Our New Team Member Yann from France
Hello everybody, I am Yann Ehrhard, the new summer intern here at St. ERHARD GmbH in the beautiful city of Bamberg. Born in Ivory Coast, raised in France, I’m now a student at McGill University, Desautels Faculty of Management in Montreal, Canada. There I’m doing a Bachelor of Commerce in International Management. The way I got to know St. ERHARD is quite funny, I was looking for an internship over the summer to gain more practical work experience, and apply what I’ve learned in classes in the real business world.
One day while going through my followers on my Twitter account, I realized that a company called St. ERHARD was following me, intrigued I decided to do more research about the company, and discover what they’re about. It was a really funny to see that they were a company who was producing beer, with my family name, and that looked young, innovative, and wanted to bring its unique touch of style and taste to the beer world. Moreover, I’m a beer lover, I grew up around it, live in a country where the beer culture is strong, from just hanging out with your friends to huge sports events, beer is not only a drink, it’s a way to enjoy life with a simple beverage, which interwoven different and complex aromas. That’s why I decided to send an email with my resume and a motivation letter, to know about their internships opportunities. No need to elaborate on the following, I think you can guess what happened next.
I’m working here thanks to the European Union program called Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, which helps young people to discover what’s entrepreneurship by placing them in new companies. It’s a really good initiative that I recommend to anyone who wants to discover more about this field. I just started yesterday, and you can’t believe how much I’m excited to be here, helping St. ERHARD to grow and learning at the same time, it’s one of my first real job experience and will probably never forget it.
8 P’s – Pillars of Luxury Brand Marketing
Marketing has always played a pivotal role in the success and the failure of big/small brands. In this blog post I will focus on how traditional marketing is different from marketing and branding a premium luxury product like St. ERHARD.
In the last post I talked about a very crucial factor which can make or break a brand. It’s important for marketers and for organizations to send a right brand message across the consumers and to let them know why their company is doing what it’s doing. Especially when it comes to luxury brands, for which consumers are asked to pay a premium. This is always not only because the product is of high quality but also because of the offering having to incur high marketing and other logistical expenses. Brands like Apple, LVMH and as a matter of fact St. ERHARD charge a premium on the product offerings.
According to a report from brand channel, there are 8 P’s – pillars of Luxury Brand Marketing. First is indeed Performance. Brands offering luxury goods and services should focus on the delivery of a premium experience not just on a product level but also on the experience level. An individual who plans to buy a luxury product doesn’t just get himself a physical product but also the whole story and the experience behind the brand. Second is Pedigree, which like I mentioned above is the history which a brand carries with itself. This becomes the soul of the premium offering and also an integral part of the brand story. This tells the consumers why the brand exists in the market apart from earning profits and selling more. Third is Paucity. This means the scarcity of the product or a service offering in the market. Luxury brands try to maintain paucity in the market so that their brand doesn’t get diluted which in the end helps them to create a strong brand. Persona is the fourth and one of the most important P’s in the luxury brand marketing. It becomes a necessity for the brands to portray their image in the best possible manner. Here the brand’s personality, its mystique aura and its brand values create a huge impact on the brand creation. Advertising campaigns and other modes of communication help them build their brand persona. Fifth “P” is Public Figures. Celebrities or Public Figures play a very important role in building a brand. We see big brands fighting to get the most famous celebrity to endorse their brand in order to catch more attention of their target group. Sixth is Placement. Brands moving to the retail businesses make it very important for them to focus on their product placement in their physical stores. Product merchandising has become an important job role on the job websites when it comes to big brands which are into retail sales, mainly clothing and other similar brands. It starts from the store location to the touch-points where consumer can interact with the salesperson and so on. The whole idea is to provide them with a unique indulging experience. Public Relations is the seventh “P” of brand marketing. As luxury brands have to promote themselves extensively among the public to become the talk of the town, their stakeholder’s opinions which includes general public, other organizations and so on becomes very crucial for the brand image of the company. A successful and a sophisticated brand has to maintain the relations with public in the best possible manner and has to make the whole experience unique and simple. Last and a very crucial element is the pricing. Pricing plays a big role in how people perceive the luxury brand. Therefore it’s important for the luxury brands to price their product offering right. Pricing the product low can lower the consumer’s willingness to buy as some consumers relate luxury brand with relatively high prices and pricing them high could not justify the value derived from the product.
