Goose Island beer
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
18 September 2017
Goose Island beer sorta gets microbrew drinkers
If there’s one thing we know about microbrew drinkers, it’s that they are always trying something new. For that reason, the Goose Island beer ads catch my attention.
The images in the ads feature the generic stuff you’d expect from a microbrew. Barrels of beer storing in a warehouse. The scientists of the brewery testing the quality. And so on.
“Goose Island demonstrates it understands the microbrew category to some extent. But it doesn’t master the art of branding to steal market share.”
But each ad ends with the tagline, “We don’t need to be the only beer you drink. We just want to be the best beer you drink.”
The first part of the Goose Island line is genius. The second part? Not so much.
The “We don’t need to be the only beer you drink” speaks directly to microbrew drinkers. It’s right in their wheelhouse. Our own studies show that, unlike drinkers of the big American lagers, microbrew drinkers are looking to try something different. They are not brand loyal to a specific microbrew brand. They’re loyal to the category of microbrews.
It’s much harder for a Budweiser drinker to try Millers, for example. But microbrew drinkers scan the beer aisle, picking and choosing among all the choices. Until they carry a six pack with six different brands out the door.
Goose Island doesn’t create preference
Goose Island positions itself as being part of that rotation. Smart.
But “We just want to be the best beer you drink” nearly blows it. Two problems. One, no one can claim best. It’s not believable because it doesn’t present a true choice. For it to present a true choice, a competitor has to claim it’s the worst. It’s not positioned against anything.
Also, microbrews drinkers don’t rate beers as best or worst. They consider themselves scientists of beer. They measure different components of the beer. There’s no best. There’s only different.
Goose Island demonstrates it understands the microbrew category to some extent. But it doesn’t master the art of branding to steal market share. Claiming to be best doesn’t create preference.
In fact, it might do the opposite. Microbrew drinkers, by their very nature, rebel against unsubstantiated labels. Best? Nope.
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