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Marketing Mix Analysis & Brand

Extension for major National &

International Beer Brand : Kingfisher
& Fosters
By: Yogin Vora on May 22, 2009 No Comment

Alcoholic beverages market, especially beer market

in India is growing with leaps and bounds. The beer market in India is estimated to be
over Rupees 3000 corers. Annual consumption of beer is over hundred 10 million cases.
CAGR of beer industry in the year 2008 is 14.3%, much higher than most of the
countries. Rising income the Indian consumer, change in age profile and lifestyle as well
as a reduction in beer prices are major factors pushing this growth. Traditional beer
markets like Europe and USA are either flat or in a state of decline whereas consumption
in the BRIC countries increased by almost 50% during 2002-2007. In India, beer sales
grew at nearly 90% compared to, less than 60% growth for other alcoholic drinks and
according to industry sources Indian beer market is expected to nearly double itself to
23.3 million hL by 2012 from 12.5 million hL at present. Another interesting fact is
among non-Islamic countries India has the lowest per-capita consumption of beer.
For these
reasons international beer companies are coming to India almost every quarter. Three big
international brands Budweiser, Carlsberg and Heineken entered India in last 12-15
months. In February this year, Anheuser-Busch, makers of the legendary Budweiser, that
calls itself the king of beers, announced its India entry through a 50:50 joint venture with
the Hyderabad-based Crown Beers. Three months before that, Carlsberg, the beer brand
for soccer fans, announced operations in India through its venture, South Asian
Breweries. Last year, the Singapore-based Asia Pacific Breweries picked up a 76 per cent
stake in Aurangabad Breweries, paving the way for the launch of Heineken into India.
There are others like NRI entrepreneur Karan Bilimoria, who created waves in UK’s
Indian restaurants by marketing Cobra, a less-gassy beer, also eyeing the market. Even

the big three brands have

siblings. Apart from Heineken, Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) sells Canon, Baron’s and
Tiger; Crown Beers India unveiled Armstrong; while South Asia Breweries has
introduced Pallone.But Indian beer market is highly saturated and difficult to break into.
More than 80% of the market is controlled by the two players, UB and SAB Miller.
While UB with brands like Kingfisher, Zingaro and Kalyani Black has a 48% market
share, SAB’s bouquetof acquired brands- Haywards, Royal challenge, Knock Out and
Foster’s deliver a combined market share of 37%. According to market analysts
international brands excepting Foster’s have made little impression in India till date but
according to these new entrants Indian beer market just started to evolve and has a huge
growth potential. Till now the new entrants are looking at encashing equity with a
premium pricing strategy and they cater to only 30% of the market- the mild beer
segment. For remaining 70% market this players launched multiple new brands that are
competitively priced. However some of the consultants are not confident about the
success of this marketing mix since Indian scenario is widely different from other
growing markets because of its immense and diversified geography, huge variety of
social and cultural setup, differential tax regime across states, are to name a few. Taxes
imposed on alcoholic beverages are very high which make the competition tougher for
new entrants. Currently spirit manufacturers trying to push forward a policy change
which will exempt beer (especially mild variety) from high alcoholic tax regime and
accept it as normal refreshment beverage but in Indian socio-cultural and political
scenario this proposal has only a few takers.

Classification of beer: Lager: It is stored for a specified period before being bottled or
canned. Pilsner: A type of lager beer, it is light with 3.0 – 3.8% alcohol and has a medium
hop flavor. Ale: Top fermented, this kind of beer has distinct hop aroma. The alcohol
content is around 4 – 5%. Stout: Dark with burnt flavor and strong malt aroma; it is
heavily hopped and contains 5 – 6.5% alcohol. Porter: This is less dark than stout, even
less hopped and is somewhat sweet. Alcohol content is around 5%. Creamy Ale: A highly
carbonated beer that is produced by a combination of Ale and Lager. Malt: A strong
flavored, high alcohol content beer that ranges in flavor and colors.

