stella artois

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Experience is hot marketing word these days. It is rooted me thinks in user experience (UX), which started in the early days of the web when sites were hard to navigate and not intuitive. Ad and digital agencies caught on to experience a few years later as a way to create new buildables (content) and garner planning fees It didn’t hurt that “customer journey” and “communications planning” were smart ideas to begin with.

Product experience, some will have you believe, starts with communications and ends with the after-sale. The experience is everything in between. A lot of product experience buildables – designed to follow the AIDA principle: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action — are online and in-store. But product gesture is different.

Product gesture is not so much about the product journey and surround as it is the “consuming experience.” (See my last blog post.) A product gesture is the olfactory response that occurs when you drive by a Burger King. It’s why “flame broiled” is such a powerful brand asset of BK. For Coke, whose long standing brand idea is refreshment, the moment when your head snaps back after a full swig of a newly opened Coke is induced by the product gesture. Google’s product gesture occurs during search when your problem is solved, you smile and twitch to act.

Every product has a gesture. Man-made gestures like the Stella Artois pour and glass are distant seconds, but they are gestures nonetheless.

Find your product gesture and you will find marketing and branding success.

What is your product gesture?


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Now I know the economy’s in the shizzer. Anheuser Busch pulled the plug and accepted InBev’s $70 a share bid. They reasoned it was going to be too much work to fight their way out of the beer doldrums. Too bad. Anheuser Busch was a great corporate citizen in this country and will be missed – especially in St. Louis. I can’t wait until Busch Stadium is named after some bank.
Here’s what Anheuser Busch couldn’t do and what Anheuser Busch InBev must do to pay back the incredible debt it’s assuming: It must understand and serve the most profitable beer segments around the world. The first segment it needs to corner is the light beer segment in Spanish speaking countries. Cervecería India, owner of Medalla Light, is doing a great job with this segment marketing a low-cost 11 oz. beer that flows like water in Puerto Rico. A similar beer sold in the U.S. would take off and kick-start the new ABI portfolio giving other up-market segment portfolio managers time to figure out how to increase share of Bass, Stella and the poorly managed “king of beers.” Get to it. Peace!

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