The vodka market in Canada is growing at a faster rate compared to other premium drinks. 34 million Litres of vodka worth $864 million imported and locally produced were sold in the year 2007 by Canadian liquor authorities. Out of the total amount of vodka sold in Canada, 28% was imported from other countries. Vodka closely competes for market share with other spirits, which include Scotch whiskey and rum. In 2007, total vodka sales in Canada amounted to $864,412 compared to whisky sales of $1,252,659 and rum sales of $708,559. These figures corresponds to those presented in exhibit 1 which shows the total imported, and Canadian vodka sales and other premium drinks sold in 2007. The vodka market is facilitated by restaurants and bars who compete for the attention of consumers. The vodka market in Canada is very competitive and thus require a sound marketing strategy.
The strategy of Ketel One has segmented the market into two parts based on behavioural segmentation. The strategy is based on the market share of 0.3% of premium Vodka where Ketel One price ranges. The first part include the bartenders in high profile bars while the other part involves the consumers. This segmentation is designed in terms of behaviour since most consumers of premium drinks do not have the knowledge about the differences between various vodka brands. The target audience for Ketel One is the consumers who visit the bars, retail stores and restaurants in Canada. This is because this is where customers come to purchase all their alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic brands stiffly compete for space in the restaurant menu and the bar back. Ketel One brand has been positioned in order to compete with other vodka brands in the super premium segment such as Grey Goose, Chopin, Level Vodka, Absolut and Belvedere. The positioning statement for Ketel One states “Independent, quietly confident, classy and sophisticated”. This statement helps in in influencing the perceptions of the targeted audience in a positive way.
Ketel One brand positioning is meant for a consumer who is quietly confident, independent, sophisticated and Classy. This implies that the consumer must know his drinks well in order to differentiate Ketel one from other brands. To achieve this, consumers and bartenders must be educated about Ketel One. A sizeable number of high profile bars must first be identified and their bartenders selected for training. During this training process, knowledge concerning Ketel One brewing process, the competitive edge of the brand and other information about the brand should be disseminated. The advantage of this move is that, most likely the bartenders would recommend to customers about choosing Ketel One in their vodka mixed drink. The next phase would be to educate customers about Ketel One Vodka. The efficiency of this strategy is in the continuous effect of consumer influencing their friends and colleagues about taking Ketel one as their vodka of choice.
One way of measuring the outcome of the word-of- mouth campaign is by engaging the consumers in conversation about the brand through social media. This will enable the marketing team obtain immediate feedback about the whether the campaign was successful. Another way is to interview the bartenders who had undergone training to get information about customer choice of vodka mixed drink. This information will be supported by an analysis on data from Statistics Canada concerning the increase in total sales of Ketel One compared to other alcoholic beverages.