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Friday, October 26, 2007

Must be a good sign

Interesting article about the movement of the large brewers trying to capture some of the craft beer segment.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119335845004872313.html?mod=todays_us_nonsub_marketplace

2 Comments:

  • At Friday, October 26, 2007 at 11:17:00 AM EDT, Blogger Ian said…

    From a marketing standpoint, I have to respectfully disagree with Andy England from Molson Coors. The insinuation that the correlation to the Toyota/Lexus, Kashi/Kelloggs branding model applies in this case is erroneous on many levels.

    First of all, Toyota and Kelloggs are both well-respected brands in their market segments. Toyota has long been known for their quality, and Kelloggs has been a staple in the cereal market for decades. In this situation, with the big breweries packaging and marketing their product under a different name, they can't make that same argument.

    From one angle, you can argue that the difference between Toyota and Lexus is that Lexus is a higher quality product. However, as previously stated, Toyota is still regarded as a very high-quality vehicle. Such is the case for Kashi/Kelloggs. I can't imagine many people in the market to purchase cereal look at Kelloggs as an inferior product.

    In this case, where we're talking about beer, and more specifically craft beer, AB, SABMiller, and Molson Coors do not have a public perception of producing high-quality products. In fact, it would be easy to make the argument that they are viewed by many as producing low-quality products. For me, the American Light Lager style is not one that I particularly enjoy. Having said that, I'm sure, and the awards are there to back it up, that the product that the big three produce is of the highest quality. When you bring that argument to the court of public opinion in the craft beer market, however, it holds no water.

    The big three breweries know this, and know that by having their name associated with this "faux" craft beers, it will only damage their ability to move the product within the craft beer market. By distancing themselves from the product, they ensure that at least a portion of the population will be unaware of their association, and will purchase the product because it's new and is located amongst the other well-known craft beers.

    From a business standpoint, I understand why the three breweries would market them this way. It makes sense. If you're trying to penetrate a market where you know you are perceived poorly, it's just good business to create a separate brand and let it go out on succeed/fail on its own merit. However, the notion that this is no different than what car makers and cereal companies are doing is ridiculous to me.

     
  • At Friday, October 26, 2007 at 1:14:00 PM EDT, Blogger beergirl said…

    My rant for the day....

    I believe that the "big boys" of beer are using thier obvious good business sense to hone in on the craft beer market. Do I like it? That is not important. The craft brew community just needs to rally a bit harder to make sure consumers are educated on the difference.

    Do I think that all the "big boys" beer sucks? Well...it's not my taste, but that doesn't mean it is a bad product. Inferior, maybe...:)

    I am going to continue to drink good, craft brewed beer. I the AB's of the world want to try to make thier version of craft beer...good luck...if it is good beer...more power to them!!!All of the educated beer drinkers in the world are wise to the game...I say...BRING IT ON!!!

     

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