Classification of Beer : –

1. Lager: It is stored for a specified period before being bottled or canned.

2. Pilsner: A type of lager beer, it is light with 3.0 – 3.8% alcohol and has a medium
hop flavor.
3. Ale: Top fermented, this kind of beer has distinct hop aroma. The alcohol content
is around 4 – 5%.
4. Stout: Dark with burnt flavor and strong malt aroma; it is heavily hopped and
contains 5 – 6.5% alcohol.
5. Porter: This is less dark than stout, even less hopped and is somewhat sweet.
Alcohol content is around 5%.
6. Creamy Ale: A highly carbonated beer that is produced by a combination of Ale
and Lager.
7. Malt: A strong flavored, high alcohol content beer that ranges in flavor and

Methodology: Due to lack of time and resources collection of primary data has not been
done and the entire project depends on the secondary data’s collected from different
web pages, online research papers, etc.Analysis and others parts are done on the basis of
these secondary data and knowledge collected from the marketing lectures and text


Marketing Mix Analysis:

Kingfisher History: Parent company of Kingfisher, United breweries was established in
1857 with the name Castle breweries. It was renamed to United Breweries in 1915 and
started manufacturing beer from the year 1944 under the label Exports Beer. UB group
started exporting beer to Middle-East from 1974 and in the year 1978 it launched
Kingfisher brand.

Market Position: It is the largest selling brand in India and commands more than 30%
share in the beer market. In 2005-2006 it recorded 28% growth.

Target markets: Kingfisher has two different products for different market segments.

Product : –

1. No. 1 selling product in its segment.

2. Good quality raw material is used to maintain the quality standards.
3. Consistency of product quality is high.
4. Always tastes fresh due to good quality and well developed distribution network.
5. Hangover due to heavy consumption is very mild.

Place : –

1. It is available throughout India, and is dominant particularly in South and West

2. UB has 16 company-owned breweries apart from nine contract breweries in 20
different locations across the country.
3. Kingfisher also has a presence in 60 countries.
4. Kingfisher also has an online marketing system. Any consumer can go to and get their beer- a mini mum of six bottles home
delivered. This move has been a big draw with info tech professionals and district
women drinkers.
5. It also has some sixteen hundred shops apart from pubs and bars. Better retailing
outlets are also to be opened under the Kingfisher Brand.
6. Kingfisher also has tie-ups with large department stores like ‘Foodworld’
for retailing its Beers.
7. Kingfisher also has association with number of Very Classy, Up-market & Stylish
bars & lounges which goes hand in hand with its brand image.

Price : –
In both mild and strong beer segment Kingfisher uses competitive pricing strategy.

Promotion : –

1. Kingfisher tagline ‘King of good times’ is one of the most popular and
most successful tagline in India.
2. Since advertising of liquor is banned in India, Kingfisher uses surrogate
advertising methods like using mineral water and sodas.
3. Aggressive advertising at Outlets & Pubs.
4. Recently it also started merchandizing sports goods and trendy clothing and
accessories under Kingfisher brand name.
5. Each year Kingfisher brings out new calendars featuring top models in swimwear.
6. Kingfisher also promotes itself by sponsoring events like fashion shows,
sportspersons like Narain Karthikeyan, East Bengal soccer team. UB promoter
also acquired a Formula- One team (Force India).
7. Kingfisher also deals in sports merchandising starting with an ad featuring Sourav
Ganguly and Ajay Jadeja in 1997.
8. With the launch of Kingfisher airlines combined promotion is possible which
helps the brand promotion a lot. Kingfisher also ventured into other businesses
with same brand name making the brand more visible and publicity easier.
9. Kingfisher recently tied up with NDTV for their new lifestyle channel NDTV
Good Times for five years
10. And finally the Sultan himself, Dr. Vijay Mallya, the Big Daddy of all brands, the
flamboyant Czar of the liquor industry who is the youth icon of a million hearts.
His sole presence outweighs all other competitors taken together.


History: Foster’s was established by two brothers W M and R R Foster’s in the year
1986. SAB Miller is the parent company which runs Foster’s group, a premium global
multi-beverage company delivering a total portfolio of beer, wine, spirits, and cider non-
alcohol beverages. In the 70s Foster’s started exporting to USA and UK and entered the
Indian market in a 1998. Foster’s is considered as a consumer driven brand.

Market Position: Foster’s belongs to the SAB Miller stable which is the second largest
beer company in India, in terms of market share. Till now it is the only international beer
brand which successfully captured a significant share in the Indian market.
Target markets: The main target markets of Foster’s in India youth. But targeting
strategy of Foster’s can be presented as

Product : –

1. Premium Lager beer

2. Fresh taste
3. Among the two sizes (330ml and 650ml) pint size (330ml) is more aggressively
promoted and
4. 70% of Foster’s sales today come from the pint-sized market
5. The product is a light beer – highly carbonated with low bitterness and no
aftertaste. It has fewer calories and lower alcohol content.

