Developing Brand Positioning Strategy for Canadian Club

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Developing Brand Positioning Strategy for Canadian Club Whiskey

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Developing branding strategy for Canadian Club

A. Assess and fully critique the success of Canadian Club’s repositioning strategies used in the case. Use brand theories and concepts to evaluate the company’s branding strategies listed in the case.

According to Keller(1993) the effective brand positioning gives a brand a competitive advantage or “unique selling proposition” that determines a reason why consumers are buying this product or service (Keller, 1993). Similarly, Kay (2004) argues that brand’s strength depends on its successful positioning within consumers’ mind. Furthermore, it is claimed that strong brands should possess “difference” and “consistency”, however the difference should be meaningful for consumers. In the case of Canadian Club whisky it aimed to differentiate its quality and uniqueness through exciting advertising campaigns such as “Adventure Series”, “Hide A Case”, “CC Find-A-Case Challenge” or “Damn Right Your Dad Drank It”.

Also, Keller (1993) claims that brand knowledge consists of brand awareness and perceived brand image among consumers. Brand image is further divided into favourability, strength and uniqueness of brand associations. Therefore, in the case of Canadian Club a brand image is conveyed through unique and distinctive experiences that consumers associate with a brand. For example, introduction of “Adventure Series” advertising campaign in 1920s aimed to increase CC’s global sales whilst showcasing print ads of travellers going to remote locations all over the world and performing brave actions. After that they were relaxing with a glass of CC. As a result a brand’s image is distinctive from the category as it appeals to its target audience as a unique and exclusive drink associated with adventures. Also, it benefits consumer experientially.

In addition, Keller (1993) claims that developing a brand equity requires four value stages: marketing program investment, customer mind-set, market performance and shareholder value (Keller, 1993). Furthermore, marketing program should be clear, relevant, distinctive and consistent throughout all the marketing communications. For example, CC introduced “Hide-A-Case” campaign in 1967 which aimed to challenge drinkers to search for bottles of Canadian Club kept hidden at remote locations all over the world. CC cases were hidden in places such as the Swiss Alps (Switzerland), Mt.Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Angel Falls (Venezuela) etc. Therefore, the campaign was interactive and engaging which is another distinctiveness for the category. Also, the campaign was communicated through the hints of where to find CC cases published in magazine ads or sport pages in daily newspapers. Therefore, it was relevant for targeted audience and consistent throughout all the communications.

Other campaigns involved “CC Find-A-Case Challenge”(1981) and “Find A Case Challenge”(2004) which were similar to earlier launched “Hide-A-Case” campaign, however CC cases were hidden in locations such as in Death Valley in California, on top of a skyscraper in New York City, etc. Also, the campaign involved a form of contest where teams were participating in 7 different fun-filled events or games assessing their physical and mental skills like CC Poker Run, Roll the Barrel, CC Hockey Challenge etc. The winning team was awarded of US 10000. Hence, all these campaigns were interactive, engaging and communicating brand’s uniqueness and exclusivity to the target audience.

However, due to failure to address declining sales in 1990s the company had to develop new repositioning strategy for a brand. Therefore, they launched “Damn Right Your Dad Drank It” campaign aiming to expand their target audience into young male drinkers. The campaign was based on...
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