Pimms’ rejuvenation drives growth

Pimms is a great example of brand rejuvenation. For non-Brits, Pimms is an integral part of the British summer, when we have one. You mix it with lemonade and add fruit to it to make a rather yummy long drink. Bit like a fruit punch.

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This brand's been around for over 150 years. It used to have a rather stuffy, old-fashioned feel to it. Nice product, shame about the image. But the brand have done a great job of rejuvenating it. Last summer saw value growth of 16% and volume growth of 19.4% according to Talk Retail.

Here's a few nuggets on what they've done well:

1. Focus on SMS = sell more stuff

What I love is the way they focus on driving sales.

– Pure genius is the promotion of the jug of Pimms. This make the drink much more sociable. And it of course encourages volume. Contrast this with the ads from the 1980's which focused on a stylish long drink, but showed people drinking it in individual glasses… feels much less fun, and more of a serious drink.

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 - They tell you how to make the perfect Pimms, and how to serve it. Sounds basic, but for this sort of product lots of people won't know what to do with it. They have a bottle in the cupboard, but you have to make it top of mind.

– Even the media is planned to maximise sales. Check this out. "A 'thermally activated' radio marketing campaign, which will see the Pimm's advertisement aired when the weather reaches 22°C or above". Cool eh?!

– They anchor on a need-state/occasion by linking in with the summer. And more specifically they have identified barbeques as a key occasion. They even use a phrase drinkers used in converation: "Is it Pimms 'o clock?".

2. Adding some sizzle

The challenge with SMS marketing is to make it appealing and not boring. Pimms have done a brilliant job at this. They tell the story of making a perfect Pimms, but with plenty of emotional sizzle. The TV ad uses characters and a retro 60's style to show the ingredients of a perfect Pimms. The ad is here. Again, they end with the BBQ to remind you of the key occasion. And the end line triggers usage by saying "Its Pimms O'Clock"

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3. New channels/occasions

The third thing that is very clever is the way they have used distribution. After 20 years in London I finally went to Wimbledon for the day this year. And I saw first hand Pimms rejuvenation: Pimms and lemonade on draught. Clever stuff. Makes the drink much quicker to serve, so increases throughput. They had single serve glasses ready with fruit, mint and ice. And they could do jugs as well.

In conclusion, the Pimms story is an inspirational example of rejuvenating a brand via a clear target occasion and need-state, activated in a way that drives sales but also with emotional "sizzle". Helped this year I guess by, for once, a sizzling summer… I think those radio ads will have been used a lot this year 😉