More than three quarters of the beer sold in this world is mass-produced light golden colored Pilsner style lager beer. The greatest percentage of this beer is produced and sold as a “popular priced” product. In some parts of the United States is called “yellow beer”. In some parts of Canada it is called “Farmer beer”. I prefer to be accurate and simply call at mass-produced lager beer. The rest of the market consists of approximately 20% stout and what is loosely defined as Brown ale, and 5% super-premium and what is called “craft beer”. These figures are not precise but they do reflect the entire worldwide market for fermented malt beverage… commonly known as beer.
The debate as to the various qualities of these products I shall leave to others. What I would like to address is the obvious domination of the mass-produced light golden colored pilsners style lager beer. Why are these beers so popular?
The most obvious answer to that question is that that style of beer is the least expensive to produce. This makes it the ideal beverage of choice for thrifty shoppers. The discrepancy in price between popular priced beers and premium priced beers often makes the choice even more obvious… especially to thrifty shoppers, if price is of premium concern to the shopper. This makes mass-produced light golden colored pilsners style lager beers very attractive to the average customer. Now that that choice has been made, it is up to the brand name to finalize the deal.
Anyone who has ever bought a can of beer knows exactly what’s inside. Should the occasion of the taste comparison between more than four different brands of beer ever arise the final results would probably surprise most beer drinkers. Given more than three choices, of beers that look and smell the same, there are an extraordinarily few beer drinkers that can actually tell the difference, let alone pick out there “favorite” brand.
Anyone who was ever purchased anything in a place other than a country store is well aware of the influence that brand names play in their choice of purchasing a product. A brief mention of the images of running water, tall trees, and steppingstones in a stream associated with for the virility enhancing pharmaceuticals should be sufficient to illustrate the degree of “lifestyle expectations” expected by consumers from consumer products.
This brings us back to mass produce light golden colored Pilsner style lager beer. Since we have established that the consumer knows exactly what is in the can of beer, it is up to the brand name to offer, and deliver lifestyle expectations. As a “well-earned reward”, the Miller Brewing Co. suggested its “High Life” was the ideal beer at the end of a working day. Rheingold Brewing Co. tried a series of television advertisements that associated it with at least seven different ethnic groups in the city of New York. That campaign in particular was a bit misguided considering that most of those ethnic groups were not well disposed towards each other. It is perhaps obvious that both of those advertising campaigns failed. This leaves us with the question, “what does the consumer really expect from a can of beer?”
The consumer expects unsurprising, refreshing, effervescent, slightly intoxicating chilled beverage. Brand identification gives them an identification that they can cling to in association with that beer.
There isn’t a single mass produced light-colored pilsners style lager beer produced in the United States of America that doesn’t position itself as an All-American beer. Therefore, if you drink that beer, you are an All-American. Most people would find it difficult to argue with that.
Should that brand name also be associated with a particular sport such as baseball football or automobile racing it allows for even more focused identification. In short, if you’re a NASCAR fan, and a particular brand of beer is plastered all over the front of four or five cars, your loyalties will probably be to that brand of beer. Since loyalties result in purchasing power that particular brand of beer is going to get your dollar.
And there you have it… offer a customer and inexpensive way to relieve their thirst and give them something to associate with that they already dearly love and you will be the proud possessor of their hard-earned dollars. And they’ll be more than happy to pay for allowing you to give them the lifestyle I’ve always wanted.
And that’s why this beer is special…