Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rising to the Phoenix

Over on the Brand DNA blog Stan has prodded me into having a discussion about the Phoenix Organic brand.

Well, I have a couple of thoughts:

1. Phoenix used to be a nice little brand here in New Zealand. Now it is owned by Charlie's the loss making juice maker that spends all its money on marketing while it waits to be bought by Coca Cola (a la 42 below / Bacardi).

In the beverages category there is nothing that really differentiates other than advertising - if we are to be be honest - so I would expect nothing less than nice ads. It is the price of admission.

2. The message doesn't grab me because I like science. In fact when I think about Coke what I like is that I know exactly where it has been and that, wherever I go, it will always taste the same. Disgusting and I don't know why I like it, but the same. Everywhere.

Sadly the same cannot be said of organics. Or rather, happily the same cannot be said of organics. They have a funky aura. Ugly pitted fruit and vegetables that cost more. There is a weird inverse relationship with organics that is spoiled when they are corporatised.

So the problem I have with Phoenix Organics is that, while I might like the idea, I have a conflict when it is bottled and widely distributed in pasteurised perfection and when the advertising has to be so disingenuously ingenious to persuade then I am reminded of Margaret Thatcher's remark: "If you have to tell someone you are a lady, then you probably are not."

1 comment:

  1. As expected, a good point, well made David.

    It's interesting how, when well known or mainstream brands are available outside their traditional market, they are pushed as cool or boutique.

    Fosters in the UK is a longer term example.

    Brits love it because it's Australia's favourite beer. Then come backpacking down under to discover that nobody would be seen dead drinking it.


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