Monday, November 19, 2007

A-B Looks to Go Upscale

Tom Barlow over at Bloggingstocks recently posted an article about Anheuser-Busch's plans to take a new track in its 2008 marketing. A-B will emphasize the quality of ingredients and brewing techniques in its core brands, Budweiser and Michelob.

Tom mentions that A-B is reacting to two challenges: declining/flat sales of its mainstream suds, and the competition posed by the recently announced partnership of SABMiller and Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP) to mutually market their products in the U.S. He argues that some companies fail to find the right balance that persuades the public that they are getting a bargain, better quality for the same price. Additionally, he feels the current Miller High Life campaign is one of the best he's ever seen, "A tasty beer at a tasty price." Personally, I'd have to agree with this.

Too many companies try to come up with a fancy slogan that doesn't make any sense consumers. For example, Heineken recently began a marketing campaign playing on "irresistible" messaging. However, I'm not really sure who they are targeting. I know Heineken is trying to position itself as a "luxury" beer, but I'm not sure about their stategy. For example, I question its sponsorship of Yahoo Fantasy Football. Heineken highlights the "Premium Player of the Week" for every Yahoo Fantasy Football league each week. Now, I'm an avid fantasy football player and I can assure you that there is nothing "luxurious" about fantasy football. I would think that Heineken would be targeting a more affluent crowd. I would look into sponsoring a golf tournament or something along those lines if I were at Heineken. Marketing is all about finding a position and exploiting it. I feel that Heineken may have their position, but they're not exploiting it.

Send me an e-mail or leave a comment if you have any questions or concerns about my recent post.

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