag remains an issue. One step forward, two steps back: Microsoft’s initial DRM policies, which placed restrictions on the lending of physical… Read more

Somersby establishing an alcohol category adjacent to beer

MarketLine

With declining beer volumes throughout Europe, brewers have looked at diversifying their product portfolios and seek out new revenue streams from alcohol categories adjacent to beer. Carlsberg, one of the world largest brewers, has expanded its product portfolio with the addition of the Somersby cider brand. The brand, which was first launched in Denmark and Norway in 2008, is now available throughout northern Europe and Belgium and has most recently been launched in Croatia and, most significantly, Russia. Somersby cider is an example of a successful premium product launch outside… Read more

Old Spice using social media to revitalise a brand

MarketLine

As consumer media consumption patterns are changing, CPG marketers are adjusting their marketing budgets to dovetail with shifting consumer audiences. As such, digital social media, e.g. Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter, have become more important to the marketing mix. Indeed, for many brands, social media has become their biggest relationship-marketing provider. This blog entry focuses on two brands in the men’s personal care sector which have successfully integrated social media into their respective marketing campaigns, namely: Old Spice and King of Shaves. The primary focus of this article is the Old… Read more

Coconut Water Consolidating Growth in a Burgeoning Segment

MarketLine

Coconut water has experienced a lot of initial success in the US due to its unique taste profile and sports nutrition benefits. Now is a pivotal time to further consolidate and grow the market, lest it be dismissed as just another ‘fad’ category. The myriad of health benefits associated with consumption means that a natural positioning for coconut water has been a healthier alternative to sports nutrition drinks. This has particular appeal to athletes who have become reticent in recent times to consume some of the more commercially popular sports… Read more

Seasonal Packaging Tapping into Consumer Trends Beyond the Visual

MarketLine

In recent decades, seasonal packaging has emerged as a promotional tool used by manufacturers to establish a point of difference in a consumer landscape overloaded with choice. Today, however, seasonal marketing no longer represents a novel promotional tool but rather a necessary strategy used by the majority of brands. This article will examine ways in which various brands have successfully developed innovative seasonal packaging designs, which go beyond the visual and respond to core consumer needs. For consumers faced with too much choice, packaging plays an integral role in awaking… Read more

L’Oreal Luxury Brand Serving the Post-Recessionary Affluent Market

MarketLine

After a sharp drop in global demand for luxury cosmetics following the economic recession, sales of premium brands now appear to be recovering. L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics firm, reported higher than expected profits of £1.2bn in the first half of 2010, and in addition displayed its fastest pace of organic growth for three years, both of which were driven by accelerated sales of its luxury lines. This article will examine the ways in which L’Oreal’s premium brands have responded to the changing demands of a “new” affluent consumer base,… Read more

Embraer targets the US

MarketLine

There is widespread disappointment with the recovery of the US economy, but the American economic stimulus is rendering more fruits then the fiscal consolidation packages undertaken by European governments. This is reflected in the difference in new business opportunities currently presenting themselves on either side of the Atlantic. During the economic free-fall of the developed world, the European and the American market shared a comparable decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, the GDP in the US is showing a more robust increase than many European countries, with the… Read more

Stephen Hester steps down as RBS Chief Executive

MarketLine

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Chief Executive Stephen Hester is to step down it was announced yesterday, causing much speculation over the reasons behind the decision. In recent months, Hester had spoken of his desire to see the project through to completion and so the surprise announcement begs the question of whether he was pushed. Hester succeeded disgraced former CEO Fred Goodwin in September 2008 after the bank was forced to go cap-in-hand to the UK government to ask for a £45bn capital injection. Hester has been central to the… Read more

Frito-Lay SunChips: When Sustainable Packaging Conflicts With Consumers’ Sensory Needs

