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How to build a brand in a dark market?

This is the million-dollar question. Dark markets come in all shapes and sizes. Since 2016, Sri Lanka has totally banned all public advertising on alcohol. In Norway, low-alcoholic beverages can be advertised but nothing stronger.  Tobacco brands have extremely limited options for brand communication. Soon e-cigarettes, vapes, fast-food chains and snacks will experience dark market conditions.



It is difficult to launch a new brand.


A new brand means zero mental association in the consumer's mind. Marketers have to build that association so that consumer would choose that particular brand in a supermarket. But how they can make that decision if they don't know your new brand at all? Your dark market might permit event sponsorships. But is it enough to build loyalty for your new brand?

Liquor Store



Existing brands struggle too. 


You have a big brand and consumers are aware of it. However, it is difficult to maintain or rebuild brand positioning. Good storytelling is associated with the video. But you don’t have this tool – the most effective tool to build brand positioning. The image of the brand in the minds of consumers is 20 years old. 

We help you succeed in dark markets.

Cultural groups is an available and effective tool to build brands in dark markets. They enable brands to communicate in dark markets, create engaging content, increase brand awareness and build strong equity. Leveraging cultural territories means choosing the right occasions, events and sponsorships as well as localizing value-added packs and prizes. All these aspects drive better ROI and improve the efficiency of working with influencers, distributors, and agencies in a dark market.



We run Workshops & Trainings


After this one-day training what your team will say and do:

  • I am confident in increasing brand awareness and building brands in a restricted BTL environment.

  • I know how to build associations, increase mental availability, and use semiotics for my brands.

  • I understand how to be culturally relevant in dark markets.

  • I know how to use the trade channel, influencers, and social media effectively in dark markets.

  • I know how to choose occasions, sponsorships and tailor value-added packs for a higher ROI.

  • I know how to create new occasions and events in the post-Covid environment.

Group Marketing® is shortlisted  in Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG 2018 by the Institute for Manufacturing University of Cambridge 

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