Absolute Vodka Marketing Plan

Absolut Pure’s target market will consist of female consumers in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties residing in urban areas. We will focus on the middle to upper class Generation X and early Generation Y who possess a high disposable income and are willing to pay more for luxury products. Absolut Pure will appeal to women driven by their need for social status and recognition. Absolut Pure will target environmental and health conscious consumers, who are therefore interested in purchasing premium organic products. These women are trendy, interested in fashion and music.
This new, and evolutionary vodka will be launched with the intentions of capturing the sophisticated vodka drinker, while avoiding glamorizing underage drinking and/or over consumption. Marketing Mix Product Absolut Pure is 100% organic vodka produced from winter wheat. The smooth and clear taste reflects its use of natural ingredients. The bottle will retain the signature shape of Absolut’s trademark, but will feature a new feminine hourglass center. The hourglass design will be an optical illusion, as the inner glass will be thicker towards the centre, giving the impression of a curved middle.
To communicate our organic ethos, the bottle will be composed of recycled glass and contain green accents. For convenience, Absolut Pure will be sold in 330 mL, 750 mL and 1182 mL. This adapted bottle will highlight the new product line, catching the eye of current and prospective Absolut consumers. Price Currently, premium vodka is competitively priced at approximately $30. 00/750 mL. Since our new product (Absolut Pure) will be an organic version of regular vodka, the price will increase to $34. 99/750 ml. The pricing strategy is based on communicating a prestigious image to the consumer.

Consumers will be willing to pay more for an organic product and use our Absolute Pure as a vehicle for achieving social status. The higher price reflects exclusivity and enhances brand image. Place/Distribution Due to strict liquor regulations, our distribution channels are limited to government regulated liquor marts; which will be our primary method of distribution. Our secondary method of distribution will be through upper class restaurants and clubs. Restaurants and clubs will be selected based on location, reputation, and customer base.
Promotion Absolut is renowned for iconic print ads, which we plan to utilize with a new organic approach. We will create emotionally relevant print ads to be featured in esteemed magazines. We will use social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube and Smartphone Apps) to facilitate interaction between the brand and consumers. Our objective is to actively engage our target market, develop relationships, increase product involvement, and build a community oriented around Absolut Pure. To peak consumer interest, QR codes will be placed on the back of all bottles. Read about Skittles target market
This strategy fosters product involvement and simultaneously directs consumers toward our website (increasing website traffic and exposure). Furthermore, our promotion strategy will include product tastings at events that attract our target market, such as film festivals, fashion shows, and contemporary music concert. We will launch our product to our target market at a sophisticated VIP event. Supporting local “green” initiatives is another key component to our promotion plan. As we are marketing this product as environmentally friendly, supporting local “green” initiatives is key component to our promotion plan.
Furthermore, we will use commercials, a spokesperson and a word-of-mouth strategy. Positioning Absolut is positioned in the market as luxury vodka, rooted in consumer’s minds as a premium vodka manufacturer. Absolut Pure will align with this current position as a new premium blend added to their existing collection of vodkas. The product is positioned to satisfy consumer’s ego needs and will be recognized as one of the purest vodkas available to consumers. In addition, the vodka will be positioned as a “green” product due to its organic nature and use of recyclable materials.
SWOT: Internal Analysis
Strengths Absolut will be the first to mass-produce organic premium blend vodka. Although organic vodka exists on the smaller scale, the developed capability and access to resources allows Absolut to capitalize over existing small-scale brands. Established research and development departments and channeled management efforts are the impetus of Absolut’s ability to develop the evolutionary new product with quality and care. Absolut Vodka currently maintains a large customer base with extreme brand loyalty. There is high brand recognition by consumers due to Absolut’s distinctive bottle shape and brand name.
Absolut Pure will fulfill ego needs for upcoming middle-upper class women. Weaknesses: Although Absolut has a loyal consumer base, preexisting organic brands have acquired a portion of the market share that Absolut Pure aims to capture. Another weakness is the lack of patents on the idea and production of organic vodka. Thus, other mass producers can easily duplicate the organic vodka blend at a lower price point, directly competing with the Pure line. In addition, there are limited distribution channels for Absolut in Canada. Absolut Pure can only be sold directly to consumers through government regulated liquor stores.
SWOT: External Analysis
Threats A potential drawback of the Absolut Pure Vodka is the high price. Given current economic volatility, Canadian consumers have become risk-averse with less disposable income for luxury products. A major threat to Absolut Pure Vodka is a change in consumer taste; consumers may believe that organic vodka will not taste as good as regular vodka. This is due to the attitudes attached to organic products. Continued fear from consumers regarding alcohol abuse could also potentially reduce overall sales. In addition, it is essential for Absolut Pure to maintain brand exclusivity.
