Is Star Lager Beer Finally Giving In To Competition?

0
Is Star Lager Beer Finally Giving In To Competition?
Is Star Lager Beer Finally Giving In To Competition?

Star Lager Beer is a Nigerian Breweries flagship beer brand that was launched in 1949. In fact, the brand, affectionately known as “Star- Shine Shine Bobo” by drinkers and non-drinkers alike, arguably ruled its sector for many years, dominating the marketplace across the country.

Competition is an unavoidable part of any business, no matter how large or small. It is not a necessary evil, but rather an essential component of the business ecosystem. In fact, competition can be a powerful tool for growing and improving a company.

It is worth noting that the presence of competition implies that customers have the option of selecting between competing brands. When there is competition, brand handlers understand that customers are patronizing their brand not because it is the only one available, but because it appealed to them the most out of all the options.

This appears to be the case with Nigerian Breweries’ flagship brand, Star Lager Beer. Star Lager Beer was Nigeria’s first beer, released in 1949 by Nigerian Breweries. For decades, the brand dominated the market.

Though other beer brands entered the Nigerian beer market, Nigerian Breweries always had the upper hand. Nigerian Breweries, through Star Lager Beer and Gulder, had the entire market to themselves for about thirty years.

Of course, this accomplishment cannot be divorced from the knowledge gained from Heineken. Nigerian Breweries and Heineken first collaborated in 1946, when the United Africa Company of Nigeria (UAC) and Heineken signed a contract to establish Nigerian Breweries. In the year 2000, Heineken acquired Nigerian Breweries, making it a subsidiary of the Heineken Group of companies.

However, from 2010 to 2016, these initiatives used to drive consumer loyalty for Star Lager Beer were put on hold. And it was during this time that Star Lager Beer began to fade into obscurity.

In an obvious attempt to reclaim market leadership, the brand custodians once believed that, in a lager saturated market, the youth demographics shift in choice had a seismic impact on Star’s mind and market share. This is one of the reasons Nigerian Breweries chose Burna Boy as the first brand ambassador for Star Lager Beer in 2018. Even so, the brand is rarely seen in most of the country’s bars.

What others are saying

In fact, an investigation conducted by MediaConsortium’s intelligent unit revealed that Star Lager Beer existed in the past. For example, Charles Danson, owner of Charlie’s Spot Bar in Aboru, Agbado Oke-Odo, Lagos State, stated that the last time he saw Star Lager Beer in his establishment was more than five years ago.

When MediaConsurtium asked him what the reason for the brand’s disappearance from the market space could be, he emphasized that it’s simply the failure of the brand custodians, adding that they succeeded in killing the brand by resting initiatives that were known to drive sales for the brand.

In another development, a salesman with J.S Taka Foundation, a large resort in Makurdi, Benue State, told our correspondent that he couldn’t recall the last time he saw Star Lager Beer in their bar. “In fact, customers never ask for the brand again,” he adds.

Also, Samson Irmiya, owner of Big Sam Joint in Nyaya, Abuja, stated that Star Lager Beer has become extinct, noting that no customer has ever asked him for the brand in his bar in recent times.

Also, John Anthony, a bartender at Padell Lounge in Lion of Judah, Okunola, Egbeda, revealed that the demand for star Larger is very low, and that Trophy and Goldberg are preferred at the bar and in the surrounding area.

Joy Chioma of De-light Bar, for one, stated, “Previously, star beer was the toast of beer drinkers, but now star beer has been relegated to the back seat.”

In terms of how the brand can recover, she stated, “market and more market is the solution, people need to be assured that their once darling star, “shine shine bobo,” is still the same with the same quality and quantity.”

Also speaking, Mike Ugwu, Bar Manager at Afri Villa Resort, stated that beer demand is typically 33 Export Beer, Goldberg, and Trophy, and that because patronage for Star is abysmally low, demand is shifting to 33 Export Beer, Goldberg, and Trophy.

