I have no information on the rational behind the introduction of Tusker Lite to the Kenyan market at this time after long long rich and successful life, My lucky guess from the ‘Low Carb’ bit advert in Tuesday’s Daily Nation is they are capitalizing on the health nutrition frenzy that is changing the eating habits of many. I stumbled on the ad in the company of a faithful Tusker consumer, Ogejo who is upset at the brand extension noting that ‘ His’ Tusker Original was the perfect drink that everybody settles for after hoping all over the place. He is still getting used to the new bottle design when the green intruder (Lite) showed up uninvited.
David F. D’Alessandro in his book Brand Warfare speaks of Crow Lager, a top beer in the US that extended its brand into the Lite version in an attempt to be relevant to the consumer needs only to end up loosing the market share of the ‘Original’ Crow Lager because of its awful taste. He cautions against risking the credibility of a successful brand by creating an association with a new product of untested appeal and unproven record in the market. Brand extension is what it is popularly refered to as is a gamble that could create favour or loss in value.
He recounts how this very move brought various giant beer brands on their knees as they struggled to maneuver the ever-changing consumer landscape that favored the smaller agile brands.
What then shall become of the Tusker brand? I think Tusker lite will eat into the the existing market as some of the current Tusker consumers will love the Low Carb version of their favorite drink while the die hard faithfuls will speak ill of the new kid on the block and sabotage the brand claiming that it is diluting the perfect brew. This is an assumption that my avid Tusker buddy Ogejo is not representative of the whole and that EABL did their homework on the ground that warranted this new move.
collage image courtesy of James Dawe, commissioned by AMV BBDO London