I can hardly think of a more crowded market place in the UK at the moment than Cider. Since Magners exploded onto the scene a few years ago (seems like a very long time ago now) the number of Cider brands & drinkers has exponentially increased.
It was not so long ago that Cider was for teenagers and tramps.
In the wake of Magners many other brands soon followed. Apart from Strongbow which has been around forever (and I’m sure has seen an increase in sales since Magners – I have seen people drinking it with ice...) of the top of my head right now I can name – Bulmers, Gaymers, Kopparberg, Savanna, Brothers, Aspalls, Addlestones and Jacques. Add to that all the varieties within each brand like pear (isn’t that just Perry!?), all the niche, trendy, traditional Ciders and all the ones I couldn't think of, and you have a very competitive environment. I’m not saying these brands didn’t exist before, I’d just never heard of them. I couldn’t really tell you what the difference between any of them is either.
So when Stella decided to enter the market VERY late, the challenge for their product / brand was quite a simple one – stand out. Forget about pushing any of the actual qualities of the product, achieving brand salience in a market like this is the only way to cut through. I couldn’t tell you what makes Stella’s offering taste different to any of the others, but I do know one thing;
It’s Cidre, not Cider.
And just like that Cidre stands out from the entire competition. As a consumer you are now faced with a 50/50 decision. You can either drink the old familiar Cider we all know and love (and within that all brands battle it out for your attention with tiny nuances) or you can drink Cidre, the European alternative (in a class all of it’s own).
Funnily enough I’m sure some of these other brands are European as well and therefore also technically Cidre, Jacques for example sounds pretty french to me, but they all missed a trick to differentiate themselves so as a consumer I lump them all in together.
Add to that one very neat ad campaign highlighting how all the parts of drinking Cidre are specifically not like all the other Ciders (it’s not a glass, it’s a chalice) and you have a pretty resonant, powerful and unique proposition for consumers.
PS. Top YouTube comment 'What a wankre'.