Case Study: Labatt Blue
When preparing a case solution it is expected that students will conduct additional secondary research. The capture of good information will enhance the quality of the analysis and the recommendation.
Marketing Communications Plan Model
Use the following model for completing a marketing communications plan. These points should be addressed in your presentation (20 minutes).
• Economic Trends
• Social and Demographic Trends
• Technology Trends
• Regulatory Trends
• Market Size and Growth
• Market Segments (Product ...view middle of the document...
Event Marketing and Sponsorships
Media Blocking Chart
• By Media
• By time of year
Calendar for Other IMC Activities
• By Activity
• By time of year
• Allocation of dollars by various media, activities, time of year, etc.
Canadian Beer Market
As of the end of 2011, Labatt Breweries controlled 41% of the Canadian beer market, making it the number two brewer in the country behind Molson, which has a market share of 45 percent. Labatt has always been slightly behind its main competitor, Molson.
Major brands tend to focus on 19 to 24-year-old males, and as a result may be missing opportunities by not addressing different demographics and the product benefits of beer. However, targeting 19 to 24-year-olds does encourage early brand adoption. According to Robe Guenette, a former beer executive at Molson, “Brand choices in beer are made early in life. If you get a younger drinker early, they tend to stay with you. It’s really about the ‘heavy’ male drinker and that’s where the volume is.”
Demographic trends are not on the side of the brewing industry. Older age groups do drink beer but much less of it than before.
Labatt has tried to shift the age focus on some of its brands. Carlsberg and Bud Light are slanted slightly towards older males and females. Labatt has also invested in advertising for its premium and imported brands like Stella Artois, Sol, and Guinness—with programs that reinforce quality and serving techniques.
Blue Versus Canadian
The history of Canada’s two leading brands, Labatt Blue and Molson Canadian reveal a correlation between effective advertising and market share. For years both brands have been one-upping each other with good creative. The best creative seems to win and market share nudges upward for the brand with the best advertising.
To illustrate, Labatt Blue enjoyed considerable success with a campaign called “Out of the Blue” that started in 1998. It enjoyed a five-year run (see Advertising History section for more details). While that campaign was in progress Molson Canadian launched its “I am Canadian” campaign. The launch commercial featured an average guy named Joe bellowing out how Canadians are different from Americans. Called “The Rant” the commercial garnered all kinds of publicity and effectively re-launched the Canadian brand. The battle between Blue and Canadian was in full swing! So intense is the battle that both brands claim leadership. One brand has 13% the other has 12%. It depends on which company is releasing the information.
In recent years sales promotions have also played a role in brand success. In package giveaways during the peak summer season were used as a means to build brand loyalty but they proved costly. Many drinkers would switch brands temporarily simply to get the...