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Beer name triggers social media revolution

Published on 20/02/2015

Negative reactions galore after the Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt announced it is planning to change the name of one of its products. The product concerned is Colruyt's low-priced beer 'Cara Pils'.

Many consumers have their ‘Cara story’ it now turns out, and the news triggered a massive number of negative reactions.

“Colruyt has underestimated the consumers’ emotional reaction, says marketing specialist Stef Verbeeck.

Retailers Colruyt are working out new policies for their own-brand products. Different names are about to change as many will become standardized, including that of the cheap ale “Cara Pils” which would become “Everyday Pils.”

Protest actions quickly emerged on social media.

Facebook pages to keep the original name were launched, people shared their Cara memories on Twitter to show their involvement and express their regrets and there were even calls to organise a protest march.

Stef Verbeeck explains that Cara Pils is “an emotional brand. We link it to certain stories, mostly nostalgic moments from our past, our time as students for example. The more we link a certain brand to personal memories, the stronger the emotional bond and the more we will start to like it.”

Verbeeck adds that Colruyt made a mistake as it underestimated consumers’ reactions. “Colruyt made the decision from a rational point of view. But you have to take into account your consumers. We live in a time where you can’t just do as you please.”