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Koppaberg and the importance of location-based marketing

Koppaberg and the importance of location-based marketing

Back in 1987 Peter Bronsman had a nearly-fatal accident, which led him to change his life.  As a result of it, he decided life was too short just to play safe and left a job which paid the bills to take the risk of doing what he loved.  Heading back to his native Sweden, he partnered with his brother Dan-Anders and created a business importing specialist, craft beers.  Seven years later, Peter Bronsman spotted a newspaper advert regarding the sale of a dilapidated and disused brewery, which had become so run-down it could only be used to bottle the local spring water.  Undeterred by their lack of experience in brewing, the brothers scraped together the money they needed and set out to create their own range of craft beers.

Ciders were initially an afterthought, but the Bronsman brothers soon realized that it was the cider market which offered by far the biggest potential for growth both at home and abroad.  The main reason for this was that traditional cider brands were shunned by younger drinkers, who preferred sweeter drinks.  The Bronsman brothers therefore decided to fill this clear gap in the market with a new range of fruity ciders created with these younger drinkers in mind.  There was just one problem with their plan.  They knew they could only sell their cider if people were aware of it.  To make them aware of it, they needed to advertise, but alcohol advertising was (and is) completely banned in Sweden.

Their solution was to head out to the places where young Swedes went to party the summer away and advertise in the Mediterranean countries, which were free of the restrictions of their native Sweden.  By the end of the summer, Swedes returning from holiday were actively looking for their new favourite drink in the shops at home.  As an added bonus, young drinkers from other countries had also seen the adverts and tried the drink while on holiday and they also wanted a year-round supply.  All of a sudden, the Bronsman brothers had a ready-made export market and the reinvigorated Koppaberg brewery became the brand name and focus of a company which has continued to go from strength to strength.  It has now moved into running its own pubs in Sweden and sees plenty of room for future growth in different market areas.

The Koppaberg story is often held up as an example of a brand which succeeded by breaking the rules.  Here at the Private Postman, we see it as an example of a brand which succeeded by understanding and following the rules.  While traditional cider companies tried unsuccessfully to lure younger drinkers to products they simply did not want, Koppaberg produced a range of drinks which was created to suit the palate of a more modern cider fan, who preferred a sweeter taste and newer, more creative, flavours.  They then made sure to alert young people to the fact that this drink was available by reaching out to them where their research had shown that they were to be found.  This is essentially the strategy which helps our customers to succeed, the right product or service advertised in the right place.