Beerlines

Insights on beer marketing & PR by a beer-war vet

Archive for the 'Foster’s Group Limited' Category

02 February
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Australian owned: does it make a difference?

Back after a sabbatical, I note Coopers Brewery signage re-emphasising its Australian ownership.

Not surprising in light of CUB and LION – the majority of the national beer market – now being foreign owned.

I question how much of an influence this appeal to national loyalty is with beer drinkers.coopers sign

Years ago national, or rather state, loyalty would have been far more important to the parochial beer consumer.

Not any more.

For a number of reasons, not least is so many brewery ownership changes and global brand swaps in recent years, consumers can barely keep up!

Ownership is no longer as influential
Who owns Corona or Cascade? Who owns Little Creatures or Löwenbräu? Who owns Stella Artois or Stone & Wood?

Who cares?

I doubt we’ll see again the outcry and consumer backlash created when the traditional big state brewers like Swan, Castlemaine Perkins, Cascade and others were bought by interlopers from interstate or overseas.
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I’m not dismissing loyalty – in this case nationalistic – as a marketing influence: albeit I think it a waning one.

But as modern beer consumers increasingly choose from an expanding personal portfolio of preferred domestic and global brands and styles to suit various drinking occasions, I question the value of putting too many marketing dollars behind appeals to Australian ownership.

Parochialism is not dead. It’s just not guaranteed state-wide anymore 
While Coopers is talking more about ‘national share’ and pitching itself against the foreign-owned big guys, many new and emerging craft breweries are securing solid local loyalty and support.

I mean really local: local local: micro local.

In many ways the beer market is coming full circle.

As the big breweries aspire to globalised ownership clouds, savvy craft breweries are reclaiming local grassroots.

And to that: Cheers!

20 March
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CUB tells Foster’s to F off!

Good signs for brewing, quite literally, at Southbank in Melbourne’s CBD.

On the busy corner at 77 Southbank Boulevard, Foster’s corporate signage has been pulled down at its HQ of many years. The F word has gone, making way for a return to the traditional roundel logo of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB).

The earlier stainless steel Foster's corporate

The earlier stainless steel Foster’s corporate: pic from ABC Radio AM website

The new/old CUB sign replaces Foster’s at the Southbank HQ

The move will ruffle a few feathers. Some old guard Foster’s corporates, going right back to its foundation in John Elliot’s days, might wince.

At the end of the day however it was simple physics. Foster’s Group Limited never created the critical mass required to be a global player. Pity; it could have.

Good to see CUB back though. Great to see that SAB-Miller stuck with the more familiar and established logo and did not go with that silly overly-designed (glass of friendship) CUB logo devised under CEO John Pollaers.

Bringing it back to the consumer
SAB-Miller now faces a similar challenge to that faced by Lion Nathan when they took over Bond Brewing i.e. In the wake of very high profile corporate ownership changes, how do you bring the traditional brand back to the consumer?

Answering this question is even more challenging nowadays with corporate ownership made so much more public and transparent through online and social media.

We will watch and see and perhaps have a Carlton Draught every now and then to plot progress.

Cheers!