BUSI 438 FORUM 3 DISCUSSION
From Clydesdales to Talking Frogs: Budweiser’s Strategic Adaptability Keeps It a Winner
This discussion question provides an opportunity to reinforce several key principles that are covered in this week’s chapter. While the case is largely focused on advertising tactics, there are examples of strategic marketing that can be discussed as well. A key idea to emphasize is that brands that survive as long as Budweiser have done so by regularly updating the various elements of the marketing mix to reflect the changing preferences of their customers. In this situation, these responses to customer interests and communications preferences are most visible in advertising but are also reflected in major product introductions such as Bud Lite and packaging innovations like beer in cans.
Address the following…
• What are some factors that make one beer better than another? Even non-beer drinkers will likely focus on product attributes like taste or convenient packaging.
o Whether Budweiser is generally considered to be the best tasting beer and if not, why they have dominated in product sales for so many years? One answer to that question is that brand imagery can be as or more important than product attributes in a brand’s long term success.
• Consider showing examples of classic Budweiser advertising (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIbShf_xrxg) and discussing how these ads differentiate the brand even though they provide very little info about the product.
• In Budweiser’s history there is evidence of both “Big M” (strategic) marketing and examples of “little m” (tactical) marketing. Which of these two types of marketing do you think is Budweiser’s greater strength? Support your answer with examples to demonstrate your understanding of these concepts.
• The most recent threat to Budweiser’s dominance is the microbrewery craze, which has created (or resulted from) a set of more discriminating beer drinkers, not so different from wine aficionados. One approach Budweiser has taken in their commercials is to make fun of these enthusiasts. Do you believe that this is an effective strategy? Why or why not? What alternative communication or product innovation strategies (if any) should be considered to reach this segment?
• What could Budweiser do to increase a Christian presence for their brand? Is this a good application for a beer company?