Reclaiming the Core Strengths of a Mature Brand to Create Growth


Situation: Our client, the third largest beer company in the U.S., wanted to revitalize its key brand as the centerpiece of its growth plan. Much like its competitors, our client experienced modest ups and downs in terms of top line growth and bottom line performance. Its flagship brand, a light beer, competes in what is arguably the most desirable of the U.S. beer segments (premium lights). Unfortunately, our client’s largest-selling brand had consistently lost share in key beer markets since 1994.

Core Strategy Group’s Approach: The client wanted us to quickly identify multiple, actionable initiatives that could be taken in order to increase its share by one to two points in the next three to five years. Core Strategy Group has deep experience in, and a unique perspective on, the beverage business, since our roots are in that industry. The senior team assigned to this engagement took the plethora of information generated from a giant “discover and quantify project” the client had already completed and turned it into implementable strategies and plans. We did this by first developing a differentiated brand proposition for the light beer that was based on uncovering the true essence of the brand with its loyal consumers. We then identified the greatest growth opportunities that could be used to meet the share growth goal. We used this information to segment the market into discrete and target-able consumption occasions. The critical impact that our team had at this point was to provide strategic direction for leveraging product, package, sponsorships and other key elements of the marketing mix to integrate the brand strategy with the occasion and growth opportunities. Finally, we provided the strategy and a clear step-by-step plan for strengthening the brand to ensure profitable growth.

Results: Within three months, we developed a brand positioning that turned any previous negatives associated with the brand into positives. This clarifying brand strategy was remarkably successful with consumers—and with the company, since it helped refocus it on the core of their business. Additionally, our plan for growth is beginning to show positive results: though still number three, this light beer has seen it market share begin to grow.

The Core Strategy Group Difference: The problem that most companies face is that while markets have changed fundamentally, the practice of marketing has barely changed at all. Core Strategy Group combines traditional business focused marketing discipline with the aggressiveness and drive of an insurgent strategic model. It is a model built for clarity, speed and impact. This is the new model for companies who are serious about improving their market performance, revenues, share and return on marketing investment. It provides the most effective way for any organization to compete—and win.