Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Should Brands Be More Realistic about Their Positioning?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Should Brands Be More Realistic about Their Positioning?

Article excerpt

German wine Blue Nun is relaunching as an 'unpretentious' product aimed at women, a strategy that may indicate a need for brands to rein in their 'aspirational' claims in these more austere times.


Teenage fumblings on South Shields beach, Alan Partridge's tipple of choice and a dodgy Beastie Boys song. Yes, from personal experience there's definitely a level of latent awareness of Blue Nun - but I can't help feeling that it's pushing it to claim any latent 'affection'.

Overcoming an image of such Gorgonzolan proportions appears a very tough brief, but there are options. How about surfing the Riesling revival? Basking in the glory of the brand's rich 90-year history? (It is a former Sichel wines stablemate of Chateaux Palmer and Angludet, after all.) Or becoming a symbol of 80s revivalism? In the end, the safe choice has prevailed.

It's fine to be sniffy about brands that don't appeal to our pretentious, Soho-sharpened palates, but Blue Nun probably wouldn't still be here if it didn't fit supermarket category management strategies so well. I suspect it is fulfilling a profitable ranging role, and is reliably sensitive to off-trade promotions.

This isn't a move to invigorate a fading icon, but it might just save a listing or two.


A brand's positioning should always be realistic, but that doesn't mean forgetting about your target audience. Great brands will offer authenticity but also be distinctive and relevant.

Blue Nun is certainly a brand with latent awareness and you need that The issue is that Blue Nun's awareness isn't necessarily the type you want. The brand may live in a nostalgic world of flared jeans (the first time around), Nimble bread and Spangles, but that doesn't make it a brand that's loved or indeed relevant for today's market.

Relaunching Blue Nun as an 'unpretentious' wine implies that other wines are pretentious. This could be considered patronising by its target market, who may not see navigating the wine aisle as a daunting task The volume of wine being consumed these days would seem to indicate that if it is considered pretentious, drinkers aren't having a problem with it. Indeed, as our knowledge and appreciation of wine has grown, the Blue Nuns of this world are being displaced. Perhaps this time it really is Blue Nun's 'last-chance saloon'?


Blue Nun is an everyday wine for which the biggest challenge is to convince consumers not to feel embarrassed when putting it into their shopping trolley. …

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