La Moradita de Inca Kola Soft Drink: The risks of relying on brand equity when tackling a national favorite

La Moradita de Inca Kola Soft Drink: The risks of relying on brand equity when tackling a national favorite


This case study looks at how Inca Kola tried to turn a traditional purple corn-based beverage into a ready-to-drink product and ultimately failed due to a confused marketing campaign.

Key Findings

Reduce the risk of failure by learning from brands/products that have under-performed: failed innovation can severely impact profit and reputation.
Understand the relevant consumer trends and attitudes that drive and support innovation success.
Gain a broader appreciation of the fast-moving consumer goods industry.
Access valuable strategic take-outs to help direct future decision-making and inform new product development.

Reasons To Buy

What is La Moradita?
Why was the marketing campaign a failure?

What factors should future product launches consider to avoid the pitfalls experienced by La Moradita?

Key Highlights

La Moradita turned a traditional purple corn-based beverage into a ready-to-drink product. It was marketed under the Inca Kola brand – the most iconic soft drink brand in Peru, which is seen as part of the nation's identity – and inspired by a local drink (chicha), the product intended to appeal to consumers' localism. However, it failed to gain traction.
Shoppers did not understand the nature of the product. Moreover, Peruvians felt disappointed with its flavor and lack of health benefits compared to normal chicha. Confused messages and a lack of segmentation led to an inefficient marketing campaign.
A strong brand is not enough to drive success for brand extensions, as adding value is essential for new launches. Established brands need to consider the risk-aversion factor among loyal consumers. Companies' interests need to merge with a real market need in order to succeed.

La Moradita turned an old recipe into a soft drink
A patriotic beverage from a national brand that identified itself with national values
A marketing campaign designed to encourage product-testing
The product did not meet expectations
La Moradita was poorly defined
The final product was not well defined and created confusion among consumers
Peruvians felt disappointed with La Moradita's flavor
La Moradita was perceived as an artificial product without the healthy attributes of chichi
The communication campaign generated confusion rather than knowledge about the product
The target audience was unclear, adding to a confused positioning
Brand extensions need to establish their own identity
Strong historical brand positioning is not enough for new product launches and brand extensions
Adding value is essential for new product launches in the soft drink sector
A strong connection between business interests and real market needs is key
Further Reading
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About MarketLine
List of Figures
Figure 1: La Moradita
Figure 2: Peru: factors with the most influence on consumers' product choice when shopping for food/non-alcoholic drinks (%), 20153
Figure 3: Peru: consumers who consider the following attributes to be important or very important when choosing what non-alcoholic beverages to drink (%), 20141
Figure 4: Brand extension strategy
Figure 5: Peru: importance of a trusted brand when choosing non-alcoholic beverages (%), 2015

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