Is vodka different? ~ Brand Mix

Friday, August 31, 2007

Is vodka different?

Interesting Freakanomics blog today asking how come there's so many new vodka brands compared to other spirits such as rum and whiskey. Suggestions from the comments:

1) Vodka is the biggest market: (Although one person posted data that whiskey has a higher market share)
2) All vodkas tastes the same: Especially when they are mixed (which they usually are) - they are not an acquired taste
3) Easy to make: no special ingredients, ageing or particular skill required to limit entrants
4) Newcomer: vodka hasn't been around as long as other spirits
5) Bandwagon: That manufacturer are poor innovators so are just trying to follow someone else's success
6) Youthful target/fashion: The big consumers of vodka are younger people who have not developed strong loyalties and can be influenced by fancy marketing and packaging
7) Brand attributes: That manufacturers have tapped into the younger age demographic and made their products fun, hip, friendly and approachable

Someone commented that it's interesting that some categories tend to be similar and have a lot of brands (e.g. beer and mustard) while others have relatively few brands (e.g. ketchup and soda).

In this case it looks like that manufacturers, by following similar approaches with similar products, tapping into the same target audience with similar messages, have succeeded in building the category but at the expense of building differentiated brands.

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