Budweiser announced that it is redesigning its cans. The bow tie Budweiser logo will be emphasized along with the red color. I wonder if this will attract new customers? Sure there will be interest when the new design is seen on cans and swag, but will it last?
Overall the beer market has shrunk the past year. People have stayed home and drank less during the recession. Budweiser is now owned by InBev a Belgium brewer. U.S.-based sales for Budweiser dropped 7.3% in 2010, while sales for Bud Light dropped 2%, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.
Still Bud and Bud Light are the top two beers sold in the US. A can redesign changes the packaging but how does it fit into Budweiser’s overall marketing strategy?
Bud has built the brand with aggressive advertising and promotion at national and local levels. NFL and other major sport ads provided the air cover that kept the brand fresh cool and present in consumers minds. From the talking frogs to the Wassup? guys, Bud has spent more than any other advertisers on the most expensive advertising event, the SuperBowl.
At the local level Bud has partnered with leading distributors and provided co-op dollars to sponsor local events and venues. By working with local bars and restaurants Bud and Bud Light have pushed special pricing to win sales based on price. Even the local delivery trucks have Bud splashed across the vehicle. A new brand requires some time to gel with fans while a throwback one could lead to immediate acceptance and appreciation.
Will the new design just give short term buzz and excitement about the brand yet long term sales will continue to decline? Bud has a long heritage that it could reach into. Bringing back Bud Man or some of the traditional designs could give it a more authentic nostalgic connection with consumers. A retro design could tie in to digital media as it would allow for customers and fans to share in their memories and what they love the brand’s heritage. Similar to how we’ve caught up with all our old high school friends on Facebook. I don’t think consumers will talk online much about the new can.
I think part of Budweiser’s redesign strategy is to attract younger customers in their 20s and 30s. Yet the younger beer drinking public may see right through Bud’s gimmick and stick with their hipster brands like PBR or be craft beer connoisseurs. Is this Bud for you or for the rapidly changing younger generations?