Russian Standard Vodka: Strategies for Global Branding and Expansion Into the Us Market

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Russian Standard Vodka: Strategies for Global Branding and Expansion into the US Market

An Individual Case Study Prepared by Yanan MIAO under the Supervision of Pro. Hans MUHLBACHER for International Marketing Course T1-2011-2012
Russian Standard vodka, known as Russia’s number one premium vodka brand, was founded by Roustam Tariko and initially launched in 1998. Four years later the sales of this authentic Russian premium vodka surpassed all imported premium vodkas, achieving the number one position in the premium segment with a 27% market share in its domestic market.
Brand Identity
The first truly premium Russian vodka that “Embraced the past…and inspired progress”.
Company’s Objective
Equals to the founder
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● Analysis of the macro-environment: Advanced infrastructure system/Diversified culture/Comparatively flexible trade regulation/high degree of political and economic stability etc.
● Determination and analysis of attractive segments:
Premium Segment: The first three best-seller vodkas in US: Smirnoff, Absolut and Skyy—all of them were in the Premium Segment and the two of them were local brands. Yet the majority of Smirnoff sales came from Smirnoff Red, positioned in the standard price segment. Thus the main competitors in the Premium segment would be Absolute and Skyy.
Super-premium segment: The first two bestsellers in this segment were Grey Goose and Belvedere, accounting for 48.7% and 23.9% segment market share respectively. Yet none of them were distilled in Russia, where vodka had almost become the country’s emblem.
● Distinctive competences:
1. Outstanding quality and brand heritage
(1) Produced in accordance with the formula for premium vodka established by the Czar’s government panel headed by Mendeleev in 1984.
(2) Only “deluxe” grain from Central Russia used.
(3) Pure undistilled water from Liviz, one of Russa’s oldest distilleries.
No other premium vodka can claim this level of authenticity.
2. Distinctive premium packaging consistent with its brand identity: the overall shape of the bottle was inspired by the Giant Bell housed in the Kremlin; the embossed
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