We at St. ERHARD are focusing on bringing in all these aspects of building a sustainable premium beer brand. We aim to create value in every purchase made both at the company’s and the consumer’s end. We are sure sooner you all will be able to see us as one of the biggest German beer brands abroad.
India’s Love for German Brands
German brands have always been known for their quality and have enjoyed an excellent reputation among the Indian consumers. From a simple Nivea face cream to a complex BMW car, products produced in Germany are loved and appreciated within a large group of consumers in India.
With increasing globalization, India has become a lucrative market for International (especially German brands) to invest and expand in the Indian market. India has emerged as one of the strongest economies in terms of global brands entering the market in past two decades. Increasing disposable income of the middle class group, change in the buying preferences and emergence of social media has acted as a strong medium for brand promotions. This has been a catalyst for foreign brands to sell their products/services to the Indian consumers.
Germany offers a wide range of brands for the global market and covers areas like personal care, automobile, engineering, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and many more. This doesn’t just portray how strong the German economy is but it also tells us how the whole world dependent on the German brands. If we talk about some popular German brands which have made their marks globally, BMW & Audi have emerged as one of the elite and reliable automobile brands, Adidas & Puma have placed themselves in sports apparel industry and many other brands which we have now become used to.
Indian buyers associate German brands with quality. According to one study, Indian consumers with the gross monthly income between Rs. 18,000- 42,000 and above prefer and love German brands. Brands like Adidas, BMW, Bajaj Allianz & Mercedes-Benz are among the most famous brands in India. German products aren’t just known for their “Made in Germany” tag but also for their high durability and innovative design. This surely adds on to the cost of the product/service offering and makes it relatively expensive for the Indian consumer. This is mainly the reason why German products in India fall into the category of “high prestige” products and are usually owned by upper income groups as a status symbol.
As all other German brands I mentioned above, St. ERHARD is one of them. It doesn’t just rely on the fact that it’s “Made in Germany” but also portrays its premium quality and great taste of German beer. We in the near future want to become the favorite German beverage for Indian consumer. We at St. ERHARD want to bridge the gap between two nations by adding one more premium brand to the wide category of the brands representing German quality and culture.
Beer Trend in India
A positive change in the demographics, an increase in the income levels and a substantial change in the spending patterns has turned India into a lucrative market for beverage companies. Changing lifestyles, age profile and also the modern lifestyle has been acting as a catalyst in promoting the alcohol consumption in the country. Beer and wine is one of the most consumed beverages all across the world. With a rising aspiration level and emergence of various foreign brands, Indian consumers are now becoming highly experimental with beer. They are always looking for a special and better taste when it comes to beer. Also Indian consumers (especially youth) have become brand oriented.
Indian beer industry has been growing since the past decade with a steady two-digit growth rate annually. The domestic production of beer and wine, both are on rise. Beer industry witnessed 12 percent increase in the domestic beer production. Indian market portrays high potential for all the beer beverage brands across the world; however, per capita consumption has to increase in order to give boost to the trade. Recently, there has been a change in the consumer buying preferences and the stores like The Beer Café and The Pint Room have started capitalizing on the same by bringing beer from different parts of the world under one roof. Idea is to cater to all beer enthusiasts in India.
St. ERHARD is indeed one of them and is representing the rich German beer culture in India. We are happy to be a part of this initiative where Indian consumers will get an idea of how a beer brewed and bottled in Germany tastes like. We strive to provide a unique experience through a transparent bottle packed with a premium quality cellar beer called St. ERHARD.
Indo-German Delegation visits St. ERHARD
Yesterday was a great day for us at St. ERHARD. As we mentioned in our last blog post we were excited to host an event where dignitaries like Mr. Steiner (German Ambassador to India) accompanied by other important people from India came to visit us at St. ERHARD. The event turned out to be a big success. It was great in terms of both visibility and in conveying the message of our brand across people who are working towards bringing two nations together.
