Posted by Sara Zucker on March 18, 2010 11:18 AM
With beer industry revenues at an all-time low, MillerCoors LLC is resurrecting a legendary recipe. Named “Batch 19” after the year prior to Prohibition – the period in which all alcohol was banned for 13 years – the brewery hopes that its back-story will attract consumers and stop the sales slump.
Alcoholic beverage brands typically vie for the attention of the lucrative male, ages 18 - 34 demographic; this brand of brew, however, is tailored to a more sophisticated group within that coveted grouping: Those searching for “a true, authentic, original beer,” according to Peter Swinburn, chief executive of Molson Coors Brewing Co., MillerCoors' parent company. Swinburn is confident that its new beverage will outlast failed products such as Miller Chill, a beer flavored with lime and salt. Consumers in Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Washington can expect to see Batch 19 in eateries starting next month.
In addition to new beer, MillerCoors plans to revamp Miller Lite packaging with a bottle that enhances flavor and aroma during the pouring process. The design will hopefully revitalize a lower-calorie alcoholic drink that has steadily lost popularity. Swinburn explained the renewed effort: "It just takes time given where the brand was. Yes, we're committed to the brand. Yes, we think we'll get it right."
Dusting off old brands is getting a fresh makeover as many brands are implementing campaigns on social networking platforms and smartphone applications. Rather than creating something completely different, MillerCoors is repositioning part of its heritage – a savvy move that showcases the brand's distinctly American roots. Using the novelty of an old-school recipe can be just as innovative – and perhaps a safer branding proposition – than introducing and entirely new product.