Product review

Confident coffee liqueur does not break with tradition
27 August, 2008
Page 16 

Tia Maria

Critique by

Angela Pirrie, director CharteredBrands
== Product ==

Since the Pernod Ricard takeover of Allied Domecq, Tia Maria - the global number two coffee-based liqueur - has found itself in the same brand stable as rival Kahlua. Both have their own distinctive positionings and last September Tia Maria was given a make over as part of the company's renewed focus on the brand.== Packaging ==

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Tia Maria packaging hadn't changed. However, on closer examination, you would probably notice that the redesign is a stronger, sharper expression of the original. The recognisable shape of the Tia Maria bottle has been kept, but the label and cap designs have been altered.

The undulating red and gold lines are strengthened and intertwine to reflect the brand's mixability. The same approach has been adopted with the brand logo. The new design and logo are also repeated on the cap, strengthening the overall presentation.

It's not a radical overhaul but the first step of a global brand-building campaign. The result is a bolder, more modern pack with more powerful branding.== Positioning ==

The new packaging had the goal of taking the brand more sophisticated and modern. Unlike Kahlua, which is marketed on its Mexican provenance, Tia Maria is marketed on a contemporary, lifestyle positioning. Its dark, sensual colours and fluid design reinforce Tia Maria's reputation as a desirable, cosmopolitan brand ideal for mixing.== Marketing ==

In the UK, since the repackaging, the activity on Tia Maria has been significantly ramped up. Promotions targeting a modern female audience with sampling activity at the Grazia Fashion Show and sponsorship of reality TV shows such as Dancing With The Stars on UKTV Gold and Dirty Dancing. With a more purposeful image, the brand activity should have a stronger impact amongst its core consumer. == Overall ==
The redesign, although a subtle transformation, certainly accentuates the brand's personality. Having reappraised its values and addressed them in the new design, the brand has begun to establish a more confident image for the basis of a wider campaign. Whether it will be enough to impact the bottom line, only time will tell.