Thursday, November 3, 2011
Big things brewing at MillerCoors
Mr. Long (Tom Long, CEO) said MillerCoors intends to make its craft business (Leinenkugel's, Blue Moon, etc.) "much, much bigger," noting that it needs to "transform to meet those consumers needs" of "these fuller, bigger-tasting beers."
MC's craft beer portfolio works precisely because it isn't big. It's seen as different, interesting and special. Limited advertising means people "discover" the beer and can make it their own.
I can understand their desire to grow the most profitable part of their business while watching their flagship brand fall by nearly 15% last quarter, but they need to be careful here. The brand graveyard is full of regional and niche beers that have attempted to become national players.
Anybody remember Schaefer or Stroh's?
Sure it can be done. But it will take real marketing savvy and a deft hand, neither of which have been evident in any form of Miller or Coors marketing for the past 20 years.
If I were a member of the Leinenkugel family, I'd be worried about my legacy.