Thursday, March 5, 2009

Brand revivals

Don't expect this beer to be featured at the 2009 Oregon Brewers Festival. However, it's a good lesson in brand development, or redevelopment, and by one of the experts at brand revival, Pabst.

The craft brewing phenomenon in this country, at least in this writer's opinion, grew from a desire to actually taste what the drinker had in front of him or her. In some ways, the growth of craft brewing was a reaction to sophisticated brand development and segmentation and marketing. "I don't care about the babe commercials, the sports tie-ins and clever slogans. Give me a brew with taste," were on the tongues of microbrew aficionados as they stormed the barricades.

That was then. This is now. Craft brewing has evolved and most brands are paying attention to, well, brand.

That's where we come in. The Oregon Brewers Festival, like so many others that have followed, is a brewer's opportunity to not only show and tell, but taste. Sampling, a common practice in so many pubs and breweries, is the heart of a festival dedicated to expanding the craft brew experience.

As most brewers know, that is never enough to put the brand on the beer drinkers map. It takes an integration of on-premise experiences, shelf-talking, brand language and various channels of promotion to insure that a particular craft brew, no matter how well made, gets into the hands of the desired drinker.