The day started with preparing the conference room for the event to happen. After lunch the whole delegation arrived after visiting the Bosch campus which is also based in Bamberg. They were all welcomed very warmly by the whole team of St. ERHARD also in the presence of our investor Mr. Wiskot. The presentation started with a small note from Mr. Steiner joking about him being from Munich when Christian (Founder & CEO of St. ERHARD) welcomed everyone to the beer capital of Germany i.e. Bamberg. The delegates seemed really happy with the whole arrangement and were excited and also astonished to hold out product in their hands. The first question which was asked to us was “How come beer in a transparent bottle?” followed by questions related to the sales in India and so on. Christian answered all the questions in the best possible manner and the presentation ended on a high note from Christian by inviting all the delegates to the brewery where St. ERHARD is brewed. A mixture of excitement and curiosity was clearly seen on the faces of the delegates.
Soon we reached the brewery and our brewmaster welcomed all the delegates followed by the tour through the whole brewery. Starting from explaining them about the history of beer, with the German Reinheitsgebot (Purity Law) so that the delegates could understand how and what actually the beer is made of. Different types of malts and hops were shown to them and also were tasted in order to get the taste and aroma of the raw material of beer. Furthermore, the process of fermentation was explained and storage facilities were shown.
The idea of this tour was just to take everyone present there through the whole process and the story of beer. From the time it’s just raw hops, malt, barley and yeast till the time it turns into a liquid and is filled in bottles. It was great to hear what the delegates had to say after they were served with the fresh St. ERHARD from the beer tank. I remember one of the delegate mentioning to me that “It has a very refreshing taste, this beer will not only be loved by Indians but also be valued because of the history attached to it”.
I was not only happy but was very proud to meet so many people from India again and to talk to them in my language and also to explain them the whole concept of the brand. I always had this feeling that I am someone who is acting like a facilitator in bringing together the culture of two countries which are rich in cultures, values and traditions.
When it was time for them to depart for their flight to Berlin they all were awarded by the special annual reserve beer from the brewery just as a token of appreciation for their visit and for their valuable time.
Indo-German Delegation is visiting St. ERHARD in Bamberg
With this post we at St. ERHARD are very proud to announce that next Monday the 10th of June we will have some prestigious dignitaries who will be visiting us at our Bamberg office. We will be happy and honored to welcome the board of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. The delegation will include the German Ambassador to India, Mr. Michael Steiner accompanied by Mr. Chandran of BASF India, Mr. Viswanathan of Bosch India, Mr. Gerlich of Bayer India and other Indo-German business executives.
Being a start-up company focusing on trade between Germany and India, it will be a great opportunity for us to explain them our business to them. The whole idea will be to portray what our vision at St. ERHARD is and where do we see ourselves in next coming years.
The agenda of the day will be, first to welcome the whole delegation in our office followed by a small presentation given by the Founder & CEO of St. ERHARD, Christian Klemenz with the other two co-founders Thies Dibbern and Vincent Osterloh respectively. They will present the current business situation with our future growth strategies.
After the presentation the whole delegation will be taken to the brewery where St. ERHARD is brewed. The whole process of brewing
and bottling will be explained to them, just so that they know from how many stages the product goes through before reaching the end consumer in India.
This trip will not only be great for us in terms of the visibility of the brand but will also strengthen the bond between both the countries as Ambassador Steiner with the other esteemed guests will be present here and will witness everything. We are looking forward to welcoming them here.
Batsman of Indian Cricket Team
In my last 2 years here in Germany I have met so many people who were really curious about how cricket was played. Some people said if it was like baseball or some people compared it with other similar games. Cricket is generally a game played between two teams on a roughly circular ground with 11 players playing from each team. However, there are many rules in the game but in layman terms every team has to get as many runs as they can on board and prevent the other team beating the score sety by the first team. From one team two players are batting and from other team 11 players are fielding and its works the same in case of the other team batting.
