Budweiser, an American favorite by way of Czech tradition, is ready to assimilate.
The Belgian-owned AB-InBev announced plans last week to temporarily rename Budweiser America to celebrate the Summer Olympics and upcoming Presidential Election. Traditional branding from the can will be replaced with “E Pluribus Unum” and include lines from the Star Spangled Banner.
My first thoughts turned towards confusion. Budweiser is not even American owned and I could see conversations veering towards confusion when a noun describes both the place I inhabit and also a beverage I might be interested in consuming. I also wondered if some consumers would consider this rebranding offensive, or if others would be more drawn to the novelty name over Budweiser.
CivicScience asked the question, “How likely are you to purchase Budweiser, based on this new redesign?” to 21+ year-old people across the US. Over 1,500 responses were gathered between May 11 and May 13:
79% of people indicated that they don’t drink
Budweiser America, and they weren’t going to start based on the name change. Respondents of this choice were more likely to be women.
Those who did respond favorably to the change in name were were under the age of 45, and significantly more male than female.
Adults who were less likely to drink Budweiser after this change tended to be over 35, with a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
Geographically, those who answered “I drink Budweiser regularly and this won’t change,” are more likely to live in the Midwest.
Given Budweiser’s recent decline in sales, it’s not too surprising that most respondents aren’t fans of the brew. According to Market Watch, Budweiser only accounts for 6% of the US beer market, less than half of the 12.2% market share small craft breweries have.
It only makes sense that Budweiser tries to gain more fans with a bold marketing move, but this might not be the right action to draw new customers. While many respondents aren’t swayed by the branding change either way, Budweiser might see an uptick in sales from younger men.
On the other hand, the women polled were more likely to be uninterested by the change, or turned off by the change. Recent polls have shown women drinking beer is on the rise. While Budweiser wanted to make a change to stir up PR and sales, the beer giant may have alienated a growing segment of customers.