Product Strategy By Kingfisher
Kingfisher analyzed the Indian market since the launch of its beer line in 1980. The major factors that Kingfisher capitalized on are:
• Rising income levels of consumers: Indian population counts for 1/6th of the global population making it one of the most attractive markets for any firm. In the last 2 decades the working class of India has grown by 12% and the income growth of the aforementioned class is 21.5%. The growth of living standards has enabled kingfisher to approach a bigger customer base.
• Changing age profile: The high birth rates of India in the 1990’s is the reason why since the dawn of this century, almost 65% of the Indian population is between the ages of 18-35. This age group has been the most appropriate target for kingfisher as this is also the group which has been setting trends and changing the lifestyle of Indian for the past 20 years.
• The climate of India: India is predominantly a warm country and chilled beverages have been a preference for Indians especially during summers. Kingfisher has capitalised on this factor and promoted its beers as “Refreshing”. Indians prefer beer for the “Kick” it gives and kingfisher has made their beers with the maximum alcohol v/v% as compared to other brands.
Product development :
Kingfisher has developed its products keeping in mind the needs of the consumer. In each country kingfisher has ensured it releases products that are apt to the consumer market. Introducing specific beers in specific countries has enabled kingfisher to become market leaders in countries like India, Thailand etc.
• Idea generation: Kingfisher worked on its beer line for 7 years trying to standardize the taste of its products.
• Idea evaluation: Different variants of beer were evaluated and the consumer preferences were analysed by kingfisher in order to ensure that their beers appeal to various consumer segments
• Concept definition: The specifications and style of brewing were decided by the firm. Kingfisher faced its biggest challenge when it had to standardize the taste of its beers and accordingly manage the costs that were incurred.
• Strategic analysis: Kingfisher did extensive market research to determine the demand and estimated the costs that would be incurred in marketing the product.
• Commercialisation: Kingfisher commercialised its brand through an extensive marketing campaign that included promoting its beer line through its other products and services since India has a ban on promoting alcoholic beverages. The taglines like “Divided by teams, United by Kingfisher” have promoted the brand and boosted the sales of its beer line.
• Product launch: Kingfisher successfully launched its beer(Kingfisher Strong) in 1978 and currently holds a market share of 44.7% as of 2017.
The Product mix of Kingfisher Beer (United Breweries Group )
United Breweries Group
Scotch Vodka and Gin Whiskey Rum Brandy Wines Beers Kingfisher Airlines Chemicals and Fertilizers
Black Dog Pinky Antiquity Celebration Rum McDowell’s VSOP Bouvet Ludubay Kingfisher Premium Fertilizers
Dalmore Vladivar Bagpiper Kingfisher Bohomia Kingfisher Strong Plant Nutrition Products
Jura White Mischief Mcdowells No1 Kingfisher Strong Fresh Plant Protection Chemicals
Whyte and Mackay Romanov Mcdowells No.1 Platinum Kingfisher Draught
Royal Challenge Kingfisher Ultra
DSP Black Kingfisher Ultra Max
Signature Kingfisher Blue
US Export Strong
Kalyani Black Label Strong
A product mix is the set of all products and items that a seller offers for sale. In the case of United Breweries Group the product mix is divided into the following components:
Product Line Length:
The product line length refers to the number of products a company has in its product line. UB group clearly has focused on the beer product line the most with an extensive range of products. The short product lines like rum and brandy depict the less involvement of the company in the development of the aforementioned lines.
UB group boasts a product line length of 15 in its beer line.
Product Line Depth:
The product line is further broken down into product depth which represents the different products and variations under the category.
UB group differentiates many products from its product lines through the following strategies:
• Introduction of new flavours and variations:
Black Dog scotch has variants like Black Dog Black Reserve, Black Dog Gold Reserve Aged 12 Years, Black Dog Reserve Aged 18 Years and Black Dog Quintessence Aged 21 Years.
Romanov, an alcoholic beverage part of the vodka and gin line has flavours like lemon, orange and apple.
• Introduction of various variations in quantity and packaging:
UB group has emphasized on increasing its product line depth by introducing variations in its beer line like:
o Pints(330 ml)
o Can(500 ml)
o Slim can(330 ml)
The Scotch, Whiskey, Rum and other strong alcoholic beverage lines have variations like quarters (180ml), halves (350 ml) and bottles (700 ml). In some regions it also has quarters in tetra packs for eg: Bengaluru alcohol shops sell tetra packs of Mcdowells No1 whiskey.
Product Mix Width:
The product mix width simply refers to the number of product lines a company has under its brand. In the case of UB group the width of the product mix is 9.
Recent downfall of Kingfisher Airlines has forced UB group to Shift its focus on its more profitable product lines of beers where extensive strategies of line stretching and filling have been done to appeal to more customers.
Product Line Stretching:
Product line stretching is the process of creating an upmarket or downmarket of the product out of its current range. An upmarket stretching example of UB group would be Kingfisher Ultra Max which was an upmarket variant of Kingfisher Ultra which was essentially introduced to compete with Budweiser’s Magnum (Its flagship premium beer for elite beer lovers).
Product Line Filling:
Product Line Filling refers to the process of introducing new variations of a product in the same range. The example for UB group would be Romanov which is a part of its Vodka and Gin line. Over time Romanov has been introduced in different flavours like lemon, orange and apple.