Absolut must remain positioned in consumer’s minds as an elite product in order to justify premium pricing. Another threat to Absolut Pure vodka is that all production takes place in Sweden. Therefore an increase in tariffs or duties could make importing products unprofitable. Lastly, competition and market saturation is always a prevalent threat. Opportunities The organic movement is a growing trend on the market, and if successful, Absolut could have the opportunity to launch new flavours under the organic product line. With vodka being an extremely popular alcohol choice among
many markets, Absolut will have the opportunity to target new markets, including the substantial gay market. Absolut may be presented with the prospect of penetrating international markets with global expansion of this product. Absolut has the opportunity partner with other organic labels (ex. organic orange juice) to make a signature cocktail, this would reduce the cost of promotions and reach more consumers, ultimately increasing revenues. Analysis As a market catalyst, Absolut will continue to reign over competition and push industry standards by unveiling a new evolutionary product, Absolut Pure Organic vodka.
The knowledge and fulfillment of consumers needs is the key to Absolut’s high brand recognition and loyalty. Absolut Pure will implement interactive marketing techniques, new green initiatives and a unique bottle to successfully launch Absolut Pure vodka. Absolut Pure will aim to satisfy the ego and status needs of generation X, and early generation Y. Using Maslow’s holistic approach to personality, we have recognized that the biogenic and physiological needs of our Canadian target market will be satisfied (Solomon, Polegato & Zaichkowsky, 2011). Therefore, we will focus on pursuing the higher order needs of our consumers.
Fulfilling ego needs is what will drive our target market to purchase premium vodka; consumers will be motivated to select Absolut Pure to attain high status, esteem, prestige, and a reminder that they belong to an exclusive group who can afford luxury products (Solomon et al. , 2011). For the few consumers who have met their ego needs, the motivation to purchase will be driven by self-actualization needs. Consumers who are on a higher level of needs (such as self-actualization) are more inclined to be environmentally conscious (Brooker, 1976). Thus, organic vodka will appeal to this rare group of consumers.
Most individuals spend their entire life trying to fulfill ego needs, never moving to the self-actualization stage. Accordingly, our product will focus primarily on satisfying these ego needs (Solomon et al. , 2011). Absolut Pure will stand as a symbol of social mobility for consumers. We will segment our target market using demographics such as age, gender, income, as well as psychographic attributes. Absolut Pure’s target market consists of women in late Generation X and early Generation Y cohorts. These urban-based consumers will be educated and highly aware of perceived status.
They enjoy social events and follow trends closely. With Generation Y ranging from 18-30 years old, our focus will be on the median age of 25 and older (Semansky, 2007). At this age, majority of our targeted females have completed some form of post secondary education and have transitioned into a career. An increase of income, struggle for new identity, and need for status make them a receptive target for Absolut Pure. Absolut Pure will bridge the gap between their ideal self and real self by fulfilling their status needs (Solomon et al. , 2011). This generation craves products that are novel or prestigious in nature.
Furthermore, with the growing trend towards organic living this generation is attracted to green initiatives (Stephey, 2008). Secondly, Generation X ranges from ages 31 to 47, with our focus being on those 35 and younger (Solomon et al. , 2011). Generation X is motivated to buy products that entertain or interest them (Stephey, 2008). This generation is skeptical and dubious of advertisements (Solomon et al. , 2011). They are very media savvy, yet attracted to unique packaging. Thus, it is essential that Absolut Pure be aesthetically appealing for this generation.
The targeted profile will possess a high disposable income, and will be more willing to spend money on quality products. This increase in income is due to the growing tendency to marry and start families later in life. This is beneficial for our product, which will be priced at roughly 20% more than an average bottle of vodka. Absolut Pure ‘s price mirrors the use of organic materials and consumers inherently interpret high prices as an indicator of quality. Our price is strategically set at $34. 99. Any increases in price that may be necessary will be below consumers JND (Just Noticeable Difference).
JND is the minimum change in stimuli (price) that can be detected. (Solomon et al. , 2011) Once established in the market Absolut Pure will not use any form of price discounting to avoid damaging the exclusive orientation. Although pricing is possible threat to a premium product in a time of economic downturn, Absolut Pure remains an affordable luxury for consumers. Income and spending power are not necessarily requisites in consumer buying behavior (Solomon et al. , 2011). Therefore, it is important to factor in the psychographic and lifestyle characteristics of our target market.
VALS (Values and Lifestyles) segmentation is a useful tool for identifying consumer types, and is based on resources and self-orientation (Plummer, 1974). Using VALS, we have identified our target market to fall under both “Achievers” and “Strivers”. Achievers place a high importance on image, and favor prestigious products (Pearson 1985). Strivers are similar to Achievers but with less resources. Strivers are concerned with the opinion and approval of others (Riche, 1989). They favour products that shadow the purchases of people with greater wealth than them (Pearson, 1985).
