Bournvita: In search of lost market leadership

By Ayomide Oriade

Call it a rethink or rejig, brands tend to evolve to reach new audiences or reconnect with their lost market.  During such process, the challenge is to introduce a position that connects with them. As consumer behaviour evolves, so should the brand. With so many choices available for the audience, a company must evolve to stay relevant and be noticed. 

Many big companies in the world had at one time or the other evolved their brand identity to keep up with the changes in their respective markets. Starbucks has rebranded four time, Pepsi has rebranded eleven times, Apple has done it on three occasions.

Bournvita Rethink
After years of rigors and uncertainties, Cadbury Nigeria Plc. came out of the woods with the Bournvita brand and commenced marketing communication activities to reconnect with its customers. In the last few year, Cadbury has embarked on several marketing activities to improve the equity of the Bournvita brand and reclaim its lost grounds in market share.

In October 2015, the company unveiled a new manufacturing plant built to boost production of its famous Bournvita, at a cost of N10 billion. Some months after, April 2016 to be precise, the company relaunched its flagship brand, Bournvita in a re-designed package. With a new pack to go with it, the handlers disclosed that it has been fortified with more vitamins, minerals, cocoa and milk to make it more chocolaty and creamy. This, according to them, is in line with consumers’ preferences, with the aim of providing the best in nutrition and vitality to develop both the mind and body of the consumer.

“As the needs of our consumers evolve, they trust that we would also evolve and provide them with a better and improved experience. This has been achieved by introducing the new Cadbury Bournvita with vitamins and minerals, which aims to develop both the body and mind”, said the Managing Director of Cadbury Nigeria, Mr. Roy Naman.

The owners of the brand were also clear on the motives behind the action; they wanted their numerous customers and all Nigerians to know that their Bornvita brand is “alive, exciting and always improving.” That summed up what was left of the brand after years of company crises that crippled what had grown to become a national brand. Its major competitors Milo and Ovaltin had taken over; with the former becoming a distant market leader.

Consumer Engagement
As part of its rebranding, the company said innovation has been a major tool in the company’s toolkit and it will henceforth drive its market initiatives. So it did. The company unveiled the world’s largest inflatable jar. But analysts still couldn’t fathom how that initiative connects with consumers in such a tight economic situation.

To boost Bournvita purchase, the owners employed the “co-branding” marketing strategy when it teamed up with Indomie noodles maker, Dufil Foods to launch a 3-month promo campaign of value packed Bournvita and Indomie noodles. “We are joining the power of two iconic brands in the country. Bournvita and Indomie are leading brands who have decided to collaborate in order to provide more value to our consumers,” said Roy Naman.

The strategy worked wonders between Apple and Nike, and observers then saw it as a good move given the fact that Indomie is a market leader in its category and it can help reverse the dwindling fortune of Bournvita.
Added to this was the strategic change of heart appeal to erstwhile Bournvita consumers by sponsoring a life story titled “A Change of Heart” on the popular TV drama series ThisLife. Between June1 and August 31, 2016, Cadbury ran a Bournvita/ThisLife Watch & Win Giveaway under which it rewarded one lucky viewer every week with a Cadbury Bournvita Goodie Bag. Each bag worth over N5,000 and contained a wide range of branded promotional items such as Bournvita 900g Packs, Cadbury Hot Chocolate 3-in-1 30g Sachets, Spiral Notebooks, Wristbands, Ballpoint Pens, Colourful Mugs and T-Shirts.

What to expect
From marketing Edge’s market research at malls and retail outlets in Ikeja Lagos, the marketing effort of Bournvita brand owners seem to be yielding some results. The brand has become more visible in different packs and sizes. Due to economic constraints of consumers, some of the retailers said sachet packs of the brand is gaining more patronage.

From indications, the giant is waking up from its slumber. The journey to the top will be tedious, but with a popular brand name and continuous marketing activities, Bournvita can still regain its lost share in the Nigerian beverage market.


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