Monday, May 21, 2012

Brand Update : From Kajol & Croc To Kareena & Bear

Alpenliebe, the brand which redefined and rejuvenated the sugar candy market has come a long way since its launch in 1994. The brand recently launched another sub-brand 2Choco with huge promotional noise. The new eclair brand came into limelight because of the endorsement from Bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor.  The launch also marks the entry of Alpenliebe into th Eclair category.

Watch the ad here : 2 Choco

The alpha-numeric branding signifies that this eclair has two chocolate flavors ( source : website).

So what is now Alpenliebe ?

From a very simple caramel based sugar candy which was positioned on the basis of taste and irresistible lust for more, the brand is now , a candy ( three flavors), lollipop, flavor filled candy - Creamfillz and Mangofillz sub-brands and now an eclairs.

Infact the brand has become an Umbrella Brand endorsing different products in the same confectionery category . So when you ask for Alpenliebe from a shop, you may get any of these products !!
In my opinion, the brand owners needlessly extended this powerful brand for incremental sales benefit.According to reports, Alpenliebe alone was around Rs 160 crore and may be these franchises may help the brand show more worth but the core brand Alepenliebe will suffer because now the brand means many things.

Take the case of the new brand 2 Choco endorsed by Alpenliebe. What prevented Perfetti to launch 2choco as an independent brand ? If it could afford Kareena , then it would have enough money to build a powerful independent chocolate eclair brand. But it chose the easy way of making it endorsed by Alepenliebe which may have helped the new launch and trial but at the expense of making the brand architecture of Alpenliebe complex.

The positioning of the original Alpenliebe and the new Alpenliebe 2Choco are poles apart. 2Choco has the tagline " Love and Share " and Alpenliebe has " lalach Aaha Laplap " ( means some crap in Hindi). It has to be seen whether Kajol will continue endorsing the original Alpenliebe candy. Perfetti earlier launched a brand Chocoliebe in the eclair category but does not met with much success. Alpenliebe 2Choco is also a premium play since the brand is priced at Rs 1/- price point.

The launch ad for 2 Choco is amusing and I don't understand why Alpenliebe franchise is fixated about the combination of Bollywood Divas and animals. Earlier it was Kajol and Croc , then came Kajol and Apes and now it is Kareena with a polar bear.
I have a feeling that the Alpenliebe brand itself is getting confused interms of positioning and the reason is the large number of diverse product forms it endorses. The confusion is going to be more if the brand owners decides to extend it further.
Alpenliebe was a powerful brand and it is being weakened by the brand owners just for the sake of convenience.
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