Budweiser - Brand and Business
Budweiser is the number three beer brand in America. Budweiser is positioned as a patriotic brand that embodies "core American values" such as "optimism and celebration." Within the US, Budweiser is viewed as the beer for 'authentic and genuine' men as well as 'friendly and low-maintenance women' of "middle-America." Budweiser's drinkers are middle-class and working-class Americans that are "practical", they're "emotionally steady", and they are also "not as keen on authority."
Budweiser (and this includes Bud Light) is the single "biggest brand" for the Anheuser-Busch InBev corporation. In 2008 this global beer giant was created when Anheuser-Busch was purchased by the Belgium-based In-Bev corporation. As of May 2017, Budweiser's brand value is at $24.6 billion. Budweiser is the number 3 beer brand in the United States with only Coors Light and Bud Light ahead of them in terms of volume.
The Budweiser Brand
Budweiser views itself as "an icon of core American values"; core values of America such as "optimism and celebration." For avid beer-drinkers, "Budweiser is a medium-bodied, flavorful, crisp American-style lager." How Budweiser is viewed though is a different story.
A marketing study that was conducted online in 2015 showed results that stated Budweiser makes men who drink it seem "authentic" and "genuine" while the women that drink it are seen as "friendly" and "low maintenance". At that point in time though, the marketing effort, that was being promoted by Budweiser, received some pushback. The pushback was based on the "retro and sexist tones" of the results.
Who Drinks Budweiser
Budweiser turned out to be the drink of choice for 59% of respondents and had an even bigger percentage of women that were low-maintenance and friends where 70% of them chose Budweiser. For men that were considered to be 'putting on airs', Budweiser was only the choice of 6% of respondents who wanted to be seen as 'sophisticated' and 'demanding'. Whereas for women, only 4% of respondents would drink a Budweiser if they wanted to be perceived as 'high maintenance'' with 'expensive taste'. This gives us a sense of who is not drinking Budweiser.
Budweiser also received pushback in 2016 for a campaign that they pursued when they announced that the Anheuser-Busch cans and bottles would read "America" instead of Budweiser over a period of six months. On social media, people were not happy about this change where much of the criticism stemmed from people that said, "Budweiser isn't very American at all".
This criticism was not wrong as Anheuser-Busch is owned by an overseas corporation, InBev. Even still, Budweiser is the number 3 beer in the United States with sales of over $2 billion, which is almost $4 billion less than its sister beer, Bud Light, whose sales were almost $6 billion.
With all the backlash though, Anheuser-Busch still proved the power of the 'America' campaign and why it was a great marketing move. The campaign did three things effectively:
1) "It got people talking" on social media which adds up to free marketing.
2) It helped "win back" some of their core customers. At the time, Budweiser sales were declining over the last few quarters. A prior study showed that 42% of Budweiser drinkers were more likely to drive a truck. The study also concluded that Budweiser drinkers were practical, emotionally steady and weren't too keen on authority. This campaign helped re-position Budweiser as "the beer of middle America". The "America" cans directly spoke to this person.
3) It helped Budweiser "connect emotionally" with Americans. What is more timely than an 'America' beer during the summer of 2016? The campaign helped bring Americans together and also connected to their consumers on a more human level.
Who does not Drink Budweiser
With all of this said, it is important to know who is not drinking Budweiser as well. More than 50% of millennial beer drinkers have never touched a Budweiser beer far less drank it. This is due to the increasing popularity with millennials of "craftier beers" made by smaller brewers. Sales of Budweiser as well as its sister-brand, Bud Light, have consistently fallen since 2013.
Another trend that has contributed to this decline has been how popular 'light' beers have become due to them being perceived as healthy and less filling. Also, American drinks have started switching to consume more wine and spirits.
In closing, Budweiser has positioned itself as a brand that embodies "core American values" like "optimism and celebration". As a man, if you want to be perceived as "authentic and genuine" then there is a high chance you drink Budweiser. If you are a woman that wants to be seen as "friendly and low-maintenance" then Budweiser is overwhelmingly the beer for you. Budweiser's drinkers are "middle-class and working-class" Americans. The main groups of people that don't drink Budweiser are Millennials, "sophisticated" men, women with "expensive taste" and high-maintenance people.