Lately, there have been some new formats added to the game. Usually, there is one day cricket in which each team get to play for 50 overs (1 over is 6 balls). Also there is a test cricket format where teams play over the course of five days. Now recently, to make the game more interesting, Twenty20 also called T20 was introduced where each team just plays for 20 overs each which gives a lot of room for the players to play fast and in a more aggressive manner.
Cricket is huge in India. I can surely say the insaneness one gets to see on the football field here in Germany is never any less on a cricket ground. Cricket indeed plays a big role in the field of sports in India. With increasing popularity of the game and the players, cricket is now often chosen as a main hobby and also as a career option by many young teenagers. It’s not just the game but also related to fame as If one is doing well on the field would find a lot of companies asking him endorse their brands and so on.
In India the training for cricket starts from school level only. Nowadays, there are special schools dedicated to just cricket, some run by current or former cricketers. Though, hockey is the national game of India cricket is now and has been taking the forefront in terms of the followers in India and also abroad.
German football fans celebrating
Lately after meeting people and sharing what I have been doing in Germany, I have realized that I have been living a German dream. Yes, it might sound funny but I think it’s true to some extent. What could be more German than working for a beer company and being enthusiastic about football? Being associated with St. ERHARD and exporting beer to Asia, my increasing enthusiasm about beer and brewing and also in soccer is taking me very near to know German culture better. I have always believed that India is one of the few countries which are blessed with strong tradition and culture but when I look around here in Germany I see how things like beer and soccer binds the whole nation.
Few examples being at Oktoberfest and all other small regional fests where people get together, dress-up in their respective traditional dresses and drink beer portrays German culture more than anything else for me. The same goes with soccer. Being an Indian, I am a big supporter of cricket but after living in Germany for almost 2 years now I feel how a game like soccer gets so many people cheering in one breath under one roof. Fans travelling to other countries to see their team playing, spending a lot of money on buying team merchandizes and so on makes it an experience to live. It’s not just soccer but also other sports which play a great role in Germany. Kids are taught to play and excel in different sports activities and their parents encourage them to participate and learn them respectively.
I personally experienced how it is to sit in a crowd of over 70,000 people with everyone screaming their teams name and encouraging them to play at their best at a soccer match played in Allianz Arena in Munich. I certainly got goosebumps that day. It was the same experience when I went to see a handball match which I never thought I would be interested in, but it totally changed my perception of how to see a game by seeing people sitting on their edge of their seats and screaming their lungs out.
I feel privileged to be a part of such a culture and to live some years of my life in this country which is undoubtedly very rich both in values and traditions. Being a part of St. ERHARD plays a pivotal part in making my experience complete with a feeling that I am truly living a German dream.
Rahul Agarwal at St. ERHARD GmbH in Bamberg
It was in autumn 2011, when I came to Germany for my Master’s degree. There were many reasons why I chose Germany as my next academic destination. First, Germany being one of the strongest economic pillars of Europe and second was to work in a dynamic and a challenging environment which could enable me to learn and work outside my comfort zone. Moreover, Germany kept on giving me different opportunities to fulfill my expectations and to even live beyond them.
I believe if there is any country which people love stereotyping, it’s Germany. All of us at some point or the other have made cliché’s about Germans. From their punctuality, to their love for sausages and schnitzel, to how German language sounds like to all the foreigners, all these matters were always touched upon. However, there was one thing which was never much emphasized on, which was their love for football and “beer”. Well, I got my first proof at Oktoberfest. It was the first time when I saw 1000’s of people dancing on the tables with a huge glasses of beer. That was a huge cultural shock for me.
Slowly as I spent some time studying, learning and growing here, I saw beer everywhere. People buying more beer than water from the supermarket, huge beer gardens filled with people enjoying their time drinking beer under the sun and so on. Now after being lived in this amazing country for almost 2 years, I have realized how incomplete German culture is without beer.
Back then I would have never imagined myself working for a beer company. But now it feels great to be a part of St. ERHARD, one of the first German beer companies which has entered the Indian beer market with the vision of delivering a true enriching experience across borders. Probably, being the only Indian working for a German beer brand and facilitating this cultural exchange between the two countries leaves me with the feeling that I am doing something really unique.