Is Bournvita losing market share?


Unlike the 90s when the late Stephen Keshi and Rasheed Yekini, two of the biggest heroes of the 1994 nations cup triumph in Tunisia, served as the voice of Bournvita, you hardly hear any bleep from the brand these days. While back then the brand showed aggression in its marketing efforts, and rode on the back of the triumphant Eagles, it seems one of Cadbury’s top brands is presently lying low.

Communication and strong channel relationship are key to maintaining favourable market position. Cadbury’s Bournvita may not have lost its grip on the latter, but it has broken some rules.

When was the last time you heard a memorable jingle by Bournvita? Except for those born in the late 90s, chances are the generation Z can’t even remember. The beauty jingle and pay off – “Bournvi-Bournvi-Bournvita!”- now belongs in that literal golden book titled ‘tales by moonlight’.

Every brand seeks to future-proof its existence by appealing to a new generation of consumers. These set of consumers are currently aged 14-25. If they hardly hear or see fresh and interesting TVC (television commercials), or listen to jingles that stick, or walk on to their playgrounds to the inspiring greetings of Bournvita wallpapers and banners urging them to ‘be the best’ or ‘play hard’ like Nike and Coca-Cola, how would they build any meaningful relationship or association with the brand?

More, effective positioning, which is often reinforced by a strong communication strategy, and affordability, are leverage for gaining market edge. Like Burger King in the US, Bournvita can’t be said to rate high in these areas.

However, one fears that if Cadbury’s Bournvita chooses to maintain its current status quo, which is not in its DNA anyway, it will certainly be made to fight for its future like a swimmer kept under the water for too long!

Here is more reason for Cadbury to revamp its once aggressive communication and branding efforts. The evolution of several store brands in the beverage category is apparently a threat to the brand owners. Aldi, a German hard-discounter sells majorly its own brands across all categories: although that is in Europe and the US. Spar, Shoprite, Justrite, Hubmart and Prince Ebeano may not be too far away from embracing similar strategy since a few of  them are already giving a sizeable share of their shelves to own labels.

In fact, the entry of Miniso into the retail sector may spearhead a revolution that would birth more stores dedicated to own labels across all categories. Except manufacturers and producers of well-known brands step up their  engagement and communication efforts, they may be on their way to losing out to the store brands very soon. If they do, brands like Bournvita which choose to lie low will be the first victims.

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Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka writes with simplicity and insight. He has a PR and brand marketing background. He has worked previously at MarketingMix, IGW Entertainment (Germany), and BrandFootPrint. He managed the MTN Project Fame between 2012 and 2015. Toyin loves travelling, writing, reading; and he treasures integrity.


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