Friday, May 12, 2006

Reposition this.

It looks like domestic crap beer makers are once again touting the repositioning of their brands. Gosh, there's nothing I like quite as much as a good old beer brand reposition. For the big brewers, this is an annual event. It's a wonder there isn't a trade show to go along with it.

I'd love to see some numbers on the repositions. I'll bet the success rate is about 1-in-5000. There is some rich stuff in this New York Times non-story about the big three brewers reaching out to older, more affluent types. I personally love the research that indicates Miller Genuine Draft appeals to men and women who know how to cook, want to own homes and entertain friends, and may not choose a night on the town all the time. Yes, that narrows it down. Watch that MGD fly right off the shelves and into those homes.

(There's also an amazing quote from Coors spokesperson Kabira Hatland that is breathtaking in its banality. Make sure you don't miss it. It sets new standards for stating the glaringly obvious.)

To be fair, the advertising for Miller Genuine Draft sounds decent. Which, unfortunately, only serves to point out the larger problem. New ad campaigns with the same actual product story rarely convince – they just send the B.S. meter into the red zone. (Of course, they do allow marketers to fire the hapless ad agency when sales don't improve. At least they're good for that.)

Fact is, communications can't reposition a brand anymore. People are too smart, too informed and have too many alternatives. A product needs to have some real surgery. Change the damn formula. Extend the brand somewhere unexpected. Find a new distribution channel. Something, dammit, before you start spouting off about repositioning with a new ad campaign.

Talk, as always, is cheap.


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