The Irish cider brand Magners is experiencing explosive growth in the UK, and is leading a re-invention of a product category that until now lacked aspiration. They did this without changing the product or pack, and didn't need to launch any new line extensions. Advertising has helped, but is not the key growth driver. So what is?
The key to this take-off in sales is the "product ritual" Magners has created. The cider is served from a large bottle into a pint
glass with lots of ice. This way of serving makes the product more drinkable, by making it really cold and taking off the sweet edge of the drink, and has helped re-define cider in the eyes of consumers.
Magners account for 75% of the market growth in 2006 and have built their share in the key London market to 29%, according to the Irish Post. Analysts are now predicting that the brand's UK volume will treble this year.
The trick with rituals is of course to make them brand ownable, as in theory other brands could copy you. One of the most important ways to do this is by training and managing your customers to serve the product correctly.Then, you need to heavily promote the ritual and link it to your brand, so it becomes the authentic way to experience it. So, its Magners on ice, not just any old cider. And its Corona and lime, not just any old beer.
Rituals can also work for in-home consumption, such as the Mars "Cool 'em" campaign that ran during the summers of my childhood, and encouraged you to chill you Mars or Snickers bar in the fridge.
5 minute workout: what sort of ownable brand ritual for you create for your product to drive consumption and differentiation?