Birra Peroni has undertaken a £5m UK rebranding of its Italian premium beer, Nastro Azzurro. The Italian lager has been renamed Peroni Nastro Azzurro across its global markets in an attempt to reaffirm its Italian heritage and association with the Birra Peroni family brewery.

Such positioning should enable the brand to capitalise on consumers' growing desire for premium products and authentic cultural experiences - though some drinkers may feel that SABMiller's majority holding in Birra Peroni dents its Italian authenticity somewhat.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro has been given a fresh look and shape to provide a more contemporary feel while retaining its classic image and taste. Modern consumers value stylish packaging and desire more detailed quality cues than of old, especially in the on-trade, so the redesign will satisfy this emerging consumer need.

The Italian lager began its re-launch with the opening of Emporio Peroni, a boutique in London. The opening of the 'store' is part of a global strategy to announce the relaunch and emphasise the quality, heritage and authenticity of the Italian brand.

The boutique is certainly a quirky offering: it is so exclusive that no-one can actually shop there - window shopping only will be permitted. Such a strategy will certainly attract interest, even as just an oddity, and could prove to be a shrewd catalyst for generating word of mouth.

Today's consumers are more willing to trade-up to higher quality, authentic beverages, and the relaunch of Peroni Nastro Azzurro will appeal to these consumers, enabling the brand to command a price premium. The unique marketing campaign should attract attention from style leaders and help develop viral promotion among consumers looking for a beer with a little panache.