Don’t get left on the shelf…

The last year has seen an acceleration of growth in packaged formats and beer has truly joined the world of FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) – not just for the off-trade, but for the on-trade too.

The 4P’s of marketing have never been more relevant for brewers:

Product
Your beer is your hero Product and monolithic beer brands have given way to variety and choice. Having differentiating styles, flavours and ingredients are fundamental to success, whilst innovation is driving the beer category.

Price
Beer has largely moved to the high-end which means that consumers are willing to pay a high Price for a product that is unique, desirable and well presented. Premiumisation is the name of the game and discounting is for the discounters and the big brewers who are ‘buying’ market share.

Place
Knowing your Place in the market, on shelf and in the hearts of your consumer is a key part of your brand planning. Ignore this at your risk.

Promotion
Your brand is the catalyst that enables successful Promotion and a brand is much, much more than simply a logo. In the absence of significant advertising spend, the branding of your packaging can be the make-or-break factor delivering success or failure.

Even the packaging format is critical in today’s market. Whilst bottles remain the stable fare for traditional ales, the shift to can has been phenomenal, driven by the ‘craft’ movement and now on the ‘size matters’ trail – moving from 330ml to 440ml  and latterly to 568ml (pint cans).

Whilst in the USA, the ultra high-end has been dominated with the 750ml speciality beer bottles (back to glass again) that are giving the wine category a run for its money and with eye-watering prices. Or why not super-size your brand with 1.5L and 3L bottles for special occasions, enough to make any partygoer a star guest.

Set against this is the burning issue that will be at the forefront of every consumer’s mind for the rest of this decade – sustainability. The materials we use for our packaging and how we communicate our environmental credentials are a major consideration – aluminium vs glass vs paper even. Probably not plastic though… Of course, growlers are the ultimate returnable. Watch this space as the debate heats up.

What is undeniable is that branding sells beer, get it right and your product will move fast from the shelves as consumers buy into your message. Get it wrong and you will be the one left standing on the shelf (at a discount price).

View our drinks work here.