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Can marketers arrest fall in UK beer sales?

02/09/2013

The UK has belied its reputation as the booze capital of Europe lately, with a new report indicating that beer sales have dropped by five per cent over the last 12 months despite an upsurge in profits for major brands across the globe.

It would be unfair to target marketers exclusively for this drop, with a major factor the government's insistence on raising taxation in the pub sector, something that has been widely criticised by industry experts.

However, is there some way that the marketing industry can influence the amount of beer being sold in the UK? According to Millward Brown's top 100 BrandZ global brands list, a shift in how the product is advertised could have an impact, reports Marketing Week.

Peter Walshe, global BrandZ director at Millward Brown, said: "Ironically the [global] beer market is one of the strongest growing - this is to do with category management and consolidation of beer brands. If that is to be sustained, the brand needs to be an even bigger part of the mix."

The industry could create a number of marketing jobs over the coming years as it attempts to reassert its position in the UK and drive beer sales back up to pre-recession levels.

Brewing giants including Molson Coors AB-InBev, Carlsberg and Heineken recently joined up with a range of industry bodies such as the Campaign for Real Ale to launch a new campaign highlighting the range and diversity of beers available in the UK's bars and shops.

According to Mr Walshe, the reasons brands such as Guinness enjoyed such sustained success is because of their combination of emotional and rational appeal, as well as their strong marketing policies that differentiate them from less-popular rivals.

He concluded that 'meaningfulness' - in effect, forming a relationship with a particular group of consumers - is the most important way of driving up the popularity of a particular drink, because of its unique market position.

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