Stella Artois Cidre is available in the UK. The famous Belgian lager/beer brand have started selling cider or as they call it cidre in the UK in the Spring of 2011.
As I’m partial to a drink of cider, I thought I’d give it a try and it’s not too bad.
But there is a problem.
The Stella Artois Brand
Stella Artois has a very strong brand.
Say “I’ll have a Stella” to a barman and he’ll know exactly what you mean.
Not any more?
If you ask for a Stella, do you want a lager/beer or cider?
This is another example of a company being lazy with it’s branding.
Sure Stella Artois is well known and it commands respect.
But by extending the brand from the lager/beer to cider, it’s lost its meaning.
It’s created doubt and obscured one of the best known, most focused drinks brands with its famous tagline “reassuringly expensive”.
This breaks the laws of branding.
Worse, it is another example of action taken by a big company which can encourage small businesses into making similar mistakes.
Stella Artois May Be Successful
Stella Artois Cidre may be very successful. The company has wide distribution and relationships with all the major supermarkets and it has the money to promote heavily and discount to encourage consumers to sample it.
That doesn’t make it a branding success.
In fact, the more successful Stella Artois Cidre, the more damage it does to the clear meaning of the brand Stella Artois.
What Do You Think Of Decision To Brand Stella Artois Cidre As Stella?
I’d like to know what you think about the branding.
If you’re a traditional Stella drinker, does the brand name make you want to try Cidre or do you still think “I don’t like cider.”
Or if, like me, you enjoy drinking cider, does the Stella Artois brand tempt you to try it and does it add to your perception of the drink?
Please let me know by leaving a comment.
Paul Simister is a strategy coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, by being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace…. in other words, by building a business to be proud of.