Bravo launched its Milano cocktails - in strawberry champagne and vanilla rum variants - in August 2004, but it was not until a recent advertising campaign that the drinks began to grow in popularity.
"The Russian market was crying out for a low-alcohol product aimed at female drinkers," according to Bravo's marketing director Elena Shevchenko.
The comany's marketing team analysed Russian women's consumption patterns and preferences for some time before deciding on the best product to launch. Its research showed that women were most likley to appreciate a drink that was natural, pleasant to taste and low in calories, in a "beautiful, small, comfortable, elegant, and feminine" packaging and with comprehensive information about the product's content and flavour.
Flavour, the comapny's research showed, is by far the most important element for women when chosing what to drink. The flavour has to be "easy, soft and fresh" and either "fruit, vanilla or something exotic". Add to this the revelation that Russian women's preferred tipples are rum and champagne, and the choice of what to make became obvious.
The lengthy research process certainly appears to have paid off. The two Milano drinks already account for nearly 3.6 per cent of the company's total premix sales, after little more than six months on sale. Indeed, in the first three months on the market, they exceeded all expectations with sales 150 per cent ahead of target - and some 300 per cent higher than expected in the north west of the country.
The success of the brand is not just due to its new advertising campaign, however. Market analysts Business Analytica pointed out that Bravo Premium had also improved its distribution in almost every major city where it is already present. Between January 2004 and the same month a year later, the company saw its sales increase by 10.8 per cent, ahead of market leader Happyland with 5.7 per cent and second placed Borodino with 2.5 per cent.
Ochakovo, the fourth biggest player behind Bravo Premium, saw sales grow 5 per cent, while fifth-placed Greenall's posted a 6.8 per cent improvement.
Bravo Premiumm also has big plans for 2005, with a target of 17 per cent growth compared to 2004. The company will focus on new product development and increased marketing for its Milano, DOZA energy drink and Bravo premix lines.