Branding: Swensen's invests in Thai facelift

BANGKOK: Premium ice-cream brand Swensen's is spending 100 million baht (US$2.4 million) on refurbishing its stores to add teens to its existing family market, and strengthen its leadership in the 1.5 billion baht segment.

"Competition in the premium and mid-range segments has become increasingly aggressive in recent years," said general manager Choompot Tantisoonthorn. Attempts by brands to increase their consumer base have sparked moves to increase distribution channels, undertake innovative product launches, and launch aggressive price promotions, he said.

Competition is being fuelled by the enormous growth opportunity of a market where consumption per capita is at two litres, compared to 24 litres in the US.

While, the 18-year old brand boasted a 70 per cent share of the market last year, it is increasingly feeling the heat from competitors such as Baskin Robbins, Haagen-Dazs, Iberry and Maggie Moo.

Swensen's new "modern, spacious and colourful" look will be implemented at its existing 100 stores; new locations, will however, be designed "in harmony with their locations and target groups", said Choompot.

"The brand differentiation will give us an even stronger foothold in the forefront of the market".

The new look will be showcased in a 30-second J. Walter Thompson-produced TVC launching later in the month.

In further pursuit of the teen market, the company has also launched a branch at teen haunt Siam Square, and popular beach hangout Hua Hin.

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