KBL, the country’s largest brewer, is embarking on the re-branding of its iconic product, St. Louis, ii a bid to reposition it against its peers in the market.
The product, which accounts for 50 percent of clear beer market in the country, is part of the brands that saw the parent companies half year operating profits to September jumping up 15.8 percent to P 81 million to a comparable period in the previous year.
“This is a brand we can truly call our own, like our Diamonds, our Pula and our beautiful rich land and, our democratic governance.
“This is truly the best beer Botswana has to offer, and, like a Kalahari morning in July ÔÇô St Louis is crisp, mild and refreshing. It is as unique as the beautiful Okavango,” Managing Director of KBL, Hloni Matsela said.
The re-branding is expected to get a windfall from strategic plans which the company has been laying out for the past 18 months and which contributed to the good half year results. Some of the measures include the separation of the beer marketing team from soft drink marketing to create cohesion and a well focused team.
“We have just rejuvenated the brand. The reason for doing that is that brands do not have a long shelf life,” he added.
Matsela praised St. Louis, which was founded in 1985 when the market was clamouring for a low alcohol product leading to the brewing of the first St. Louis beer a year later. However, it was not until 1989 when the beer was first formally launched and it took the market by storm.
“Botswana is one of the modern success stories of Africa – and our Pula – Our Diamonds and Our People – Our unbelievable beauties and fascinating beasts make this a unique paradise on the continent – and in the world.”
The people know that this is their Botswana and that this is their time, he said as he praised the beer adding that it is a symbol of “a unique heritage”.
He said part of the reason why they are rebranding St. Louis is that Batswana have become more sophisticated hence they are more demanding, more discriminating.
“Thanks to cell phones, satellite television, international travel, blackberrys, and the facebook the world has become a smaller place exposing today’s consumers to the most sophisticated world class products and services and they demand nothing but the best from their favourite beer,” he said.
However, on Friday, he criticised the envisaged beer laws saying the only thing those laws will do is to hurt the economy. He urged the authorities to look for a compromise.
“It will be a pity if the law could be promulgated in the current form. Beer drinking is about social changes and social changes need education rather than laws,” he said.
But he indicated that they are lobbying government to ensure that a balance is maintained when passing the law.