Relaunching draught, Beck's had to deliver a seamless, creative, stylish effort providing a complete toolkit for each salesperson and insuring on time material delivery to each distributor ahead of launch.
Why Draught? Draught, when properly positioned, managed, and executed by Beck's field sales personnel and wholesaler counterparts, is an important component of a strategic growth strategy in major markets. Draught, while then only 3.5% of total US Beck's sales, is a key and pivotal factor in influencing on-premise trial and growth which in the end contributes to off-premise volume sales. A draught product is a statement that the on-premise account believes in the value of the product to the customer. It is perceived by both retailer and consumer as extraordinarily fresh. The Beck’s draught product presents an important opportunity, at retail, to increase trial.
Beck's was led, at the time, by a brilliant exec - John Lennon, who is now President of Xyience Sports Beverage. He knew what it took to introduce as well as rebuild or reintroduce a brand (he did the same as CEO of Pabst, Pyramid Brewing and others). It started with understanding the market, which was when he called us in to assist. We dove into research: market by market, local account by account and priorized national chains, focus on consumer demographics. We had a very narrow target. Top tier draught markets. Heavier male user profile than bottle drinkers, younger (and younger than the Beck’s drinker), single, highly educated and with a post graduate degree. In business, the draught drinker shows high penetration in the following fields: Construction, finance, wholesale trade-food service, college level education – 247 (Beck’s index is 216 and Beck’s Dark is 346). With respect to job titles, Presidents (Beck’s index is 206 and Beck’s Dark is 263), vice presidents – 238, and of course, high wage earners. This was not a roll-around-in-the-sawdust crowd.
Draught beer is an extremely price conscious component of any on-premise financial model. In fact more time is spent on beverage controllables in restaurant management courses than on virtually any other line item. For Beck’s to be successful in key, Level I and ll markets, Beck’s had to be priced to deliver top-of-import-industry per glass profits to retail account management. We went market by market with the sales team, account by account getting accurate, leading and trendsetting on-premise everyday and promotional pricing.
Working with the EVP of sales, Andy Brennan and EVP Finance, Tom Angelo, a strategy was set so pricing would be set by market managers and DVPs after evaluating each market on its one merit and potential for volume growth and increased Beck’s trial.
Beck’s Draught was not a program that was going to be fought and won on the nation’s TV sets or car radios. It’s feet on the ground, one account at a time. You never violate a good brand essence strategy (Beck’s had a great one – built on the brand attributes of sophistication, respect, international, and authentic with the support of clean and simple design and the signature “key”). We didn’t. We built a program that literally began with a look hanging off the shoulder of the Beck’s sales person walking into the on-premise account.
It’s been said by more than just a few successful restaurateurs and bar owners that design is possibly the single most important factor in determining the personality of a bar or other on-premise account. It creates the mood, fleshes out the concept and even helps with the nuts and bolts of an operation by maximizing the efficiency of beverage service. Design can help a business in ways that are as intangible as ambiance and as concrete as where to put the beer taps.
Below are just some of the elements of the plan and programs we created for Beck's Draught. Starting with a specially designed leather shoulder portfolio, refilable for each on-premise call with a set of new glassware, an ergonomic metal tap handle, a set of interactive coasters and other program information material, and new distributor software designed to ease and improve management and tracking of draught beer at the granular account level.