(A technical note: the results are mostly based from a sample of 900 throughout different regions in Peru. Results are sometimes analyzed by socioeconomic levels (NSE) A to E, A meaning higher socioeconomic level. The NSE system is standardized in Peru and determined by basic questions regarding education level, type of health care, material possessions owned and type of house.)
Preferences are divided. Metro rules Lima, but Plaza Vea reigns over all of Peru.
In the last three years, supermarket chains have been very aggressive in trying to dominate new districts, provincial capital and customer preference. Their primary strategy is branch expansion and their second line of attack is brand marketing. Metro and Wong, for example has recently announced a new plan to invest in provinces. Similarly, Tottus and Supermercados Peruanos (Plaza Vea and Vivanda) have made known that they also plan to open new stores this year.
Plaza Vea the strongest brand
Marketing studies show that Plaza Vea is the brand most recalled by, with a score of 83.6%, beating out Metro, which was recalled by 80.8%. This is because they have stores in other regions outside of Lima, which results in them having more exposure. In Lima, though, Metro takes a whopping lead with a 90.3% recognition score, followed by Plaza Vea with 80%.
Moreover, in cities like Trujillo where all the leading supermarkets have establishments, the order of preference is Plaza Vea, Tottus, Metro, Wong and finally a local favorite, Mi Mercado.
In addition, these brands rely heavily on marketing tactics. Plaza Vea leans on patriotism by emphasizing to its clients that unlike its opponents, it is actually a Peruvian brand.
Metro still first in sales
These efforts have also shown results in sales and the stakes are close. Nationwide, Metro is still the store Peruvians prefer, with 45%. Plaza Vea is close behind with a 44.6% rating.
Movistar takes the lead as the most recalled brand in Peru.
Telecommunications in Peru is not what it was two years ago. In 2008 there was talk of merging services and facilitating operator-assisted call transfers. Now these are a reality, and in addition, there is a whole new market out there with the widespread use of text messaging, the growing popularity of smartphones.
Claro was the most-recalled brand for the last two years. Its publicity campaigns added new dynamics to the sector and they quickly took over first place in remembrance.
Today, according to Arellano Marketing, Movistar is the most recalled brand. Movistar is currently associated with services beyond voicemail: Mi Mail products (allowing e-mail messages), Mi Comunidad (granting accesses to social networks) and Movitalk (that lets you have instant direct communication – and where Nextel is the actual current segment leader).
“But I think our most important change was when we implemented the ‘Together we can accomplish more’ slogan,” explains Gustavo Kitazono, Movistar’s marketing director. “As a communications service brand we have the responsibility of promoting a message of commitment and integration among Peruvians.”
However, Claro is not just sitting back. “We are still in prepay, but we are focusing on postpay and smartphones,” said Rodrigo Arosemena, commercial director for América Movil, owner of the Claro brand.
Backus is currently in the lead, but Ambev is gaining ground.
Cristal, the flagship beer of Backus, is still the beverage most recalled and consumed by Peruvians. But maintaining the lead has been no easy task. Competition within the sector has become more intense with the arrival of new players. Thus, Backus — a subsidiary of beer giant Sab Miller — has been forced to focus its attention to renovating its staple trademarks with image makeovers and introducing new products like its limited editions of Cusqueña Trigo.
It is not surprising that Cristal is still the indisputable leader in its category. Its mass messages on popular concepts like soccer and famous personalities have succeeded in hooking its target audience: beer consumers.
A bit further behind, in second place, is Brahma. The marketing manager for Ambev Peru, Manuel Rangel, is satisfied, for now, with its 21% consumption rate. This is because Brahma has managed 10%-11% figures in Lima, where the real heart of the competition is. This brings it closer to Pilsen, another one of Backus’s leading beverages. Rangel said, “Our competition is still ahead of us, but we have managed to pass Cusqueña and are getting very close to Pilsen.” He added that you can measure the success of his company’s brand by sales in supermarkets, where Brahma is only 2 points behind Cristal (25%). “This category represents only about five to six percent of the sales in the industry, but it gives us an idea of what the demand is like when the conditions are equal.”
However, Sab Miller can’t sit back and celebrate. It needs to keep placing its bets on innovation because formerly dormant companies like Aje, owner of the Franca brand, have recently taken up new publicity campaigns. Furthermore, players like Ambev are getting ready to begin intense promotional campaigns to take advantage Africa World Cup 2010 fever, which will no doubt bring growth to beer’s already growing per-capita consumption.
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Translations by Dyana M. Gonzales