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Aperol – Aligning an Authentic Italian Alcohol Brand with Contemporary Consumer Needs
Amid volume declines in spirits generally, Gruppo Campari’s Aperol brand has achieved dramatic growth since 2004, with total sales quadrupling off the back of expansion both throughout its core Italian market and into Austria and Germany. This article examines how the Aperol brand has managed to achieve strong resonance among a geographically widening range of consumers despite its focus on the premium and on-trade aspects of the alcohol market in the middle of the global economic downturn.
The Aperol brand has been one of the most notable success stories in the global spirits market in recent years. During the 12 months to December 2010, Aperol experienced a 36% rise in sales, which represented the sixth year in a row of double-digit growth (Gruppo Campari annual results, 2010). This indicates that Aperol is successfully meeting relevant consumer needs and that its success is sustainable in the long term. Important contextual factors to consider in relation to the brand’s impressive sales growth include the following:
The decline in the Italian spirits market – Aperol responded to a decline in the Italian spirits market by placing a greater emphasis on enticing consumers to trade up to premium spirits brands in its consumer marketing.
The effective use of the on-trade – Appealing to younger drinkers on vibrant sociable on-trade occasions
Aperol’s positioning at the intersection of key consumer trends – Hitting the sweet spot in terms of taste and refreshment, low alcohol by volume (ABV), and effective pairing with food on aperitivo occasions.
The “on-trend” Aperol Spritz serving – This comprises Aperol, Prosecco, and seltz or soda and makes the beverage refreshing as well as lowering the alcohol content.
An effective brand architecture – The launch of new brand formats such as the Aperol Spritz pre-mix in March 2011 has extended the brand’s reach into new off-trade consumption occasions.
Aggressive expansion in foreign markets – Aperol has strong sales outside Italy, with the key overseas markets of Germany and Austria accounting for 40% of the brand’s global sales.
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