New Belgium Fat Tire Market Study

Fat Tire Brand Strategy

By Tom Dougherty

New Belgium Brewing Company Bottle Cap Fat Tire Brand StrategyThe Beer Category

The Beer market is a funny space. When asked why they prefer the brand of beer they prefer the knee-jerk response from beer drinkers is “I like the taste.” Yet, research indicates very clearly that taste is not the clearest of emotional memories and most beer drinkers have a difficult time identifying beer brands in blind taste tests. Obviously, taste is personal and not universal. All of this was the backstory when we created the new Fat Tire brand strategy.

The Beer Drinker

Beer bringers are a loyal crew. Bud drinkers (American lager drinkers) would rather go thirsty than drink Coors or Miller. Micro brew drinkers are a different beer (pun intended). They are not brand loyal and revel in the trial of new brews and will drink or try any brew that offers a change in experience.

New Belgium Brewing

Fat Tire Brand Strategy facing cardFort Collins microbrew getting ‘Fat’ THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FORT COLLINS – New Belgium Brewing Co., the maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale and other microbrews, said it is planning a $21.5 million capital expansion after a 12 percent increase in sales last year… New Belgium Brewing Company is, today, the fastest growing — most successful — micro brewing company in the US.

Fat Tire

When they enter a new market, without so much as a breath of pre-advertising, their Fat Tire brand grabs on average a 10 share based on the brand expectation alone. New Belgium came to Stealing Share and asked us to help their brand grow.

So why did New Belgium need a new Fat Tire Brand Strategy? Because they were hungry to get more converts to their beer brands. New Belgium believed in their beer and culture and wanted more people to tough that magic.

The New Brand

Among our suggestions we told them that advertising was not their enemy (the folks at New Belgium are avid environmentalists and have deep rooted beliefs in integrity and authenticity. They saw advertising as a “sell-out” and we convinced them otherwise).

Fat Tire Brand Strategy New Belgium brandsWe encouraged them to remain with the authenticity (Folly) of their brand by keeping the imagery. We helped them identify the authenticity that was inherent in their brand imagery and remain focused on that value. For New Belgium is was all about the beer. For the customer it was all about the experience.

Out of deference to New Belgium, the brand work and recommendations made by Stealing Share on the brand’s behalf must remain confidential. But, we know of no greater success story than the “Fat Tire” saga.

Success speaks for itself.

 

(Read our beer market Study here) 

(Read about opportunity in the beer industry here)