Price : –

Foster’s unlike Kingfisher follows a premium pricing strategy for its products. The prices
of widely available Foster’s product are
Place : –
1. SAB Miller has 10 breweries in nine

and contract manufacturers in two other states.
2. Foster’s has 24 distributors serving over
5,000 outlets, including over 2,300
outlets in Mumbai.

General distribution structure of Foster’s is shown here-

Promotion : -
1. ‘Australianness’ is the essence of Foster’s brand image is promoted in
every market in the world. All Foster’s lager theme advertising is consistent with
an Australian positioning
2. The overseas advertising of the product often focuses upon the Australian
connotations of the beer, e.g. with reference to stereotypical Australian imagery
such as kangaroos, exaggerated accents, and hats with corks on strings
3. Since direct promotion is banned in India Foster’s use surrogate advertising
method using mineral water of the same brand name
4. Fosters promoted its brand by sponsoring various sports like cricket, to enter the
Indian market. Afterwards it withdrew from cricket and started promoting sports
like football, rugby, motorsport etc.
5. Foster’s is deeply committed to promoting responsible consumption.
6. While Foster’s does not provide medical advice, nor attempt to advise individuals
on important and complex medical issues, the Company is committed to ensuring
that consumers access the best available information regarding alcohol and their
7. Steeping into Men’s Fashion apparels collections for better brand visibility.

Brand repositioning of Indian brand in presence of international brand:

The term “positioning” is widely used within the marketing and advertising
communities today. Positioning is often used nowadays as a broad synonym for
marketing strategy. Positioning should be thought of as an element of strategy, a
component of strategy, not as the strategy itself. The term “positioning” is, and
should be, intimately connected to the concept of “target market.” That is, a
brand’s positioning defines the target audience. The correct positioning of a brand is
basic and fundamental to its success; an incorrect or suboptimal positioning can doom a
brand to underperformance or failure.

Kingfisher, since its origin proved to be the marketing savvy brand. Even though it was
the largest selling beer brand, but when Fosters entered the Indian market, Kingfisher
sniffed possible competition and invested heavily in brand visibility and positioning.
During 2003-04 Kingfisher again repositioned itself by changing the logo.

Instead of the
sitting kingfisher bird, the picture of a flying kingfisher was used during creation of new
logo because the company wanted to promote itself as an aspirational brand which
always wants to go high. This change was made mainly to maintain the distinctive
positioning and to create a stronger emotional bond with the aspiring Indian youth.
This repositioning was so successful that even today Kingfisher uses this logo. After the
entry of international brand Fosters, Kingfisher repositioned itself into a lifestyle brand
adopting jingles like ‘Oola la le lo’ and tagline ‘King of good times’.
Kingfisher tried to position itself as a brand for the successful and professional
individuals who are always ready to take a break, have a party or just chill out. This
positioning was promoted using Indian cricketers such as Ajay Jadeja and Sourav
Ganguly, West Indies cricket team (At that time Kingfisher was the official sponsor of
WI cricket team) and various other means. The notable thing during this repositioning
process is that during this process Kingfisher kept the original message of the brand intact
while adopting strategies (including advertising, logo designing, etc.) to communicate
better with the consumers and to create a stronger emotional bond with them.The
strategies of Kingfisher paid off well and as a result Kingfisher maintained the leadership
position and added more dimensions into the brand making it stronger than before.

Brand Extension : –

Kingfisher is one of the most recognized brand in India and SAB Miller’s foster’s
has also positioned itself as a unique brand so extension of both brands is possible
without much hassle.

Kingfisher : -

Kingfisher is widely known among large number of consumers and its brand presence
increased after diversification into airlines business. Kingfisher brand can be extended in
following ways-

Line Extension:

Ultra Premium Beer: Though Kingfisher has a huge presence in both light and strong
beer segment but from the beginning it followed strategic pricing policy and that made
the brand very popular. But with the increasing income level of the Indian youth and the
entry of international spirit majors like Carlsberg, Budweiser, etc. Kingfisher should
introduce a high-priced premium beer that would compete against these brands
effectively. In this way the company could extend its customer base and their strategy
would also help the company to tap the high income aspiration group and since company
could apply ‘skimming the cream’ policy for this segment, it could be assumed that
revenue generation would be high enough to maintain profitability. This move may also
help the company if it wants to transform itself into a legendary brand not only in India
but also across the globe.

