Molson Coors rethinks Carling positioning to broaden appeal

Molson Coors is to evaluate the positioning of its flagship brand Carling next year in an attempt to broaden the lager’s appeal.

Molson Coors marketing director Chris McDonough has told Marketing Week that he is working on an evolution of Carling’s “British sociability” positioning.

He says: “We are looking at whether there is a repurposed positioning for the brand.

“Every brand goes through an evolution stage and we are at a natural inflection point with Carling, looking at how we broaden its appeal.”

Carling’s off-trade sales have suffered this year in a declining beer market. Retail sales of Carling were down 5.2% in the year to July, compared with Carlsberg, which grew 9% over the same time, according to Symphony IRI.

And according to research by Euromonitor and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Carling’s share of the total market decreased by 0.9 percentage points between 2005 and 2009.

Sales of beer, cider and flavoured alcoholic beverages are projected to decline by 2.4% between 2008 and 2013, according to Datamonitor.

McDonough, who joined from Müller Dairy in April, has been in talks with current agencies and key staff about the revamp. He confirmed the plans will include TV advertising.

The brewer is looking for a brand manager to control above-the-line communications for Carling. McDonough says: “The new brand manager will be key in growing the Carling brand further.”

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