Too Much Choice

Bud Light, like many mainstream beers, has suffered a downturn in sales as craft beers have continued to make inroads. The number of craft beers is growing rapidly and while most hold minimal market share, each takes some sales from the so-called mainstream beers.

The big brewers have been struggling to find effective strategies against the craft brewers and some have launched their own craft brands. The craft brews are using classic guerilla marketing tactics and filling a clear need that the big brewers have ignored. So what else can the big brewers do?

Bud Light is recognizing and trying to leverage two ideas to stem their share loss. The ideas are:
1. If you can’t fix it feature it
2. Too many choices causes consumers confusion and causes them to buy less

In a press release last week, Bud Light announced their approach and showcased two ads. They are focused on the simplicity of their beer: Four ingredients, that’s it. Beer is beer, and they do it right. Secondly, it is easier to know your beer than to have to look it up on the internet to decide if you want to buy it.

Will this strategy work? Clearly, I don’t know, and I like it. I am unclear if the slide in Bud Light sales is driven by less demand for light beer or the inroads of craft beers … or both. This campaign should help them either way.


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