Category extension:

Energy drinks: Kingfisher always maintained itself as a lifestyle brand and associated
the brand image with the youth. With the increasing per-capita income and westernisation
of the Indian society, people are getting ready to spend more and more. On the other hand
they are more conscious about health issues. Energy drinks are very popular in Western
countries and some of them also entered into the Indian market but they failed to make an
impact. If a company like Kingfisher with huge brand popularity and strong self and
distribution network introduce energy drinks it could be a success. It will also go hand in
hand with the current image of the brand.

Film production and distribution: Every year Indian film industry release a lot of
movies and it is the largest film industry in the world considering the number of release
per year. Still in India same production and distribution has not reached professional
level. Only a few companies at present do things in a methodical way. But international
production majors are entering in the Indian cinema space and Indian multinationals are
also taking interest in this field. Kingfisher as a lifestyle brand always maintained a close
relationship with the film fraternity and also has a presence in the television space in a
joint venture with NDTV. So it would be a natural extension for the brand to start a
movie and television production house. With this move Kingfisher would bring in its
corporate expertise and financial muscle. This will also help the brand to increase the
brand visibility. And just like Adlabs Kingfisher will have the opportunity to create its
own multiplex chain and it will also help the current lifestyle apparels and accessories
business a lot.

Apparels and accessories retailing: Even though Kingfisher is already present in the
apparel and accessories space but its presence is very limited. According to industry
estimates organised retailing is the next big thing. In this scenario Kingfisher could easily
use its huge brand presence and popularity by investing more into theapparel and
accessories retailing. In this way Kingfisher could transform itself into a complete
lifestyle brand and that would open new horizons for the brand.


Fosters always maintained its Australian identity throughout the ups and downs of the
spirit industry. It is the only well-known international spirit brand in India and Foster’s
can use this very easily to extend the brand

Line extension:

Low-price beer: From the beginning Foster’s maintained high pricing strategy and that
helped the brand to grow. Now since the brand is already popular they could introduce a
localised version of the brand in lower price. That would help Fosters (SAB Miller) to
strengthen its market presence and to compete against Kingfisher. This new brand will be
a unique mixture of Australian characteristics of Foster’s and local characteristics and the
target segment will be the Indian youth with low disposable income. Using the current
infrastructure and distribution network, SAB Miller would make the process easy and
less costly and that would increase the profitability of success.

Category extension:
Sports merchandising: Foster’s always maintained its position as the Australian brand
and Australia is a multisport country where most of the sports are very popular and as the
country Australia is very successful in these sports. Fosters previously maintained its
relationship with cricket and other sports and is now also responsible for different
sporting events. So they could use this to enter sports merchandising business in India
using cricket as the entry point and then extending into other sports. They could also use
the Australian image to relate the sporting fraternity of India and Australia and by this
way they could popularise the currently unpopular sports like boxing, shooting, etc. If
this strategy could be implemented properly it would make Foster’s unique and give the
brand a head-start.


Our study is based on secondary data, mainly from newspapers and websites and we had
no access to primary data. As a result the report may not contain the latest data about the
present market scenario which could otherwise have made it far better and relevant.


Traditional beer markets in Europe and USA are either flat or are in a state of decline,
whereas India still has a huge untapped market. For these reasons international beer
companies are coming to India almost every quarter. Kingfisher, since its origin proved
to be the marketing savvy brand and even though it was the largest selling beer brand but
when Fosters entered the Indian market Kingfisher sniffed possible competition and
invested heavily in brand visibility and positioning. Kingfisher changed its logo and
adopted a new logo and tagline, sponsored the West Indian cricket team and also used the
Indian cricketers to sponsor its product. It went into airlines, lifestyle and even started a
television channel with NDTV. From our study we have also suggested some brand
extension methods under, line extension and process extension.


India is a growing economy and its market is opening up. The per capita income of the
people of the country is rising daily and so is the beer consumption rate. The stigma
associated with the consumption of alcoholic drinks has also gone down; as a result the
beer companies are trying to get more associated with everyone’s life.