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商业 - 消费品

啤酒巨头拥抱小众精酿潮流

Beth Kowitt 2012年12月14日

精酿啤酒是小型独立酿造商引领的一股潮流,但是,全球第二大啤酒酿造商SABMiller执行董事长格雷厄姆·麦凯却表示,精酿啤酒增长迅猛,已成为啤酒市场不容忽视的一股力量,啤酒酿造巨头需要积极应对。

    你是说反大型化和国际化吗?可是,贵公司既是大公司,也是国际化公司。那么你们如何应对这一趋势的?

    我们有自己的精酿啤酒品牌。我们也在寻找优质的收购目标,希望能建立合伙关系,吸引一批培育过优质企业的人才。大公司很难培育小品牌。这根本就不可能。大公司很难能一贯如一、坚持不懈地创立一个小品牌。而这正是小企业最擅长的事情。

    您认为精酿啤酒的忠实消费者们会接受这一模式吗?

    精酿啤酒行业内对于我们和所有大型酿酒商都有很大的争议,因为我们就像敌人一样。我们是外人。他们认为,我们偷了他们的概念。我们要说的是:“一切让消费者来决定吧。”如果我们的产品让消费者感觉足够地道,就够了。

    您能谈谈为何单独设立Tenth and Blake部门?为什么这样规划公司架构?

    大多数啤酒都是以感情为诉求点,而不是功能。啤酒没有太多不同。即便一款啤酒是不同的,也有很多啤酒的口味与它很相似。因此,要做的是努力在人们的头脑中建立新的情感联系。为此,需要像一家小公司一样行动。必须用很长的时间培育。建立Tenth and Blake就是为了像一家小公司一样缓慢细致、而且始终如一地推出产品。

    你是否认为在某种程度上,我们将回到过去?更多的整合,更原始的口味?

    我不认为精酿啤酒运动会永远保持当前的增长态势。这不可能。它不经济。太多人就赚不到钱。太多人将退出这项业务。而且,我认为它会变得不那么流行。这种事在某种程度上就是赶潮流。

    大酿造公司的品牌组合将变得更大更丰富,更有层次也更多样化,这也是我们在世界所有地方看到的现象。但不会再回到百威(Budweiser)或下一个百威拥有30%或40%的市场占有率那样的时候了。

    对于精酿啤酒业务,或更具体地说是Tenth and Blake,您怎么看它的前景?

    Tenth and Blake是MillerCoors针对具体问题而设立的,即我们在增长方面落后于这部分市场。我们需要在这个方向上拓展我们的品牌组合。

    在某种意义上,Tenth and Blake是一个销售或营销组织,服务于仍在发展阶段的啤酒品牌。一旦品牌成长到足够大,就可以移入主流品牌。Blue Moon品牌目前仍由Tenth and Blake打理,但有一点几乎不可避免,可能在不远的未来就需要考虑将蓝月亮移入主流品牌,就像其他品牌一样。

    译者:杨智

    Anti-big, anti-international -- you are big and you are international. So how do you play off this trend?

    We have our own craft brands. We also look selectively to acquire, or form partnerships with, or cozy up to people who have incubated good businesses. It's difficult for big companies to incubate small brands. That, at its heart, is the dilemma. To start a small brand in a credible, consistent, sticking-to-it kind of way is hard for big companies. That's what small entrepreneurs do best.

    Do you think that the core craft consumer embraces this model?

    There's a huge debate in the craft world about us, all big brewers, because we're like the enemy. We're the other guys. They think we're stealing their authenticity. What we say is, "Let the consumer decide." If we're authentic enough for the consumer, that's authentic enough for anyone.

    Could you talk about the strategy around why you have this separate Tenth and Blake division? Why did you structure the company this way?

    For most beer, the proposition is emotional. It's not functional. The beer is not that different. And even if the beer is different, there are others that taste much like it. So you're trying to create new emotional associations in people's minds. To do that, you've got to act like a small company. You've got to incubate it for a long time. Tenth and Blake is set up to introduce things slowly and carefully and consistently like a small company.

    Do you think at some point we'll revert back to where we were before? More consolidation, a less sophisticated palate?

    I don't think the craft movement in its current guise will continue to grow indefinitely. I don't think it can. It's not economic. Too many people won't make any money. Too many of them will go out of business. And I think it will become less fashionable. These things are fashion to some extent.

    Brand portfolios of big brewing companies will get bigger, more complex, more stratified, and more differentiated because those are the trends you see everywhere else in the world. But you're not going to go back to where Budweiser (BUD) or the next Budweiser has a 30 share or 40 share.

    What do you see as the future of craft and, more specifically, Tenth and Blake?

    Tenth and Blake is a creation of MillerCoors to solve a specific problem, which is that we under-index in the growth segments. We need to grow our portfolio more in that direction.

    In a sense, what Tenth and Blake represents is a selling or a marketing organization oriented toward beers still in incubation mode. Once the brands become big, they can be handed over to the mainstream. Blue Moon is still handled by Tenth and Blake, but it's almost inevitable that at some stage in the not too distant future, you might contemplate moving Blue Moon out into the mainstream and just treat it as another brand.

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