The more money beer brand Peroni Nastro Azzurro has to spend on marketing the more likely it is to fall for the trick of simply “doing what everyone else does”.
Instead, the brand, which is owned by Japanese brewer Asahi, believes it can actually do better and more innovative work by exercising a little restraint.
“We invest far less than Heineken and the big boys in this world,” Asahi Europe’s global brand director Richard Ingram said during a session at the Festival of Marketing (10 October).
“As a challenger business and a challenger brand that has a portfolio of premium businesses, we believe in the beauty of constraint. We believe there is something great in the way we invest our money and what we do with it rather than the amount we have.”
Asahi, which acquired Peroni for almost £2bn from AB InBev in 2016, is also taking a non-traditional path as it looks to transform Peroni into one of Italy’s most stylish beer brands. Rather than positioning itself against other beer brands, the company is taking looking to luxury powerhouses such as Gucci, Ferrari and Versace.
Ingram believes it’s vital the brand creates cultural relevance and obtains the foresight to operate “beyond the category it works in”.
“If we compare ourselves to other beer, of course we’re stylish, we don’t have to do anything else. Instead we’re looking at competitive sets such as Gucci, Ferrari and Versace. That’s who we’re thinking about, that’s the game we’re playing,” he said.
We believe in the beauty of constraint. We believe there is something great in the way we invest our money and what we do with it rather than the amount we have.
“It allows us to leapfrog our competitors when it comes to content and when it comes to experience… we want to wipe the floor with them.”
However, the challenge for marketers in the beer industry, regardless of budget, is ensuring their content has meaning, is culturally relevant, and is distinctive for the consumer, he said.
“The easiest thing to fall into is creating content for content’s sake and frankly creating content that makes no difference to your brand, or business,” he explained.
“Marketers need to be really clear about what their brand stands for and what its role is in society and culture, and that they can deliver on that.”
But brands have got to evolve to keep up with changing industry trends.
“Your content must constantly evolve otherwise you’ll get stuck doing the same thing you’ve always done and that content will be no longer newsworthy, meaningful or relevant,” he said.
“The only game in town right now is, what does your brand stand for? And how well does the content experience that sits around it deliver?”