Marketing Analysis : The Vodka

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After gaining experience in the spirit industry for many years and seeing the growth trend in the vodka segment in contrast with most other spirits, Guillaume Cuvelier introduced a new vodka brand called ‘SVEDKA’ in 1988. However, since vodka is considered to be an identical product that has no distinctive attributes between each brand, creating points of difference is the real challenge to SVEDKA. A market analysis showed that vodka made up a 24% share of total spirits consumption and the market was divided into two segments; premium and low-priced tier vodka. Absolute and Smirnoff dominated the premium-price vodka segment and were encountering competition from the superpremium competitors. Low-priced segment, represented 80% of market volume, contained under-$10 vodkas such as Gordon’s and Popov. Cuvelier saw the opportunity for SVEDKA as the mid-priced option between high-end and low-end vodka. He chose to tap into the ‘Blue Ocean’ where there was no competition. Thus, he created a new market called ‘mid-priced’ tier and positioned SVEDKA in this market. He believed that SVEDKA could capture some volume sales from the under-$10 market.
The product and price also supported the brand positioning. SVEDKA used imported and decorated glass bottle for both 750 mL and 1.75 L size to connote its premium quality, unlike other brands in the low-priced tier. The rating from Wine Enthusiast at 93 out of 100 was also used to confirm on its quality and credibility. The
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