In place of the iconic slogan, Carlsberg has opted for a new tagline – “That calls for a Carlsberg”. The brand idea is to encourage consumers “to step up and do the right thing” and then reward themselves with a Carlsberg.
Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, Carlsberg’s CEO, explained what the company is looking to achieve.
“People are familiar with Carlsberg but do not necessarily know what it represents. We want people to know that Carlsberg beer stands for something - for heritage, for quality, for great taste and for doing the right thing.”
Turning brand recognition into sales
The brewer also wants to turn the rebranding into higher sales and profits. It has set a target of doubling profits over the next four years and said its ambition is to be the fastest growing global beer company.
Carlsberg feels that it is not achieving the sales it should given its current brand recognition.
“While Carlsberg’s famous green logo is known all over the world, its sales simply do not measure up to its brand recognition.”
Kevin Baker, a beer analyst at Canadean, said this could be said of many of the biggest beer brands because the big growth markets like China are dominated by local brands.
He told BeverageDaily.com that because they have sought to maintain a premium positioning the biggest beer brands have not performed well in emerging markets in volume terms.
And giving a verdict on the rebranding, Baker said Carlsberg is in a reasonably strong position in that it has a good story to tell as the producer of the first lager yeast. But it has to be careful with the emphasis on green as this is the Heineken colour as well.
On the new slogan, the analyst is yet to be convinced. He said: “Anecdotally it doesn’t sound as good as the old one.”
However, the rebranding does reflect a shift in the beer industry towards marketing. Traditionally brewers have sold much of their beer through pubs and bars where they had a monopoly on the offerings so there was little need for high spending on marketing.
Now there is more choice in bars, more beer is being sold by retailers, and competition is fiercer from private labels and rival drinks. In this environment, Baker said branding has become much more important.
Some commentators believe that brewers still need to do more. Nomura analyst Ian Shackleton said in an investor note at the end of last year that European brewers need to increase marketing spending to establish a premium market positioning and compete with spirits and private label alternatives.
Nomura estimates that current marketing spend is about 10 per cent of net sales compared to 15 per cent in other consumer industries.