Marketing - Bionade Case

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In the 1980s, the mature German beer market experienced declining sales due to the emergence of trendy, lifestyle-softdrinks and alcoholic mixed drinks. Especially the small breweries were suffering from this development, such as the Bavarian Peter Brauerei. Thus the company had to come up with a new idea in order to keep the business running. In 1985, the master brewer Dieter Leipold (see attachment A2) started research on an organically brewed non-alcoholic drink, which he accomplished ten years later. With this innovative product, the company extended its product range and entered the beverage market, without having to invest in new production facilities. On the beverage market it had to compete with the established lemonades. While this is true it developed an own niche, the one of the organic lemonades, enabling the company to appeal to the health-conscious consumers and accordingly also sell through the organic food stores. As a result the company used a concentrated approach setting up a niche but developing to a differentiated target group only limited by the pricing strategy. The organic food market at that point of time was underdeveloped, as organic products had little access to the mass market and mostly had a rather dull image. In order to increase market share and ameliorate the brand image it was and is now crucial to get the product out of the niche onto the mass market. The market situation then changed drastically with upcoming food scandals like BSE, acrylamide, rotten meat and the social discussion on obese children. Suddenly, organic food was broadly accepted and demanded by consumers that were willing to pay for an added health value.

First non-alcoholic refreshment drink produced by a purely organic process. Source of calcium and magnesium A
vailable as Elderberry, Litchi, Herbs, Ginger-Orange and Forte. Contains less than half of the amount of sugar compared to regular lemonades. The name BIONADE is made up by the terms “bio” and “lemonade”. Branding

First established as a trendy lemonade
Appeals to young greens.
Company owns two patents on the drink.
In order to keep costs down, BIONADE originally comes in a 0.33 litre longneck beer bottles as the company had no budget to extent their production facilities (see attachment A3). This distinguishes it from other lemonades and makes it suitable for social events and parties. Recently BIONADE is also available in 0.5 litre disposable plastic bottles (see attachment A4). In fact it is one of the sensitive issues BIONADE has to be careful with. The plastic bottle interferes with the organic image, but on the other hand allows children to take it to school by providing better protection. Additionally, it now comes with a screw top to make it a to-go drink. In 2000 BIONADE’s look was changed to a broadly-striped label, bulls-eye cap and 1920s-style font emphasizing sophistication. This decision gave BIONADE the last impulse to conquer the alternative milieu and still appeal to families. The design being quite simple has a high recognition factor and represents BIONADE's unique image. BIONADE was originally distributed in cases of 24 bottles (see attachment A6); now the packaging was extended to 6-packs to allow easy transport (see attachment A5). Labelling

BIONADE experienced many difficulties in the phase of launching the product since government officials first had to decide on a right product description that meets German law. Therefore numerous changes had to be made until it is now set to “Organic refreshment drink – produced according to original recipe through the fermentation of natural resources”. The company tries now to establish this as a standardised description in order to distinguish from copied, lower quality products and improve brand individuality. Furthermore, this description provides a good explanation of the content and informs the consumer. The product...
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