Forty-four percent of Bud-drinking respondents to a CNN.com Quick Vote poll said they would stop drinking the King of Beers if a Belgian company owned it. Many brands should be so fortunate to have such a fervent and loyal following.
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So how can A-B ensure that its loyalists won't defect to Pabst or Miller? Here's my advice.
1. Be yourself. Bud is as American as apple pie and baseball. Keep that image strong, and consumers won't care who owns you.
2. Keep employees informed. Whether they work in the brewery or the front office, they will deliver your message more effectively than any press release can.
3. Stay the course. Assure the recipients of your generous corporate largess, from Nascar to the local arts festival, that there will be no changes to your partnerships.
4. Family matters. Make sure every media outlet knows that the Busch family will maintain its place in the strategic growth and tactical operation of the company.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR|
Mark Eden is senior VP at the Marketing Store, Toronto.
And remember what Lincoln said: "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts ... and beer."