There’s a short article over at The Age mapping the decline of the big Australian beers as a failure of their marketing. Their reason for the fall from grace of VB and Carlton:
Image is also one of the reasons why there has been strong growth in mainstream craft beers such as James Squire, Little Creatures and Matilda Bay.
”Boutique beers tend to be more expensive because it reflects the cost of production, and that tends to be associated with people with higher disposable income. So it’s a badge of wealth, status,” says Kirkegaard. ”But like a niche wine, it also shows a higher level of discernment.”
For The Age, how a beer tastes doesn’t seem to come into it. The failure of big beers in Australia may have less to do with them presenting a credible image of themselves than them presenting a product which does not taste good. Substituting in a faux import like Carlsberg or Heineken for a local trash pilsener because the former has a more positive image does not seem like a long term marketing strategy.
Matt Kirkegaard (quoted above) also blogs over at BeerMatt and even the most cursory read of his work will point out that he knows that there is more to beer than image alone.