Interestingly, some believe that the rebranding and promotion of 33 Export, Life Lager, and Goldberg is a factor in why Star Lager Beer has become a bygone era. Those brands’ rebranding was undeniably successful, and consumers embraced them. Despite the fact that they were now owned by the same brewery, they became competitors to Star. Star Lager Beer gradually lost market dominance.

Read Also:  Nigerian Breweries spent N22b on marketing/sales promo in 2016

Furthermore, competition from outside the Nigerian Breweries family has played a significant role in why Star is crawling today. Other international breweries, such as SABMiller and AB InBev, began to enter the Nigerian beer market and began to acquire some other local breweries that were too small to compete with Nigerian breweries.

This appears to be the case with Nigerian Breweries’ flagship brand, Star Lager Beer. Star Lager Beer was Nigeria’s first beer, released in 1949 by Nigerian Breweries. For decades, the brand dominated the market.

Though other beer brands entered the Nigerian beer market, Nigerian Breweries always had the upper hand. Nigerian Breweries, through Star Lager Beer and Gulder, had the entire market to themselves for about thirty years.

Of course, this accomplishment cannot be divorced from the knowledge gained from Heineken. Nigerian Breweries and Heineken first collaborated in 1946, when the United Africa Company of Nigeria (UAC) and Heineken signed a contract to establish Nigerian Breweries. In the year 2000, Heineken acquired Nigerian Breweries.

 

Star Lager Beer dominated the Nigerian beer market until the early 2000s. One reason for this success is that brand handlers introduced programs such as TV reality shows and brand experiences for their customers through initiatives such as STAR Mega Jam, STAR Trek the Music, and STAR Quest, among others.

However, from 2010 to 2016, these initiatives used to drive consumer loyalty for Star Lager Beer were put on hold. And it was during this time that Star Lager Beer began to fade into obscurity.

In an observable attempt to reclaim market leadership, the brand custodians once believed that, in a lager saturated market, the youth demographics shift in choice had a seismic impact on Star’s mind and market share. This is one of the reasons Nigerian Breweries chose Burna Boy as the first brand ambassador for Star Lager Beer in 2018. Even so, the brand is rarely seen in most of the country’s bars.

In reality, a research conducted by Brandspur intelligent unit revealed that Star Lager Beer existed in the past. For example, Charles Danson, owner of Charlie’s Spot Bar in Aboru, Agbado Oke-Odo, Lagos State, stated that the last time he saw Star Lager Beer in his establishment was more than five years ago.

When MediaConsurtium asked him what the reason for the brand’s disappearance from the market space could be, he emphasized that it’s simply the failure of the brand custodians, adding that they succeeded in killing the brand by resting initiatives that were known to drive sales for the brand.

Also, John Anthony, a bartender at Padell Lounge in Lion of Judah, Okunola, Egbeda, revealed that the demand for star Larger is very low, and that Trophy and Goldberg are preferred at the bar and in the surrounding area.

He does not believe the trend is related to price, but he believes that marketing activities and promotions for the Star brand, such as working on a slightly higher price than other beer brands, can help the brand bounce back.

“The brand owners must come up with long-term marketing programs that will create a long-term awareness program for the brand,” he says.

Even after checking several other beer rankings, Star fails to make the top ten. This clearly demonstrates that, with more options and other beer brands now as readily available as Star, people prefer these other brands over Star. What can be said about this is that Star dominated the market because there was no stiff competition.

Star Lager Beer may find it difficult to reclaim market leadership at the moment, but changing its promotional methods, such as increasing the advertising budget or utilizing the power of branding for the brand, can be beneficial.

Furthermore, it is critical for Nigerian Breweries’ management to understand that its flagship and iconic brand, such as Star Lager Beer, cannot simply fade away. As a result, they should understand that everyone enjoys a good sale, and being able to entice customers to return by offering lower prices can be an excellent short-term strategy. They should keep in mind, however, that competitors will notice and, as a result, lower their prices. Consumers benefit from this, but producers may face a race to the bottom.