Consumers should be marketed to, not at, says Anheuser-Busch

"We need to learn to adjust faster to make a better fit for what consumers are looking for, and not the other way around."

Anheuser-Busch is pushing to stand out in the age of hard seltzers, craft beer, and those that simply don’t want to drink as much any more -- and it’s doing that by giving people what they want, instead of telling them what they need. 

Speaking at the ANA Masters of Marketing in Orlando this week, U.S. CMO Marcel Marcondes said: "A lot of companies might say, 'I want to launch this, it would be great if I could sell this.’ It’s not about what you want to do, it’s about what is relevant for people out there and keeping people first."

New product launches have included a beer made with organic grains, another bourbon barrel-aged beer and a cocktail K-cup delivered in collaboration with coffee giant Keurig. 

"The rate of innovation for beer was slow," he continued. "Beer was not up to speed, and we’re working to change that." 

The launch of Anheuser Busch’s organic line was particularly risky, but it ended up paying off, Marcondes said, despite the difficulty involved. 

"Everyone said it would be complicated and it was, you have to certify the brewery, talk to the farmers, and take all these other steps, but we made it, and it's one of the fastest-growing brands in the industry now," he said.  

"We have reinvented our entire portfolio so that we can better fit their needs instead of spending time and money trying to convince them to buy what we have been producing for the past 100 years."

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