Product review
New-look label in danger of leaving heritage behind

Product Zubrowka
Critique by Gemma Leech, brand manager

27 August, 2008
Page 22 
== Concept ==

Zubrowka is the generic term for the bison grass vodka of Polish origin that is taking cocktail bars by storm. This distinctive vodka dates back to the 14th century when bison grass was first added to vodka, giving it a unique yellowish hue and aromatic flavour. A blade of the bison grass, unique to the Bialowieza forest, is left in the bottle for effect. There are a few bison grass vodka brands on the market, but Polmos Bialystok is the only distillery in Poland authorised to use Zubrowka as its brand name and it has just introduced a new international pack to build the brand in export markets. The distillery is owned by CEDC, the largest vodka producer in Poland which also produces the Absolwent, Bols and Soplica brands, among others.
== Packaging ==

The packaging has undergone a complete overhaul as part of the relaunch, to the point where it is almost unrecognisable from the original. While the distinct shape and colour of the previous label had particular stand-out and recognition with its stylised bison and bold block lettering, the new brand name logo appears to be the only element of the new design that has been given a stronger identity.


Zubrowka retails in the UK at £14 per 70cl bottle, which places it at the top of the premium mainstream vodka market. Given its strong point of difference, Zubrowka can justify its price positioning, but this isn't reflected in the presentation. The brand will probably rely on its product - rather than visual - differentiation to attract consumers.
== Positioning ==

Zubrowka's positioning stems from the bison grass and the forest in Poland where it comes from. Taking these elements of the brand, Zubrowka has an intrinsic association with nature and the environment. Zubrowka plays on these eco-chic qualities, bringing something different to the vodka category that is truly unique with authentic provenance. The high-spec flash website communicates the positioning perfectly and is much more evocative of what the brand stands for than the pack itself. The use of natural green and brown tones set against pure white touches creates a cool, clean Zubrowka world where you can even go and plant a tree in its virtual forest.
== ==== Overall ==

Zubrowka is a classic in the making.

The distinct flavour, the colour, the history and the blade of grass in each bottle all combine well to communicate the positioning and brand authenticity. Unfortunately, the label portrays the same natural, modern image that the website conveys, and those familiar with the old presentation may struggle to identify the genuine article from other Polish bison grass vodka products.