Absolut is a business entity which was originated as a brain child of Lars Olsson Smith, the king of Vodka. The Absolut organization exists to provide the best quality vodka in the world. Today it is one of the leading brands of Vodka. The originators suggest that the main ingredient required to produce Absolut is a grain grown in Ahus, in Southern Sweden. The producers have coined a “one source concept”. It is this one source concept that the manufacturers believe causes Absolut vodka to be absolute. The Absolut website states that it is made of only natural ingredients, namely, winter wheat and water. Absolut is viewed as a perfect unit in that its bottle, its taste and its price combine to form one package. Over the years Absolut has added many flavors to its original and premium product. Flavors include Peppar, Citron, Mandarin, Rasberri, Vanilla, Kurant and Pears. Absolut on their website proposes that their Mandarin and Orange are two of the most popular flavors in the world.
The brand’s origins and its background
The brand Absolut was established since 1889 when Lars Olsson Smith registered the brand name and began to revolutionize the manner in which vodka was made. By 1979, it was imperative for Absolut to begin to export to countries around the world in order to survive. The genesis for Absolut was the idea of the legendary Lars Olsson Smith who revolutionized the manner in which distillation was done. He created the rectification method of distillation and to this day producers of alcoholic beverages still use this method. For Smith, rectification allowed all the impurities involved in the production of vodka to be removed. Thus, Smith called the product of his rectification Absolut rent branvin which means “Absolute pure vodka” in Swedish. For this reason, Lars Olsson Smith is known as the King of Vodka. In 1992, Absolut advertising campaign was inducted into the American Marketing Association’s Marketing Hall of Fame. Amazingly, this feat was won without the use of television as an advertising medium. Richard Lewis (1996) the mastermind behind Absolut’s advertising campaign claims that the major purpose of the campaign was “to build a healthy and enduring brand for Absolut.” Throughout the first hundred years of its existence Absolut was perfected in its taste, its texture and its packaging. 1.3 The brand’s popularity Although Absolut in its website views itself as the number one selling vodka in the United States, other sources such as Impact International believe that in 2010 Absolut was the fourth largest “international premium spirit in the world. Impact International noted that Absolut is available in 126 markets. Lewis (1996) notes that in 1981 at the beginning of the Absolut advertising campaign, 20,000 cases of vodka were sold to the United States each year by 1995; sales had reached to 3 million cases per year. Sarah Edmunds of Reuters in her interview with Bengt Baron posits, “In the United States … Absolut has about 10-1/2 to 11 percent of the total vodka market, sales rose to 4.9 million nine-litre cases in 2006, up from 4.7 million in 2005. Also at this interview Baron observed that Absolut has “98 percent brand awareness in the (U.S.) consumer (market) and we're still growing faster than the market in general”. Nonetheless, Absolut still advertises itself on its website as the leading brand of vodka in the world. A positioning- perceptual map is an