MarketLine

Savory snack giant Frito-Lay re-launched its popular SunChips healthier snacking range in the US and Canada in plant-based, 100%-compostable packaging, but the noise created when the product was used led to a significant consumer backlash. As a result, the company has reverted to conventional packaging for most of its SunChips lines in the US, although it has retained the compostable packaging in Canada. This article examines how a lack of attention paid to the packaging’s sensory qualities, to consumers’ key needs from snack packaging, and to managing potential problems in… Read more

E3 2013: Sony gains upper hand over Microsoft

MarketLine

Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) and Sony Corporation (Sony) took to the stage yesterday for their E3 2013 press conferences, with Microsoft focusing on exclusive games, and Sony focusing on the PlayStation 4 itself. In terms of strategy, Sony has opted for a value, gamer focused proposition, which gives it an advantage, while Microsoft’s console will retail at a higher price point, but will include a Kinect sensor. Online services will continue to see a greater focus in the next generation, but digital rights management (DRM) strategy may become the main differentiator… Read more

Craft Beers in the US & UK: How Mainstream Brewers can Benefit From the Trend Towards Craft Beers

MarketLine

Amid data showing that the craft beer sub-sector has posted strong growth in an otherwise dismal US beer category, brewer MillerCoors has pooled all its craft-style domestic and international brands into a new craft-focused division called Tenth and Blake. The UK real ale sub-sector is also showing positive growth in a poor overall environment. The success of craft beer has arisen as it dovetails with various important consumer trends: it fits with the general trend towards trading up; it capitalizes on desires to purchase authentic products; it goes with the… Read more

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Using Consumer-Focused Marketing to Instill Brand Confidence

MarketLine

In June 2010, Gillette launched its new Fusion ProGlide razor. Boasting seven new technological advances, the Fusion ProGlide claims to provide males with enhanced shaving performance and optimal comfort. Within 10 weeks of being launched, Gillette had sold 2.5 million Fusion ProGlide razors; exceeding sales achieved by Gillette Fusion in 2006 and becoming the world’s best selling razor. This article will examine how Gillette has evolved its marketing strategy to establish a more consumer-focused approach and how, in doing so, it has successfully instilled brand confidence among an increasingly skeptical… Read more

Is online social gaming a viable CPG marketing opportunity?

MarketLine

Online social gaming has been one of the key growth stories of 2010, with millions of people worldwide driving multimillion dollar valuations for games such as Farmville and Angry Birds. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are becoming increasingly skilled at using online social media to promote their products, but most have not yet fully exploited the potential in online social gaming. There are opportunities both in sponsorship of existing mass-market social games, and in creating brand-focused games to develop social media strategies and drive consumer engagement. CPG companies have so… Read more

Müllerlight: A Successful Attempt to Tackle the Clash of the Health and Indulgence Trends

MarketLine

Dairy manufacturer Müller’s Müllerlight Inspired By cheesecake brand extension has sold over 9 million units in the UK since its launch in mid-2010. The brand appears to have been effective in solving consumers’ conflicting desires for healthy foods and indulgent foods – which is still one of the most important unmet needs for the food industry to address. The success of Inspired By highlights several ways to overcome the problem, and the rewards available to companies that do. Datamonitor’s 2010 Consumer Survey found that across all parts of the world,… Read more

Embraer in the US market

MarketLine

According to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) financial monitor, airlines share prices were 3% higher than the FTSE Global All Cap in the first 4 months of 2013. Its share prices are outperforming the market as investors are optimistic about the short-term recovery of the industry. The recovery of the share price is particularly strong in the US. It has risen by 35% this year following the improved financial performance of the American airline companies after the implementation of restructuring plans. The combined net profit of the American airlines… Read more

Jaguar Land Rover releases the Jaguar F-Type

MarketLine

The latest model to bear the Jaguar marque is beginning to roll out of the factories and into the showrooms.  The model is called the Jaguar F-Type and fits into the two-seater luxury sports car category. It has so far been suggested that the model is designed to put pressure on some of the biggest players in this section of the market. Some of the F-Type’s key rivals are suspected to be the BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK and the Audi TT. It is also believed that the model is expected… Read more