This qualitative analysis seeks to identify the perception of Carlsberg among its Danish consumers to clarify how the new positioning corresponds with the consumers’ symbolic meaning in relation to the UEFA EURO 2012 sponsorship. The purpose is to identify whether Carlsberg’s new positioning is consistent with the consumers’ image of the product in relation to gaining a unique position in the minds of consumers. The thesis finds this focus area relevant due to Carlsberg’s “inside-out” approach as this indicates a focus on the company’s essence as opposed to initially identifying the symbolic meaning of Carlsberg among the consumers. On the basis of this focus area the thesis has identified the problem statement “How is Carlsberg’s new positioning consistent with the symbolic meaning that the consumers attach to Carlsberg brand in relation to the reinforcement of the new positioning through the sponsorship of UEFA EURO 2012?”. As a result, the thesis revolves around four sub questions that first of all strive to clarify Carlsberg’s new positioning strategy and communication. Afterwards, the thesis strives to identify the perception among the consumers in order to make comparisons. Finally, the thesis focuses on implications based on the findings. This thesis focuses on Carlsberg’s new brand positioning. It reflects a change in focusing on the product, exemplified by the old positioning statement “Probably the Best Beer in the World” to emphasising a connection with consumers as shown in the new positioning statement “That calls for a Carlsberg”. Carlsberg has based the new positioning strategy on an “inside-out” approach which centres on the company’s heritage and values. Afterwards, Carlsberg has sought to connect with a target group of adventurous beer drinkers by seeking to inspire them to “follow their dreams” and reward their extraordinary effort with a Carlsberg. The company used the sponsorship of the UEFA EURO 2012 to reinforce the message of the new brand positioning. In relation to neurological research consumer perception is mainly based on an unconscious decision making process. Furthermore, it is indicated that consumers share common characteristics as part of a subculture. Therefore, this thesis seeks to identify the unconscious perception among consumers towards Carlsberg as part of subculture with shared mental models. This is based on the approach that the identity of individuals is both shaped individually and socially. On the basis of these approaches the thesis focuses on theory from “Consumer research” and “Consumption studies” which takes consumers’ irrational behaviour into account. In relation to irrational behaviour branding approaches strive to get a deeper understanding of consumers through qualitative research methods. Therefore, this thesis focuses on qualitative method triangulation by combining nethnography, participant observation and in-depth interviews to get a deeper understanding of consumers’ shared mental models. As a result of an iterative process of interviewing, transcribing and analysing consumers’ narrative links this thesis found different reoccurring constructs in relation to Carlsberg’s new positioning. Firstly, the construct of community is highly represented among the respondents. Secondly, the construct “accomplishment” is connected to the construct “state of relaxation”. This was found to have a primary role among the respondents as opposed to Carlsberg’s construct of “follow your dreams” in connection with “rewarding the extraordinary effort”. Therefore, this thesis suggests that Carlsberg should incorporate the construct of “community” and “state of relaxation” in the company’s new brand positioning. This could increase Carlsberg’s role as part of consumers’ lives. In conclusion, Carlsberg’s new brand positioning is identified as corresponding with the symbolic meaning by the consumers in some areas. The corresponding areas are represented through accomplishment whereas the construct of “state of relaxation” and “community” could be incorporated into the new brand positioning.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||218|