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Brand Update : Alpenliebe is no longer a candy its also an Eclair

Alpenliebe, the flagship candy brand from Perfetti VanMelle (PVM) recently launched Alpenliebe Eclairs.The brand which pioneered candy ( more specifically deposited candy) segment in India is no longer a candy brand.

PVM has been experimenting with Alpenliebe for a while now. Ever since the launch in 1995, the brand saw may product-line extensions and campaigns.
The brand over these years launched lollipops, different flavors of Alpenliebe and also extensions like Creamfills and Mangofillz Alpenliebe. Consumers willingly accepted these variants making Alpenliebe market leader in the segment.

Along with the extensions, PVM extended the equity of the brand to other confectionery segments through secondary associations. The brand launched Chocoliebe in the eclair category drawing equity from Alpenliebe.

The brand also saw some clutter -breaking campaigns in its life so far. The brand was launched with the positioning - Simply Irresistible. The brand used the messages like " Jee Lal Chahe ,Raha na Jaye " and finally to " Lalach Aha Laplap".

The brand then introduced Kajol as the brand ambassador and along with the animated alligator - Mr Munch began promoting Alpenliebe aggressively. In 2010, the brand launched another clutter-breaking campaign which saw Kajol doing a role reversal of sorts. The ad featured a theme where the role of human and monkey were reversed . Kajol took the role of a monkey and Madaari ( master) was a monkey ( detailed plot here)

Watch the campaign here : Role reversal

The latest move of Alpenliebe to launch eclairs was a complete surprise. First thing is that the launch of Alpenliebe eclairs completely changed the character of the brand. The brand now is no longer a candy. In a branding perspective, this is significant. It is just like Horlicks launching noodles. Horlicks no longer is an energy drink. So Alpenliebe has become a brand that endorses many confectionery products including eclairs, sugar filled candy, cream filled candy and lollipops.

Secondly, the brand now competes with Chocoliebe which is the eclair brand from the same company. So higher chance of cannibalization happening for PVM.

Although the core Alpenliebe brand has been consistent with the positioning of " Irresistible Taste", the product-line extensions were having different positioning. For example -
Lollipop has the tagline " Lagay Raho"
Creamfills has the tagline " Kuch Alagh"
Mangofills has the tagline " Mango ka Tinku".

This shows that Alpenliebe is not maintaining a consistency in the core positioning. For an umbrella brand, consistency of core brand message " Simply Irresistible " is vital and this message should run through all the campaigns of the extensions.

Eclairs however has maintained the irresistible taste as the positioning. But the launch campaign is horrible.
Watch it here : Alpenliebe Eclairs
I feel that the ad agency was told to create a funny commercial and they tried and failed miserably. Alpenliebe Eclairs has the tagline " Chocolatey Laila " which I think is a tagline that may not have much life in it.

Having said that, there is a business logic behind the launch of eclairs. Confectionery marketers are faced with the issue of consumer price- fixation. The market is highly price conscious. Candies are now priced at 50 paise and all efforts of marketers to make consumers pay more has failed. Alpenliebe Eclairs is an attempt by PVM to trade-up the pricing ladder. The Rs 1 eclair will add more profitability to Alpenliebe portfolio and eclair is a high growth category in this industry.

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