That's not a beer or is it?
It was a beautiful Spring afternoon and rather than sit in a coffee shop I decided to pack afternoon tea and do my Mojo MBA session at a quiet park bench. I took a thermos of hot water, packed tea bags, mineral water and a selection of non alcoholic beers, Corona, Heinekin and Great Northern on ice. When I asked the guy I was consulting with, would you like a non-alcoholic beer, he said no, it's too early in the afternoon for a beer. Curious. The non alcoholic beer is essentially just a favoured drink that tastes like what we know to be a beer in a can that makes it look or seem like a beer. Is it the alcohol in a drink that makes it a beer? Is it because it was in a can that looks like a real beer? Is it the perception of people walking past the park and seeing you with what appears to be a beer but is in actual fact of non-alcoholic beer in your hand ? Is it because you are so used to having a beer at the very end of the day, and this feels for all purposes to be a beer, it will be wrong to have it at 2 o'clock in the afternoon in a park? The non-alcoholic beer category is fascinating but this highlights to me exactly what marketing and brand is about and is being forgotten today. Marketing and brand is not the reality...it is the perception. It's just a flavoured drink in what looks like a can branded like a beer. Is it really a beer? That's in the eye of the beholder, and that's the value of the brand.
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