Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bud Lite Copies Miller Chill Salt and Lime

You know what's so boring about blogging. The fact that marketers never do anything different. You could have had the same story ten years ago, and the only thing that would be different would be the names of the products and the names of the people copying each other. Is this what they teach in business school, or after, in business. Where I went to school, you always flunked when you copied. Why is this lesson now lost?

I don't know what Budweiser's VP, Innovation Pat McGauley and VP-Trademark Brands Dan McHugh's are talking about regarding this product launch. Nothing about research is "extensive." It just takes you up to where the road ends. People then stop their search for the trump card when the price gets higher - the cost of doing more profitable homework. (The saying goes, "People stop chasing their dreams when the price gets too high.")

Why copy Miller? Go past them. That's what Miller Brewing's New Ventures Director Dave Krishock and I did back in the day. While Budweiser was busy chasing another phantom called 'dry beer' Dave and I discovered the concept of Cold-filtered Miller Genuine Draft instead - now the most popular brand in Miller's portfolio.
A product launch worth spending time on would net 10-20 share, not the .3 to .5% sought here. Maybe that's why McKinsey & Company reports that despite solid balance sheets and healthy bottom lines the CPG industry has lost its glow and the executives in it are wondering where their growth will come from.


Anonymous said...

You want a new marketing story.
Look at Abercrombie & Fitch. Here was a company with its store on Madison and 44th Street. The merch were more museum. You could go in there at lunch hour and but the same shotgun Hemingway bought to kill himself and pick out hippopotami foot stools and buy a set of wine glasses for $25 per.
They close the store. They change what they sell. They move the anchor to 5th Avenue. They do direct mail that shows the clothes and some kids who wear them.
And this week Barron's recognizes them for the incredible profitable turnaround.
My only question?
Why did they keep the name?

H. Martin Calle said...

The original store, containing 'substance', established the brand's equity. Once done they cut the 'museum' overhead and reinvented themselves as a mass merchandiser or retailer. Originality or Authenticity became the vestigial selling dimensions the brand retained - though they are easy to copy selling dimensions and somewhat, suspect, weak. Easy to attack. Forrest Gump would says, That's all I have to say about that."

Anonymous said...

Except there is NO connect between the old and the new.
That is good. For them,
their investors, and their customers.
Gump is the triumph of wisdom over intellect; Abercrombie is the triumph of mass amnesia.

H. Martin Calle said...

mass amnesia

The longest article in USA today is 500 words. That's because that's the attention span of an adult in America today. The LA Times is written at a sixth grade level. The most erudite newspaper in America is the Christian Science Monitor.

Anonymous said...

possible use is there
for the
I.e., why but the name, the brand so to speak? Just start from scratch...
call it Martin & Calle.

Anonymous said...

"Bud Lite Copies Miller Chill Salt and Lime"

You should get your facts straight before writing. Those that read this blog and dont do the research will take what you say as fact. Shame on you both for being lazy about your "news".

BL Lime has no salt/sodium and is not brewed with lime. It has a very different taste because it is infused with the lime after the brewing process.

Yes... I'm a bartender.