11,872 $m
Budweiser can be cautiously optimistic this year. The redesign of its can reflected the brand’s continued repositioning as contemporary and global, moving away from its US- and heritage based roots. In addition to the can redesign, the brand also branched out of its Middle America comfort zone and reached a more urban audience with the “Budweiser Made in America” concert festival featuring rapper Jay-Z. The strategy appears to be paying off — 44% of sales are now outside the US. But as Budweiser’s global market grows, it continues to lose ground at home. It is now the third brand in its category in the US, behind Bud Light and Coors Light. Although the rate of its US decline has reduced recently, can Budweiser become the world’s number one beer if it is not number one at home? Part of Budweiser’s strategy includes sponsoring events that appeal to its young male target demographic — such as the European FA Cup, the 2014 World Cup (hosted in Brazil), and the September 2012 Budweiser Made in America US music festival. The brand is also a digital innovator, notably via the “Track Your Bud” campaign that allows consumers to trace the origins of their specific beer by scanning its QR code. Despite this success, the brand has a few weak points — brand extensions Bud Select and Bud Select 55 didn’t take flight, and failing to update bottle packaging in line with its new cans may confuse consumers. Considering that Budweiser’s authentically American personality often drives its success in international markets, the brand must work hard to ensure that walking away from those roots to achieve immediate global growth, doesn’t have the opposite effect in the long-term.