In the UK, Carlsberg EXPØRT was suffering from an identity crisis. It had become increasingly isolated from its Danish roots and was struggling to stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds. On the upside, it ranked better than competitors in blind taste tests but on the downside, its brand perception was undermining its superior beer credentials.
Furthermore, the lager market was in decline and, to add fuel to the fire, Carlsberg UK was facing tough competition from craft beers. In an increasingly premium and competitive category, to stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds Carlsberg EXPØRT needed to reposition themself as a premium beer from Denmark. They tasked us with a full rebrand, over four months with a budget of £170,000.
From this three big and challenging objectives were set: 1. Win back distribution in the right types of outlets. 2. Stabilise gross profit. 3. Change perception of Carlsberg to a more premium brand.
To find a design system that did Denmark justice, our search began in Carlsberg’s brand archives at their headquarters in Copenhagen where they’ve been flying the flag for Danish beer since 1847. All of which got us thinking…
The Dannebrog was officially established as Denmark’s military flag in 1842 (just five years before Carlsberg was founded) and championed by the people of Denmark, its simple cross system went on to set the standard for Scandinavia. So it seemed only fitting that it should also set the standard for Carlsberg EXPØRT. We then chose to pair the new design system with the aesthetic style of ‘Hygge’ the Nordic philosophy of blending the warm and cool. Effortlessly stylish and refreshingly modern, it’s a system that blends Danish design with premium beer cues: credible and crafted, simple and powerful, warm and cool.
Our brief was to capture the attention of British men, age 30-35, who enjoy drinking beer and know good quality when they see/taste it. From our research, we knew that if the consumer understood where their beer came from, it could actually influence how it tasted. So our search for a strategic solution began in the country of Carlsberg.
Denmark – it’s the home of Carlsberg and ‘hygge’, which is essentially a Nordic ideology that believes in the power of simple things to evoke a feeling of happiness. And because balance is something the Danes do well, whether it’s combatting the cold with cozy wood cabins, their perfectly balanced lifestyles or just the right level of effortless style, Carlsberg’s country of birth was the ideal inspiration for a meaningful new positioning beginning with an øh so playful spelling of EXPØRT.
Overall, the new Danish-inspired designs have premiumised the brand and re-opened conversations with multiples like Sainsburys who hadn't stocked Carlsberg Export in over 10 years.
1. +170% increase in distribution points in the 14 weeks since launch (equating to 10,000 new distribution points, including re-listings in 5 major supermarkets) 2. +2% increase in gross profit per hectolitre 3. +9% increase in perception of Carlsberg as more stylish vs competitors