Packaging of Kingfisher Beer:
The London based marketing agency Butcher and Gundersen developed a new marketing campaign for Kingfisher Beers wherein colours were incorporated that gave an authentic Indian feel to it. An embossed bottle coupled with a label that highlights its status as India’s number 1 brand. This will not only appeal to Indian but to foreign customers as well. The agency has defined new taglines specific to metro cities like ‘The Real Taste of India’, which also reinforced theme messaging like- ‘Boss of Bangalore’, ‘Dominant in Delhi’, ‘King of Kolkata’ – to show the long lasting legacy of Kingfisher beer. This way Kingfisher is able to give its customers the Indian feel.
The only modification to packaging would be that the paper which covers the bottle near the seal should be softer and easier to remove, the paper tends to give a slight “Low Price Beer” feel which isn’t present in premium brands like Budweiser and Corona.
Product Map for Kingfisher Beer:
Kingfisher serves premium quality beer. Even though they face impetuous competition from their competitors, it doesn’t have any effect on its pricing strategy.
They adopted a premium pricing strategy for its premium products. Even if they have to increase its product price than its rival brand, they will not compromise the quality of the product. This actually worked and led to increase in revenue
The price range for a 650 ml beer bottle lies between Rs.94-100, 330 ml lies between Rs 56-113 and for 500ml between Rs.83-89.
The table below shoes the prices of various kingfisher beer categories
330 500 ml (24
Price List 650 ML ML cans)-bulk deal
King Fisher Storm Strong Beer 135 80 100
King Fisher Ultra Maxx Beer 170 100 120
Kingfisher Blue Premium Beer 120 75 100
Kingfisher Mega Strong Premium Beer 98
Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer 125 80 100
Kingfisher Ultra Lager Beer 170 100 120
Kingfisher Strong Premium Beer 130 70 105
Kingfisher Draught Beer Can 100
Brands like Budweiser, Bira , Carlsberg, Tuborg, Haywards used the same pricing strategy with the price range same as Kingfisher’s
The following table shows the prices offered by these brands :-
330 500 ml (24
Price List 650 ML ML cans)-bulk deal
Budweiser Premium King of Beers 160 100 125
Budweiser Magnum Strong Beers 185 110 150
Bira 91 Strong Beer 200 170 130
Bira 91 Light Beer – 110 150
Bira 91 White Beer – 140 190
Bira 91 Blonde Beer 185 110 161
Carlsberg Green Beer 160 90 120
Carlsberg Elephant Strong Beer 160 – 125
Tuborg Green Beer 120 80 90
Tuborg Strong Beer 125 70 95
Haywards 5000 Beer 120 65 95
Haywards 2000 H2K Beer 130 85
They have an advantage as most of them have a lower price than that of Kingfisher.
There are some other competitors like Corona , London pride who adopted the premium pricing strategies with high quality product at a premium price.
330 500 ml (24
Price List 650 ML ML cans)-bulk deal
London Pride – 295 –
Corona Extra Beer – 320 –
Corona Light Beer – 320 –
Kingfisher is present in almost all the 90000 outlets across the country due to its extensive distribution channels that make it easily accessible even in rural areas.
Kingfisher follows a 2 level distribution channel to distribute its beers across India. The reason being that with a level one distribution channel the company will not be able to provide the adequate supply to the customers through the outlets. The volume of sales and diverse product portfolio can only be achieved through a 2 level distribution channel. The strong distribution channels have allowed kingfisher to attain a market share of 47% in the Indian beer market. This has led to a good shelf space in various retail outlets that include bars, restaurants and pubs as well.
The new distribution channel that can be incorporated by Kingfisher beer is directly supplying to modern retail outlets like “Madholika Liquor Boutique” in Bengaluru, the only downside being that these outlets are only present in cities and thus the company will still have to use a 2 level distribution channel for rural areas and Tier-II cities.
Promotion Mix Followed By Kingfisher
The major brand elements that differentiates kingfisher beers from its competitors are:
• The Jingle: “ola la la o lae o, o la lala le o”
• The Tagline: “Kingfisher- The King of good times”
Kingfisher has also differentiated from its competitors by marketing their product through major sports events like:
• IPL (Tagline: Divided by teams. United by Kingfisher)(Kingfisher Bowlout)
• Formula One (Sahara Force India)
• Football Teams
• Road to Ultra: The music festival event organised to promote kingfisher ultra
• World on a plate (International Food Festival)
• Sunday Soul Sante
• Kingfisher Calendar photoshoot
These associations helped kingfisher to attract the youth and send a message of thrill and excitement to the target audience whenever the brand was mentioned. Kingfisher became a pinnacle of energy, zest, class and thrill mixed with professionalism as well.
One of the brand elements which has maximum impact on the target audience is the visual appeal of the brand through its logo and tagline. Kingfisher did precisely that with its robust logo that was identifiable, easily understandable and complimented the brand name completely. This helped kingfisher become instantly recognizable in the eyes of the target audience as compared to its competitors.
• Launching new products: Kingfisher launched new products like kingfisher storm, ultra max, red and radler to appeal to its existing customers and attract new customers as well
• Building interest in a product category: The success of Kingfisher beer built the trust of Kingfisher in the minds of the consumer and thus attracted customers towards its other lines of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
• Influencing specific target groups: The target audience of kingfisher beers has always been the youth, rich males and as the website shows youth in swimsuit calendars, a model search
Distribution Strategy of Kingfisher beer in India