Greatest beverage marketing malpractice since the New Coke debacle of the 80’s.

Bud Light illuminates a path to go from first to worse!

The former king of beer might be lucky to be a simple member of the beer kingdom before it’s all over. Never in the history of modern media marketing has a company hurt themselves so much with messaging, marketing, and meaning. 

What once was a beloved brand that encompassed Americana has become a punchline to our modern times. After taking on a controversial influencer to wade into the political discourse over societal matters to back peddling, pandering, and re-purposing intent, the brand now finds itself in no mans land of support or sympathy. Books will be written for students to study in the future of what not to do to build or bolster a brand.

Water selling for higher price than beer

This July 4th many stores will be selling Bud Light for less than water. Yes that’s right! Water will cost more than water that’s been brewed with hops, rice, and barley. Why? The marketing genius of those who confused their brand with their own personal beliefs.

Every company, customer, and corporate executive have their own personal beliefs and values. And some companies and brands are built on those. However if the brand is built solely on a product or when one of the parties make what the other finds as a radical shift, then welcome to no mans land! Marketing malpractice has just been committed and someone is going to pay. Hello Anhueser Busch!

Chic – Fil – A, Hobby Lobby, Starbucks, Disney and several other large companies have a corp value system that are either overt or implied in all of their branding, messaging, and communication. If the product is strong enough their patrons that disagree will still buy, however if their patrons who agree and buy ever feel betrayed, good luck! Every business has to have a corp group of not only customers but fans. Don’t betray the fans.

So it will be interesting how or if Bud Light can recover from what seems to be an ongoing nose dive into the abyss. Pundits and politicians will of course take these events to advocate their own agendas, and I personally hope the whole woke agenda ultimately fails. However my biases aside, the business lesson here for me is simple, “dance with the one who brought you.” 

It’s amazing how political ideology can blind some otherwise fairly smart people into thinking that basic business principles can be violated. The hubris that recent decisions from several business leaders and CEO’s are amazing.

So Happy Independence Day and freedom from pandering!

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