According to Talking Retail in January 2013, Marlboro Bright Leaf was exceeding expectations with its intended target group of legal age to 29 year old smokers. To ensure its long term growth PMI decided to rebrand Marlboro Bright Leaf as Bright Leaf .

According to their marketing director, this change is designed to clearly differentiate it from the iconic international Marlboro range. 11

The brand change was introduced in January 2013, occurring in two stages. The first stage involved three sides of the packet being kept the same as the current packaging with a ripped section on the front of the pack to reveal the new packaging underneath (Image3).

The second phase showed the new pack in full but the cellophane wrapping will be used to reassure current Marlboro Bright Leaf smokers with the message New Pack. Same Taste and the pack itself says Bright Leaf .from the makers of Marlboro .

It is not clear why PMI would wish to disassociate Marlboro from Bright Leaf. However, this may have been the plan from its launch. Marlboro is a premium brand. By creating a cheaper brand variant in the mid priced sector, the Marlboro brand s premium status is diluted. However, due to the limited opportunities to market a new brand in the UK owing to advertising regulations, the Marlboro name may have been used as a hook for those down trading to cheaper brands in the sub premium, mid priced segment. 12

Why is this Important?

With the level of advertising restriction in the UK, packaging is key to the success of a new brand. One of the possible consequences of plain packaging, if it is introduced into the UK market, would be to deter the launch of any new cigarette brands as it would be difficult to market a brand without packaging. The creation of this new brand would have been unlikely to succeed were plain packaging already in place.

Indeed, at the Bright Leaf launch in 2009, in response to the proposed Point of Sale advertising ban which would remove all packaging from public view, Jens Behrendt, managing director of PMI said, How can you launch a new product when you can t show it?

Low Priced Segment

Having a premium and a mid priced offering, PMI still lacked an economy brand in the UK. In April 2011 PMI launched Chesterfield cigarettes, available in red, blue and menthol variants. 13 14 The launch was supported by extensive advertising in trade magazines to get retailers to stock the brand and via hostess selling activity in pubs and clubs across major cities in the UK in order to raise its profile. most valuable brand names

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The two most well regarded brand valuations are provided by Millward Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 and Interbrand’s Best Global Brands list. Both produce the same thing a ranking of the 100 most valuable brands in the world, and each year we get to see their latest assessments.

The problem for the two companies involved, and marketers in general, is how far apart their annual estimates of brand value tend to be. For example, in 2010 BrandZ estimated the value of the Google brand to be $114 billion, making it by far the world’s most valuable brand and suggesting that approximately 75% of the overall market capitalisation of Google can be attributed to its brand value.

In contrast, Interbrand valued Google s brand at $44 billion in 2010, well behind brands like Coke, IBM and Microsoft. That’s more than a minor difference of opinion with BrandZ that’s $70 billion worth of disagreement. Or, to put it in perspective, the combined 2010 brand values of Porsche, Barclays, Audi, VW, HSBC, Ford, Nike, Burberry and Pepsi.

The vast $70 billion difference is not derived from a difference of philosophy both Millward Brown and Interbrand calculate the value of a brand the same way. Both firms also have access to the same financial data for each brand. The difference comes from the method each uses to estimate a brand’s overall strength. BrandZ uses its own internal survey of “2 million consumers in 30 different countries” to assess brand strength. Interbrand relies on its “pool of global experts from over 40 countries” who each complete a 10 item assessment of every brand’s strength.