Strategy and Sausages:
A British Strategic Planner in Germany
Tuesday, 17 January 2017
Inventing and reinventing drinks
I've turned up rather late at the party for a new-ish drinks brand called Andalö, presumably because I don't attend enough hip events. However, a friend brought me a bottle to a 'Brexit Blues Party' - long story - and I was intrigued.
Drinks marketing these days is a subtle game. People want something new, but they must have the feeling that they've discovered or rediscovered something authentic. Maybe this is why one of the few survivors from the cocktail craze of the 1980s is Malibu. Amid all those faux brands (remember Shakers?), Malibu could at least claim a Caribbean heritage going back to the 19th century.
Andalöalso claims to have its origins in the 19th century. The brand is described as a 'Swedish-inspired Liqueur' based on Sanddorn. (Common Sea-Buckthorn in English.)
I've noticed Sanddorn creeping into a variety of food and drink products here in Germany over the last few years, from yoghurts to tea. Apparently, the plant is a rich source of Vitamin C - and that takes us to the brand story.
A Swedish smuggler by the name of Carl Petter Andersson, whose boat was named the Andalö, got into trouble in a storm while smuggling alcohol from Germany, back in 1889. He mixed the smuggled alcohol with the fresh Sanddorn juice he had on board (presumably to prevent scurvy) and so the liqueur was born. I have sampled it and it's quite tasty.
So far, so good. However, other elements of the marketing don't really seem to tie in with this story or supposed heritage. There's an association with Swedish Midsummer, which is rather sub-IKEA in its portrayal. And then there is the bizarre choice of a brand ambassador, Pamela Anderson. Well, yes, she's blonde, called Anderson, and has Scandinavian roots, but they are not Swedish. And I have a feeling she doesn't drink.
I suspect that the (German) makers of Andalö have looked at the success of Aperol, on the back of the Prosecco craze, and done the logic that Sweden is the Italy of the North for Germans.
There's even a cocktail recipe for Andalö and Jägermeister, mixed.
But it's a bit too early in the morning for that. Sounds like a recipe for sea-sickness.
When I was little, I wanted to be a spy. I got off to a good start, studying Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge but somehow got side-tracked into the wonderful world of advertising and marketing.
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