Why Mountian Dew will never do well in India

10 Jan

My views on the current position of Mountain Dew in the category.

Let’s first look at the current TG profile.

At the face it is youth which is further filtered basis the attitude. When addressing the youth the common platform that is taken is “different” but the Mountain Dew youth is the “on the edge different”. If one had to take a typical example if the normal “different youth” would be bunking the class to showcase his freedom, the Mountain Dew youth would be having fun while staying in the class. Everything about him would be an expression of a strong individuality and self-expression, would read Chuck Palanuik rather than Shantaram, would have seen “Old Boy” rather than “Zinda”. Unknown/ Obscure is more exciting than the popular/ known.

The issues

According to me the product faces three issues-

1. A non-cola normally is a substitute drink and not the primary choice. So a category which per se is not very large (in comparative terms), we have a product which is a sub-set of the category and targeted at a segment which in itself is an extremely smaller sub-set of the total market.

2. If one looks at the category the consumer makes a choice over something – I prefer this over that – “Identifiable enemies”. Pepsi vs Coke, Mirinda vs Fanta. So at a product level the “identifiable enemy” should be “Sprite” but for Mountain Dew the enemy is basis the attitudinal point of reference – “Thums Up. So the question that arises – Is it a good anti-point of reference? Maybe not. Thums Up is able to deliver on the attitude basis a very different taste in the category – strong/masculine – and automatically gets clubbed in the parent segment of colas. Though the communication of Mountain Dew has been able to capture the consumer attitude it has not given any clear cues on the product difference.

3. The third key issue is occasion/location of consumption. The non-colas have defined very clear occasion/location situation. Limca/Sprite for thirst, Mirinda/Fanta for taste. “Mountain Dew” the name suggests freshness and the communication cues outdoor but the extreme nature of the communication does not make that easy link with either as the attitude overshadows both. And this leads no reminder for consumption.

The way forward

We will go ahead with the assumption that we are not looking at re-positioning the brand. And the opportunities need to be identified within the existing realities.

Youth – This segment is the high consumption segment, so largely the most attractive segment. If we can make with the Mountain Dew a everyday part of the repertoire of CSD there can be a potential for growth.

a) Associate location/occasion with attitude rather than a physical rendition.

b) Activity seekers – The most visible trend today is the need to be associated with “activity” away from the sedentary fun. People are no longer looking at normal regular modes of enjoyment they are rather seeking something new, something exciting. One can plug in the product with everyday possible but unique activities.

c) Cross-category cues – Maybe I’m going berserk here – direct association with certain brands in similar domain (in attitude or uniqueness) can be used for creating that unique identity of Mountain Dew user. Nike wearers Just Do the Dew.

Overall it is critical that the attitude is owned and rendered into a form which would act is a reminder for consumption.

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3 Responses to “Why Mountian Dew will never do well in India”

  1. Gauri Gharpure January 10, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    a bit off beat, but i dont drink the dew (even in the absence of other lime based drinks like limca or sprite) coz of the yucky yellow colour the drink has..

    the mountain dew ads are way too off-beat or hyper to actually strike a chord. thumsup rightaway makes the macho stunts surreal and sexy for akshay kumar even lends tht movie=fantasy tone to the product.. as in, thumsup is taking for granted tht the users dont ‘do’ wht AK does, for he is on a different star status altogether and maintains the charm in the ad.. on the other hand, the dew guys seem like any college going dude and the line- ‘do the dew’ after a surreal stunt totally sends the message haywire.. u mean if i can jump off the cliff on a bicycle, then i am fit to ‘do the dew’. take a break!

  2. Paradox Phillic June 29, 2008 at 2:03 pm #

    And i always thought Dew is supposed to be a niche product. How naive of me!!! 😛

  3. Anonymous October 20, 2008 at 10:47 pm #

    huh?? you people are dumb over this!!!

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