Category: CONUSMER RELATIONSSPI Distribution (Latvia)Re-labeling Latvian symbolRiga Black balsamSummaryFor 260 years Riga Black balsam has been one of the most acknowledged Latvian symbols. People knowBalsams legend, honors it as a national pride and as Latvian historical heritage. Main Balsam users are olderpeople and tourists, but it is not that loved among younger generation. Riga Black balsam decided toincrease sales by reaching new audience and refreshing the brand.As any alcohol producer, Balsam faces legal restrictions for advertising and publicity. The challenge of thecampaign was to inform society about Balsam activities while national media are passive commenting newsrelated to alcoholic drinks. Riga Black balsam decided to be brave and allow society to impact its keyelement of the brand – the label. 260th anniversary label contest was announced inviting young designers todevelop different anniversary labels that would be produced in limited edition.Having such historic heritage on its shoulders, Balsam took significant risk in changing its label. The riskpaid off: sales increased, people shared positive feedback on Facebook site, 50 high quality label designswere developed. The campaign gained wide media publicity and good reviews from stakeholders andsociety.SituationRiga Black balsam is not only one of the most typical souvenirs for tourists, but for 260 years favorite strongdrink among older generation of Latvians. Its ceramic bottle and brown label is a well known image formany. On the other hand, as any alcohol producer Balsam faces limitations of advertising, also media are notthat willing to write about strong drinks. Balsam decided to boost sales by refresh its brand and attractyounger generation that traditionally is not that fond of this drink.ObjectivesConsumer research showed that main users of Riga Black balsam are within the age group of 30-55 years.Company felt the need to raise awareness of its products and refresh the brand in a new target audience.Main objective of campaign was to increase sales and attract and engage young active people in age group24-35. Company decided to show that Balsam is not only Latvian historical value, but it can be modern anddevelopment-oriented brand.Secondary objective was to increase publicity volume and engage with media representatives, whotraditionally are avoiding to write about alcohol producers and brands.StrategyThe main task of the campaign was to empower young designers to create Riga Black balsams 260thanniversary limited edition labels and allow younger generation and society to take part in decision-makingabout the winning label to be used in production.Secondly, create quality visual material and story for Latvian and international media representatives.Thirdly, reach target audience and refresh the brand by joining social media platform Facebook.Fourthly, Engage reputed partners such as Latvian Institute, Latvian Designer’s Society, Riga TourismDevelopment Bureau LIVE Riga and Latvian Bartenders Federation in the campaign.Criteria: -number of works submitted in competition for label; -activity and content on Facebook; -publicity volume; -increase in sales. -Execution Baltic PR Awards 2012
During campaign from May 2012 till September 2012 various events were organized that supportedengagement with young generation and media. The core of the campaign was contest for young designers tocreate design for limited edition Riga Black balsam labels.Local celebrities were endorsed in a campaign opening event that announced the contest for label design.Society, especially targeting younger audience, was engaged via Facebook page created for this campaign.People could vote for their favorite label designs. Jury consisting of experts of tourism, culture, businesswere also involved in choosing the contest winner.Best contest works were exhibited in Old Riga in large print, attracting societys and media attention.Balsams anniversary label was launched in yearly Riga Cocktail festival. Media, contestants and jury werealso invited to a special tour to Riga Black balsam factory.Documented ResultsPrecisely 50 anniversary label designs met contest requirements and the best one was selected to be printedfor limited edition Riga Black balsam 260th anniversary’s labels. Exhibition of labels was a great visualmaterial for media content. More than 8000 people in age group 24-35 years were reached via Facebook page created for thiscampaign. More than 200 people shared Balsam’s events, 1600 followers explored previous activities andmore than 3000 people weekly followed Balsam’s activities by exploring galleries.Due to many legal restrictions that limit alcohol producers activity on media, previous media coverage forBalsam was poor. Campaign gained more than 80 publications in national and international media within 4months, which is 4 times more than in the previous year.Riga Black balsams trade mark total sales after campaign increased by 13% (the total alcohol market in thecountry is +2.7%). Balsams’s 0.5l bottle (limited label is placed only on one SKU) sales in September-October have increased by 62% vs. the same period y. 2011.