Together, Strivers and Achievers will be drawn to purchasing premium vodka to demonstrate success to peers. Absolut Pure will adopt the signature bottle shape and well-established trade dress currently used by the Absolut brand (Aslop, 1984). It will feature the same clean and crisp blue “Futura” font as Absolut’s current bottle. The use of the color blue and familiar print stimulates feelings of trust for the new line. Consumers will be able to identify that Pure is apart of the Absolut brand. This identification will reduce product skepticism that is common with a new product.
The Absolut Pure bottle will differentiate with unique bottle features and colors. The bottle will be designed with a thick inner glass center to create the illusion of an hourglass silhouette. This distinct and novel shape will immediately capture consumer’s attention. In addition, studies have shown that consumers prefer curved objects as opposed to angular ones (Bar & Neta, 2007). The hourglass contour is associated with femininity and is congruent with our female target market. The bottle will take advantage of color psychology by using frosted white glass.
White is perceived as pure and clean, two of the core traits of the product (Kheifets, 2006). Along with this, the Absolut Pure bottle will contain green accents to appeal to the environmentally conscious consumer. The color green is perceived as natural and ecofriendly, expressing the organic nature of the product offering (Kheifets, 2006). Finally, the bottle will contain purple accents to give the perception of luxury and royalty (Kheifets, 2006). The purple will help to identify Absolut Pure as a high-end product (See Appendix 1). The bottle will be designed as a visual stimulus to attract consumers to Absolut Pure Vodka.
(See Appendix 2) Absolut Pure organic vodka is a continuous innovation of the Absolut brand. This product evolution is used to set the Absolut brand apart from competitors. The current landscape of the organic vodka market can be defined as undersupplied, with growing demand and high market potential. Absolut Pure faces little competition and has created a niche market as the only premium mass vodka producer to offer 100% organic vodka. Absolut Pure has identified level of purity and price/status as the two key product dimensions for positioning against competitors.
The direct competitors of Absolut Pure will be small brands such as Prairie Vodka and Square One Vodka, who already produce 100% organic vodka. Although these distilleries have a first mover’s advantage against Absolut Pure, their lack of capital for promotions and limited distribution channels has made them unheard of many markets. Hence, these brands are perceived as low status and are available at a low price. The second type of competitor is fellow “big brand” vodka makers such as Smirnoff and SKYY. These brands place little focus on clarity and are perceived as lower in status.
These vodkas will be available at a lower price point than Absolut Pure Vodka. Absolut Pure will be priced less than “super premium” vodkas such as Grey Goose and Belvidere who have a high regard for quality and purity. Other indirect competitors of Absolut Pure will be hard alcohols, as well as spirits and wine. These indirect competitors will be positioned as low in clarity. With vodka being the most popular choice of alcohol, Absolut Pure must penetrate the market with dominance and recognition. We can anticipate there will be a substantial increase in competition in the near future.
If Absolut Pure is a successful product, other large vodka producers may decide to offer organic vodka at lower price point. In order to retain market share, Absolut must develop a sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) over competitors. Our grassroots approach and green initiatives will foster a sense of community, exclusivity, and prestige among our consumers, forging brand loyalty (our SCA). However, innovative methods must be continuously explored in order to retain loyal customers and attract new ones. Below is a positioning map to show Absolut Pure in relation to these competitors.
For transmitting our product message, selecting mediums that are compatible with our product, and target market is crucial. For print ads, we will select magazines with high prestige, as they are the most effective for communicating messages of quality (Solomon et al. , 2011). Absolut will run print ads in esteemed fashion magazines such as, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and gossip magazine, Vanity Fair (See Appendix 3 & 4). These magazines feature high-end designer clothing and are viewed by women interested in purchasing luxury products.
The selected magazines will be successful in expressing messages of the high quality in Absolut Pure Vodka. Print ads will also be ran in Women’s Health and Shape fitness magazine to target the health conscious consumer. (See Appendix 5) There is a positive linear relationship between socioeconomic status and healthy lifestyle pursuits (Coakley & Donnelly, 2009). Our print ads will be large, simple and use bright colors to increase attention. Consumption of alcohol has been socially stigmatized as an unhealthy and negative act. Therefore, consumers become internally afflicted when wanting to drink vodka.
On one hand, they want to avoid the activity because of the negative effects resulting on the body. Consequently, they want to approach this activity because it elicits an enjoyable and giddy mood. This is classified as an Approach-Avoidance conflict and consumers will experience this when purchasing alcohol (Festinger, 1957). Absolut Pure combines the healthy concept of organic with alcohol. Hence, conflicted consumers will chose Absolut Pure as opposed to regular vodka because it is “not as bad for you” and thereby reduces the tension caused by this conflict (Festinger, 1957).
With marketing alcohol there is the concern of overconsumption. Many consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the negative effects of alcohol. It is important not to glamorize or promote binge drinking or underage drinking in our advertisements. Absolut will partner with a foundation such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to raise awareness on drunk driving and overconsumption. This will combat any negative word-of-mouth surrounding the product.

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