Tiger Energy Drink knocks out Red Bull in Poland
Red Bull was the first energy drink launched to Polish market. This Austrian brand that quickly became an international leader of the energy drink category dominated Polish market for many years. Red Bull had its in-house made, unique, funny and sometimes controversial TV campaigns with the famous slogan: Red Bull Gives You Wings that strengthened the brand image and awareness. It seemed very unlikely that any other brand could ever challenge Red Bull’s position. It’s worth to mention that the global giants like Coca-Cola with its Powerade and Burn brands as well as PepsiCo with Mountain Dew didn’t manage to harm Red Bull’s leadership in the category. But everything has its END. In 2004 Polish company called Gellwe (now it’s called FoodCare), known mostly for its desserts, launched a new energy drink called Tiger. The strategy was very simple – Tiger was a much cheaper counterpart of Red Bull, it had a powerfull animal as its name, the brand name was in English, and the design of the can resembled that of Red Bull’s characteristic silver & blue branding.
The launch campaign featured the successful Polish boxer Dariusz Michalczewski who is also known under his nickname “Tiger“. The TV campaign prepared by a local agency Demo Effective Launching built the brand awareness quite quickly thanks to this instant association between Dariusz “Tiger” Michalczewski and the new brand’s name.
Due to the lower price Tiger soon became very popular with younger people who were obviously more price-sensitive. Red Bull didn’t seem to care much about the new rival and kept its high prices untouched. Nevertheless, Tiger had a problem with its brand image – perceived as a cheap copy of Red Bull – it couldn’t compete with the Austrian brand within some key target groups. Tiger’s next campaign prepared by agency called Testardo Red Cell introduced the brand’s claim: Power Is Back! and started the process of lifting up the brand image. The brand also launched its new international website http://www.powerisback.com/.
In November 2008 print and TV ads appeared in which Tiger proudly announced that it had finally defeated Red Bull and achieved #1 position as for quantitative sales of energy drink brands in Poland. Red Bull still holds the value sales leadership due to its strict price policy. Tiger is also more flexible than Red Bull and is available in a wide variety of formats – cans, bottles of several capacities, and tablets.
Tiger also copied Red Bull’s strategy in extreme sports sponsorship and the brand-building based on associations with sports. Red Bull supports ski jumps, football, Formule 1 and other extreme activities such the recent Red Bull X-Fighters. Tiger on the other hand sponsored Run Warsaw, Nike’s marathon and Tiger Powerboat Grand Prix. It has also introduced a limited edition of “football cans” that were 30% bigger than standard cans.
The next step in the process of improving Tiger’s brand image was the collaboration with Porsche Design Studio which prepared the design for Tiger’s new bottles introduced in March 2009. Apparently it’s the first case that Porsche Design Studio worked for a mainstream FMCG brand. A multimedia campaign started in Poland to communicate Tiger’s Porsche Design bottle launch in April. It is probably the most expensive advertising campaign in the brand’s history.