4.The Marketing Strategy of Carlsberg Group
Carlsberg is the fourth largest brewery group in the world, which has a brand portfolio that includes brands such as Carlsberg, Tuborg, Baltika and Kronenbourg 1664, which are well known international premium brands, but also includes strong local brands, such as, Ringnes, in Norway, Lav in Serbia and Wusu in Western China. (www.carlsberggroup.com) This section is about Carlsberg Group's marketing strategy, with a focus on Carlsberg, its main brand, and on Tuborg. Carlsberg Group’s strong regional presence built on strong brand portfolio offers them a distinctive competitive advantage in the market place. (www.datamonitor.com) Also, the fact that Baltika, Carlsberg and Tuborg are among the six biggest brands in Europe emphasizes the strength of the Group’s brand portfolio. (www.carlsberggroup.com) The share of Carlsberg is positioned in the premium lager segment, where it has to face top beer competitors, such as Heineken, reason why they have created a strong marketing strategy. In recent years Carlsberg Group’s attention has been more and more directed to commercial initiatives in order to create value for consumers. Carlsberg advertise itself as being “probably the best beer in the world”. On its official web page, it is stated that what sets Carlsberg Group apart from other competitors is its attitude towards differences and the respect they have towards culture, people and brands. (www.carlsberggroup.com)
4.1 Adaptation and Standardization Strategy
In the internationalisation process, companies have to face differences when it comes to language, climate, race, occupations and education, topography, taste, laws, cultures, and societies, which may generate conflicts at some point. (Van Mesdag, 1987) In order to overcome these differences and avoid possible cultural, social or legal conflicts, companies must approach a marketing plan focused on adapting to local tastes and needs. (Ghemawat, 2007 ) Carlsberg Group has targeted different regions and has adapted the marketing strategy from region to region. Carlsberg operates in Northern and Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia. On these markets, being at different stages of development, the need of price adaption is demanded in order to be successfully managed. When Carlsberg set prices, it took into consideration the income per capital and the standards of living of each market. By instance, Carlsberg Pilsner and Tuborg in Romania are much cheaper than in Denmark, the reason being that the purchase power in each country differs. Another factor that seems to be adapted is the way Carlsberg and Tuborg’s marketing communication is created in each country, more exactly, the advertising. It is only rational they have adapted the promotional merchandise, commercials, street posters, advertising adds and billboards, like the ones promoting Carlsberg sport events or Tuborg music festivals, to each country’s language. Furthermore, some of the commercials have been created and filmed in different countries which reflect local customs, culture or sense of humour. For example, the Tuborg commercial made in Romania, which reflects in one way, Romanian sense of humour, being about a guy named Filip, who is in love with the letter F, but also with Tuborg beer. The director of the commercial changed the name of Tuborg in Fuborg. This could be risky for a new brand, but for Tuborg reflects its marketing slogan “You and Tuborg” and emphasises the strong relationship between the individual and the beer. When it comes to television advertising, a very important fact is that commercials broadcasted on Romanian television might not be understood in Denmark, and vice versa, because of the cultural differences, which means not all Carlsberg and Tuborg commercials are broadcasted worldwide. But sometimes there is no need of adapting the commercial to local culture, for instance the commercial where a man in a bar is singing a love song to...
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