By 2008, Hungary's third largest mainstream brand, Arany Ászok, was losing the loyalty of its consumers, especially in its home region. To become more relevant and re-establish brand loyalty, the Hungarian business carried out a detailed analysis of the market and Arany Ászok's target consumers, namely blue-collar workers aged 30 to 49.
The crucial insight was that these were the country's unsung heroes, that what they valued was recognition and the sense of belonging to their community, and that where they found it was playing or cheering for the local amateur football team.
The upshot was an innovative community marketing programme that now sponsors approximately 1,000 town and village teams. As well as receiving free football kit, local teams are publicised on billboards and in the media in a way that links Arany Ászok with local pride. At the heart of the programme is the local bar through which SABMiller channels its support – many teams have an official pub where the sponsorship contract is signed. Themed packs and promotions carry the message into stores that are also keen to support the local heroes.
The results have been dramatic. Loyalty measures are rising, as is Arany Ászok's share of value within the segment. In a market still suffering from recession with volumes declining and pubs closing at a rapid rate, the brand has gained access to many new outlets. Furthermore, its revenue per hectolitre is up as its brand equity has strengthened and there is less resorting to price promotions.
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