online marketing psychology

January 20, 2010

Strike at Inbev opportunity for Belgian beer competitor?

For two weeks now management and unions at AB Inbev, global brewer with Belgian roots, have been battling over cutbacks. These cutbacks would among other things lead to the sacking of 300 employees.
The union wants the plans changed and the Brazilian/American management is not giving in. This led to a blockade that has been put up at the production facilities in Belgium. After two weeks of cutting the beer flow from the factories, supplies are drying up. Supermarkets and pubs are running out of beer. If the strikes continues chances are that there is no Stella Artois or Hoegaarden available next week!

The reason for writing about this is not just because this story combines Belgium, Brazil and my favourite beer, Stella Artois, but there is of course a marketing angle!

Most of the time these blockades take place in a casual atmosphere where a beer is never far away. Inbev refused its employees to supply beer from its own inventories. An ideal opportunity for Primus, a nearby competitive brewery. The company supplied the strikers with its beer, after a request by the strikers is being said. Great timing since they had full page ads running in various newspapers on the same day ;)
These actions put the Primus brand in the center of attention.
The financial crisis hits a sector which most Belgians feel proud of, might evoke certain emotions among the consumers. And these are not the type of associations you want for your brand. But I believe this initiative should be looked from a positive angle. No doubt the company is exploiting a weakness of its competitor, but it is doing it in a very friendly way. Which I think many people will appreciate.

No comments:

Post a Comment