So here’s the situation….
This post is about an industry that has been around forever with a huge customer base.
It was once wildly successful category, but in recent years has struggled. These days, it barely manages to eke out any growth.
Some of its most iconic brands – household names – are scrapping to maintain market share.
No, it’s not radio.
It’s the beer business.
Like most categories, the beer business has witnessed lots of disruption – namely, an infinite barrage of cool, hip craft beers that have become passion plays for beer drinkers. Add to that, most Millennials wouldn’t be caught dead drinking a Bud or a Miller Lite.
Radio operators can relate. In much the same the streaming pure-plays, satellite radio, podcasts and millions of other “ankle biters” have eaten into radio’s time spent listening, major beer brands have been under fire to maintain their share, much less their former dominance.
But there’s one notable exception, and it’s fascinating to learn the formula they’ve applied that has enabled them to buck the tide in an industry where growth is a rarity.
AdvertisingAge reports that Corona (and some of its sub-brands) are happy, healthy, and prospering in this highly charged environment. Owned by parent Constellation Brands, the key to Corona’s success can be boiled down to one word:
The brand’s “Find Your Beach” campaign helped Corona establish a strong beachhead. But unlike so many successful radio brands that become powerhouses and then take their foot off the gas pedal, Corona has poured it on.
The company’s beer division CMO, Jim Sabia, tells AdAge the strategy is a simple one:
“We’ve been able to invest year-on-year more and more every single year because of our growth.”
That boils down to double-digit increases in media spending for 2017, and a philosophy that embraces marketing, rather than finding an excuse for not doing it.
Arguably, Corona’s creative has been uniformly excellent – another reason why its marketing investment has led to annual sales increases in the 16%-17% range. And its new campaign steals a page from “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Instead of the “an angel gets its wings” from the movie, Corona flips it around to “a Corona gets its lime” every time someone makes a weekday feel like a weekend.
In some ways, it’s the reverse of how many radio stations attempt to convert and recycle weekday listening into weekend listening. Yes, it’s creating more “occasions” to drink their beer. It’s a smart strategy that has the chance to generate even more success because Corona is marketing it.
Radio companies should find inspiration from Constellation’s philosophy of reinvesting profits into marketing its brands. It makes you wonder if radio couldn’t run a couple of Corona-fueled experiments of its own – sinking significant marketing dollars into TV ads for its biggest and best brands, rather than always trying to prop up its struggling stations.
What a concept – if you want to take a great brand and make it even bigger – MARKET.
The next round’s on me.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,000 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.
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