Looks like the King of Beer’s crown could use some polishing. Bothered by sagging sales and the availability of other beers that aren’t Budweiser, the folks at Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V. LLD, DDS, PhD, Esq., have decided it’s time to give a few hundred thousand people a massive lager lesson — by giving away samples of Bud.
According to USA Today, the Budweiser name has seen better days:
Bud unit sales were down 9% last year and are down the same this year… Beer drinkers have lost loyalty to Bud for the past seven years, research firm Brand Keys reports. Bud’s ranking among national product brands slipped from 16th in 2003 to 220th in 2010.
But the A-B pint-pushers aren’t giving up.
“Brands can come back,” the company’s president tells the paper. “Consumers have a high awareness of the brand, but some haven’t tried it in a long time.”
So in addition to doing the usual “launch a Facebook page and air some hip, new ads during college football games” approach, Budweiser plans to hand out 500,000 free samples of the beer between now and mid-October.
But one brand consultant tells USA Today he’s not terribly impressed. “They’re in trouble because they don’t know how to talk to consumers,” he says. “They no longer know how to create an emotional bond.”