A study on beer marketing

Beer Marketing

Beer Marketing and Differentiation

Beer Marketing — Growing Beer Market Share


Beer marketingThe following looks at beer marketing. And it will give you a quick view of how Stealing Share operates and finds solutions.

No branding project is complete without market research and beer marketing often lacks that valuable research.

This is just a cursory analysis. But we suggest a brand position for beer brands to steal share based on our own experience and expertise in branding beers.

If your brand needs to steal share, feel free to contact us.

”No branding project is complete without market research and  beer marketing lacks that valuable research”

Beer Commercials

Beer marketing needs to be both different and better. Remember all the beer ads you’ve ever seen from brands like COORS, Budweiser, Michelob, Miller, MGD, Corona, Beck’s, Heineken, Red Stripe, Bud Light, Sam Adams, Amstel Light and Coors Light. (You can view many of the category commercials here in our beer market study).

In defining the brands, let’s briefly describe the personality, position and promise of each of the brands.

Here is a short example of just a few US domestic brands.

Brand Personality Position Promise
Budweiser Confident. Hip. King of beers “I get it.”
Miller Lite Hip. Youthful. Beer for friends It’s the experience.
Coors Lite Hip (a bit sophomoric) Cold. From the Rockies. Everyman Beer.
MGD Cool. Aloof. Genuine Seize the day.
Miller High Life Knowable The High Life Everything in perspective.
Coors Real Legendary Be an original.
Michelob Cool. Knowing. Tastes Imported Taste


”Beer marketing needs advertising to be successful in stealing market share. Your brand needs to be both different and better”

Possible Meanings

Beer Marketing Positions

There are many possible positions. The goal is to find the one with the highest emotional intensity.

So, in positioning your brand, map out the possible meanings that beer brands can claim or do claim. (That assumes that the advertisers know what they are conveying, and THAT is a frightening assumption.)

Brand position meaning is opposite existing position. Additionally, both sides must be believable and important. So, define the possible positions according to REAL meaning to the customer.

For example, “Best” is not a brand position because no one would claim “worst.”

Because of that, “Best” isn’t believable to the customer. But, someone may claim the “intimate” position because a competitor could claim “casual.”

As a result, intimate is believable because it’s positioned against another’s positioning. It presents a true choice.

Below are some possible positions for beer.

Rules of Positioning

The following rules are helpful when selecting a beer marketing position to steal share in your market.

  1. Thrust:
    The positioning must demonstrate an active competitive advantage. This advantage answers the question of “why should I care” from the perspective of the consumer.
  2. Beer Marketing

    Strategy has rules

    The positioning must have a powerful relevance to the target audience and their interest and receptiveness must be peaked.

  3. Definition:
    The positioning must be distinctive. It must set the brand apart from the competition.
  4. Density:
    The positioning must be single minded. It must have clarity and simplicity and must illuminate the target’s main precept.
  5. Synthesis:
    The positioning must be fused together in an emotional bond with the target audience. It must grab them in the gut.
  6. Integrity:
    The positioning must be believable. If the message raises suspicion – even if it is true – barriers are raised.
  7. Precision:
    The positioning must speak to the target that is best positioned to influence consumption or to consume that product or service.
  8. Convergence:
    The positioning must convey the same positioning message in all of the ways in which the consumer has of touching the brand.
  9. Momentum:
    The present positioning must build upon (but never mimic) the equity (if any) of past communications to leverage any residual positioning equity.
  10. Acceleration:
    The positioning must keep pace with the changing markets to evolve constantly making itself increasingly effective each day.

Beer Marketing and the Current Market

Next, map out graphically how the your competition see themselves. This checks to see if there’s a position and opportunity to be grabbed. This is an important exercise in developing beer marketing messages. To present yourself as a true choice, you must live where there is SPACE, away from the rest of the market. 

Beer Marketing

Today, the market is divided mostly by origin and price point.

Beer Marketing

Most microbrews define themselves by their origins or styles

Beer Marketing

To be fair, all the beers brands could be positioned one on top of the other as there is little differentiation today.

Beer Marketing Summary

All the major domestic beers are competing for the same audience with the same messaging.

And, the market skews towards masculine-bawdy.

So, where are the hell are the beer marketing differences? And how are they being delivered?

Imports, the micro-brews (with some spillover into the specialty mass brews, Red Dog, Blue Moon etc.) own quality, distinctive taste and better beer.

So, to claim a position as the best tasting beer is in violation of rule 7 (integrity). It is not believable.

As a result, most mature markets (beer marketing is mature) trade on personality and brand image not product benefit because everyone claims that benefit. That’s why great taste is not a switching trigger in messaging. No one prefers a beer that they do not like.

Inside-out and Outside-in

The most important point. Accurately find positions that have the most meaning to customers and provide a market opportunity. Not a position that has the most meaning to you. 

Think about beer marketing from an outside-in prospect perspective (how the customer feels about the brand).

Behavior Modeling Analysis

beerpres_b42_355The most powerful beer marketing position is true and important to the audience.

So, think through the process (the qualities of the beer, both real and emotional).  Then, ask yourself the purpose of those processes by asking yourself what purpose do they fulfill? Then, ask yourself what belief or precept (fundamental beliefs that drive behavior) makes customers need that purpose.

The ruling precepts are the critical precepts that drives this audience. So, brands that fit into the sophisticated/intimate/confident position appeal to this market. And they will steal market share.

Read the Behavior Modeling (Read more about it here) analysis that supports our market audit.

The Beer Marketing Prime Position

As an example, X beer is authentic, great tasting American beer for those of us that don’t need to follow the crowd.

Beer Opportunity.001

So, it is a confident beer for those of us who know exactly where we stand.

Some things in the world need no explanations. Good judgment is a great reward. And the beer is for those discriminating and smart enough to avoid trends and ads.