Beer has fallen on hard times lately with data showing a sales growth of just .4 percent for the year ending May 16. One beer that’s selling far beyond that is Corona. The brand’s parent company, Constellation Brands, which also owns Modelo Especial and Pacifico, has seen sales jump 12 percent.
“Overnight, Constellation became the U.S.’s third-largest beer company by volume,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “Shipments of Corona have increased nearly 10% over five years to 7.8 million barrels, making it the top import and fifth-best selling U.S. beer.”
In fact, sales are so robust, there’s the possibility of a shortage. The company is looking to expand its brewery in order to meet demand. This despite the fact that the beer’s taste is rated bottom of the barrel. (Or the keg, if you will.) A site called RateBeer.com gave the brand a 1.69 out of 10 rating for taste based on 3,200 reviews.
“Corona’s success is also puzzling because traditional beer brands like Budweiser are facing declining sales,” says Business Insider.
So if people aren’t buying Corona for the taste, what could it be? One analyst says it’s the marketing. Back in April, BusinessWeek reported that Constellation was sticking with a “consistent” branding message that emphasized fun, beach, kicking back.
“Corona isn’t selling beer. It’s selling the idea of having a beer on a beachside vacation,” the article says.
I must admit, as someone who has followed marketing for a long time, I have commented on how effective I think the ad above is. It makes you think, “Hey, I want a summer like that. I need that cooler. Maybe I ought to rethink Corona.”
This speaks to the power of marketing, but more specifically to the power of imagery and messaging, even when you’re talking about a product that relies heavily on the sense of taste. Kind of like the way cologne is sold, not just on the scent, but the kind of sexy/fun/flirty person you must be if that’s how you want to smell.
They say you eat with all your senses. Guess it must be true.