What I learned from Beer Marketing


Back in 1971, beer marketing took a major turn. The problem with American beer was, it pretty much all tasted the same. That is before Sam Adams, pale ales or the other beers which are distinctly different from “old school” American beers like Bud and Miller.  These beers are made from the same ingredients, using the same process, yielding the same results. Taste tests have consistently shown that beer drinkers, who are fiercely loyal to one brand, can not tell the difference in blind taste tests. How could marketing people get the consumer to switch brands? Traditional beer ads promoted the superior taste of the beer. Other ads generated interest with a comely female actress or used a star to build the “cool” factor for a beer. The ads, as you would suspect, were all about the beer.

At one time, Miller Beer promoted themselves as “The Champagne of Bottled Beer.” Not only to promote the “superior taste” but to carve out a niche with people who liked beer but found it socially beneath their status. Miller discovered that they were being successful with this niche market but their target audience only drank a couple of beers from time to time. The real beer drinkers were the blue-collar folks who drank beer all the time and in large quantities. If they could re-brand themselves to appeal to the working class “Joe 6-pack”, they would increase sales significantly. The term “Joe 6-pack” was actually coined by the advertising industry as an unflattering reference to this average beer drinker.

In 1971, Miller started showing TV commercials with guys leaving construction sites and using the tag line, “If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer” and “It’s Miller Time!” These commercials were very successful. They focused on the beer drinker and not the beer. That was huge. Beer drinkers (who felt somewhat marginalized) started buying Miller. This was so successful, that Budweiser (the number one selling beer) followed suit and started running ads that said “For all you do, this Bud’s for you.”

To be successful as a job seeker (and as a social media user), you need to always keep your target audience in mind. Unless I am totally enamoured with you (e.g. I’m your mom or I am a teenager and you are my best friend or Justin Beieber), I am not interested in knowing much about you. Do not waste my LinkedIn “Updates” with where you are eating lunch. Do not tweet about your great weekend. Tell me something I (as a follower or potential employer) might like to know about.

B2B Business Development
Anyone can give you social media.  I make sure it’s marketing.

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About jamessnider

James Snider is the Vice President of Business Development for Engstrom Trading, LLC. Engstrom imports products from Scandinavian countries and builds a market for them in the USA and Canada. http://TFXNonStickUSA.com View all posts by jamessnider

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