Portfolio management and long-term planning is crucial when you grow a business. One of the biggest issues from a marketing point of view is: do you stretch the brand and extend it into new markets, or do you launch new ones? This was obviously the issue tackled by Jägermeister, a cult brand that has already proven its marketing prowess by relaunching a brand with an image as an aperitif for the old into a young and “in” international best seller.
So where does Jägermeister go next? Answer, in the opposite direction. The antithesis, Not Jägermeister. You can see how “uncool” it is immediately from the TV ad, though, intriguingly, the Germans really have gone in-your-face for irony here. I almost wish they’d been more subtle. To the point where you’re not quite sure if the ad is serious or not. But maybe that wouldn’t have been understood (yes, this is a dig at the lack of German subtleness vs irony and black humour in the UK).
Yet, although it’s the antithesis, the logo and positioning unavoidably inherits something from the mother brand. The stag, the colours, a hint of “be cool”. Why not position it as anti-establishment WITHOUT stealing from the mother’s brand values. Is there not a danger that you target similar drinkers?
So we have to ask who would drink this. People who look at all the cool dudes going to cool parties drinking with cool friends and think, “You’re not cool, because you too predictable. I’m cool by being anti-cool.” But if this is the case, then it may, ironically, be saying “only drink this if you’re a nerd”. We shall watch and wait. (Comments welcome).
Meanwhile, I want to come back to the company’s long term strategy. What would they call this brand outside Germany? “Not Jägermeister”? “Kein Jägermeister”? The original Jägermeister name was tricky enough as it was, so taking the antithesis abroad may backfire on them. Unless “being uncool is cool” works in other countries , as well as pronouncing “not” in German (with a word that means nothing to those who haven’t studied the language).
“Keen Jägermeister”. “Ken Jägermeister”. Oh dear. Don’t expect this one on shelves outside Germany.