Fat Tire beer

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Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

10 August 2020

The $100 Fat Tire beer? It’s right on brand.

I often write about brand permission because most brands fail to understand it and, therefore, leave opportunities unclaimed. Not so with the $100 Fat Tire beer six pack.

What, you say?

Let me back up. First, in the spirit of transparency, Stealing Share worked on the Fat Tire beer brand years ago. Back when it was first gaining traction in the slowly developing craft beer market. The “Follow Your Folly” brand position was ours.

Since then, Fat Tire has become the third largest craft brewer in the United States. Not to brag, but when it enters a new market, it automatically gains 10% market share in that market because of the power of its brand.

Fat Tire beerEnough with the one-handed back pat. New Belgium Brewing, the owner of the Fat Tire beer brand and many others, was a family-founded, Colorado-based and employee-owned brewery that emphasized environmental sustainability. When it was bought by Lion Little World Beverages from Australia, many wondered if that stance would change.

The $100 Fat Tire beer six pack demonstrates that it hasn’t.

Fat Tire beer understands its brand, and sees opportunity

The promotion, appearing in an ad in Friday’s New York Times, says that the $100 price will become a reality if we don’t take care of our planet. In fact, in some locations, the price IS listed at $100 but the real, lower price is charged at checkout.

“Drink Sustainably” is the theme for this campaign, and it’s a perfect example of a brand understanding its promises and finding opportunity in them. “Follow Your Folly” means doing things that make you human, whether it’s actually riding a fat tire bike into the mountains. Or drinking beers like Fat Tire that are carbon neutral.

“But holding a brand position like Fat Tire beer does sets you up for success. And gives you plenty of marketing opportunities that flow from that position.”

The wording is a bit too clever, but the Fat Tire beer brand remains one of the few craft beers that actually holds a brand position. And understands it.

The craft beer industry always positions itself as being different, which led to many breweries dying out because they were just copying the messaging or becoming so far out there that craft drinkers weren’t buying into it.

But holding a brand position like Fat Tire beer does sets you up for success. And gives you plenty of marketing opportunities that flow from that position. Glad to see New Belgium keeping up the good brand work, and understanding what its brand has permission to do.

See more posts in the following related categories: beer branding Fat Tire

1 Comment

  1. Michael G Turner

    I am compelled to agree, Tom. It would be fun to disagree because that would lead to a spirited argument and I love arguing. But yes, Fat Tire is doing something extraoridnary here, and they deserve credit. They are taking a real risk, for admirable reasons.

    Reply

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